A few days ago while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I saw a video from Buzzfeed titled “What’s It Like Being the Only Black Friend.” The video gave scenarios in which the white friend would ask the black friend questions about rap music and slang, which puts the black person in an awkward situation.
At first, like many of my Facebook friends who are mostly black, we laughed at this and commented, agreeing how awkward being friends with a white person can be, but then that leads to the question of “Why?” Some people claim they would not feel any different and friendship does not have a race, but why then does society subtly look down on it? We use stereotypes and schemas in order to make pre-judgments about another race, which then changes our perception of them and how we treat and speak to them.
Before moving to Oswego, my friends and a few family members all asked me “Why didn’t you get a black roommate?” They assumed that because I am black I would seek someone “more like me” but, I do not believe similarities have anything to do with race at all. For some notion it is believed that only black people can understand “the struggle” but this is not necessarily the case. The whole “white people thing” vs. the “black people thing” has our friendships and relationships divided.
But this is not fully our fault. Some of our grandparents or even parents hint at their child not dating another race or being friends with another race. A study done in Cedarville University showed that even though 74 percent of people said they wouldn’t mind dating someone from a different race, less than 20 percent of them have. To add fuel to the fire, most of the parents stated they would slightly disapprove of interracial marriage for their children.
Racism is still prevalent in our daily lives whether we choose to notice it or not. We still have not gotten over slavery and segregation. It is in our media and in our daily lives, which makes us look at people as black and white instead of just people. Interracial friendships and intimate relationships should not be frowned upon; they should be celebrated. As the great Michael Jackson said, “It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white.”