I am a white person, and there are two kinds of my fellow white people I don’t understand: those who hate all black people, and those who really, really want black friends. As far as the first group is concerned, my personal experience with this was when I was in college, and the OJ Simpson “Not Guilty” verdict was handed down. I was so mad that I thought, “I’m never going to talk to a black person again!” That lasted about fifteen minutes, until I got on the bus and an acquaintance of mine, who was always a ball of sunshine and had the most endearing gap between her front teeth, sat next to me and said, “Famous! How’s it going?” In that moment, it was utterly impossible to hate her for a crime committed by another person who happened to be the same color she was, and that made me realize how ridiculous the whole concept of hating someone for their color was. Seriously, people are people, and the good and bad ones come in all colors.
The other kind of white people mystify me even more. They are always politically liberal and seem to put black people on a pedestal. I certainly have no issue with cross-racial friendships, having some myself, but why would you seek out someone’s friendship specifically because of their race? I can see having a fascination with a different culture, and I’ve known people like that and can understand where they are coming from, but this is something different. It has nothing to do with culture and, apparently, everything to do with skin tone. It’s like they need to have a certain number of friends in the “black” column, which seems kind of as racist as hating someone for being black. Shouldn’t we be friends because we enjoy one another’s company and not because it makes us feel self-righteous? Or, as Cookie Monster says, “Friend is someone you share last cookie with!” A friend is someone you love because of his or her particular qualities, not because of – or in spite of – skin color.