A guide to dealing with your white privileged friends
Integration’s great…until you witness them yell at their mother
by Ari Bines
There are certain things you, a non-white person reading this, can't get away with in comparison to your Caucasian peers. The system we live in will allow for your white privileged friends to wait for their venti-sized iced latte while yours is on hold while the police are called on you.
You'll be faced with having to watch their entitlement live and in your face when you're invited to their luxury apartments (that may or may not be paid for by their parents) and explaining why you prefer to stay far away from their wealthier (and mostly white) neighborhood. So here's a guide to keeping it cute while your white friends are living their best privileged lives.
Remember why you're friends
Keep in mind on what brought you and your pale pal together in the first place. In some cases, there are things you can relate to with your white friends that you may not have been able to with any others.
Being that I mostly grew up around pale folk, I adapted to their way of life listening to Hannah Montana, not seasoning all my food and marrying (in my head) the most Caucasious man, Jesse McCartney. I could gush and rave over buttered spaghetti and sexy white men without fear of being judged for "going out of bounds".
Talk about race
If you have a white friend (and you should), but race isn't a topic of discussion, your friendship is already toxic. There's passive aggression, resentment and jealousy written all over those friendship lanyards. And while it doesn't need to come up in every last one of your conversations, it's a big discussion you need to have.
Learn and understand where both sides come from because there's nothing worse than being the person on the receiving end of hatred and having no idea why.
It's no one's fault that you (the non white person reading this) got the short end of the stick and they've got the whole damn tree branch, but both of you have the privilege of having the internet, where you can learn and unlearn the bad cards you were dealt.
Do things you both normally wouldn't
Brace yourself, but ask your white friend to come to the cookout. They'll be shook at first, having aunties kiss, poke and hug you as if they were born into oppression too, but that's how you further awaken the woke white person.
Be mindful to have the cultural appropriation conversation prior to bringing them into your world of jerk chicken, the cat daddy and the genius lyricists that are rappers, and you'll be off to swapping Yu-Gi-Oh! cards like you did back in 4th grade.
Share your knowledge with an open mind
No matter what color or shade you are, share whatever knowlege of race you have with the people you hang out with. You're too old to be basing friendships on superficialities like how they dress and what car they drive. If you're white, don't be a bystander and call out racism as you see it, even if it feels like you're "betraying your own." In your heart of hearts, you know it's wrong when you witness it, so do something when it happens.
No one person can know everything, but educating your friends on what's wrong with particular stories in the news cycle will make them aware (because they genuinely don't always know).
None of it will be easy, but getting through it is the only way to stay aware and push past the old ways of the baby boomers who fucked it up in the first place.
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