Stop Trying to Relate To Me! Thoughts On Being Your Only Black Friend

Author's Disclaimer: This blog post does not have the intent to offend or down talk anyone of any ethnic background. I know that I have readers from various parts of the world and I would never hope to offend anyone! The problem that humans have between races stems from not having an open and honest conversation about our differences. I value you as a reader, and because of that I feel that I can be honest in what I write to you! 

Black stereotypes. Everybody knows them. But for the love of all things that are holy, please stop holding every black person you know to these standards! As a light skin Black woman, who appears to be mixed to most people, white girls seem to flocked to me in hopes that I will be their first Black friend. My friends have recently referred to me as "The Light Skin Step". There is a god-awful joke that before a Caucasian  person can become friends with a Black person, they must first take 'the light skin step' with either a person of Latin descent or a light skinned Black person. Whether or not this is true, I have been several people's only black friend throughout my school years. How do I know that I was their only Black friend? One, I was usually the only Black person in the class and two, they were so quick to tell me that I was their only black friend!

One of the worse things that a person can do is try to relate to someone of a different ethnic background based on stereotypes. Imagine a Black person going up to a Latin American person and saying, "Hey, I love reggaton, beans and rice too. I am basically more Hispanic than you are! You should give me your Hispanic Card, Ese!"

I would want to be there when that person finally gets b*tch slapped.
Source: BuzzFeed
This is the sort of banter that I am sure several Black Americans have heard from their counterparts of other races. And being of a lighter skin complexion, I have had several people from other races compare arms to me and let me know that they are blacker than I am. Oh, and let me not get started on how many White AND Black people have told me that when I talk on the phone, I sound white. My personal favorite is when I get greeted with 'yo' and 'what up gurl' or nowadays 'bye felicia' (and I know that you didn't even watch the movie, Friday!). Or, when I ride in the car and the radio station gets turned to the hip hop and r&b, I like Taylor Swift along with the rest of the world!

So what is this, a rant? Only partially. I felt the need to write this post because if you are experiencing a clash between you and people of other races due to their lack of knowledge (or ignorance), your first instinct may be to write off  people of this ethnic background for good. But in doing this aren't we just perpetuating another stereotype? The stereotype that White people can't relate to non-white people is just as much of a stereotype as saying that all Black people speak Ebonics and like hip hop. Don't write off a group of people just because a few people of the same skin complexion are ignorant. The key, in my opinion is to have an open line of communication. If someone offends you, let them know and let them know why. If you never tell them, how will they know that they are doing something wrong? Some people won't just get the hint when you stop hanging around them.

Another key point is to be yourself, no matter what ethnic background you come from. If 'yo' and 'fa rizzle' is not a part of your everyday vocabulary with your friends and family, do not pull it out only when you talk to Black people. If your classmates say that you talk to proper, don't be ashamed of it. If you like Taylor Swift, don't feel the need to accomodate the music tastes you assume that I must have whenever I ride in your car. People choose friends because of who they are and if you are pretending to be someone else, you will never truly be friends.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Have you ever been faced with similar situations?

READ: How The Producers of O.T. Genesis' "In Love With The Coco" are Single-handedly Ruining The Black Community

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Quirky, Brown Love is a media outlet for quirky, brown millennials. EST 2014.

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