Friendships

I consider myself a bit lucky. I grew up in an area that wasn’t segregated and I had friends from all backgrounds. My best friend since 8th grade is Hispanic, I’m still close to a few of my Portuguese friends, and I periodically vacation with my friend from 10th grade who’s from Ireland.  I wasn’t the only black person with non-black friends. As I look at my black friends that I grew up with, we all have diverse circle of friends. But according to a new report, where many black people have non-black friends, only three quarters of white people have non-white friends.

I’ve watched enough episodes of Seinfeld and Friends to already realize that.

Now should white people run out and get their token friendships on? Hell no. I don’t want to be your black friend. But I commonly side-eye the lily whiteness I see in a lot of metropolitan areas that are diverse.

From The Washington Post:

In a 100-friend scenario, the average white person has 91 white friends; one each of black, Latino, Asian, mixed race, and other races; and three friends of unknown race. The average black person, on the other hand, has 83 black friends, eight white friends, two Latino friends, zero Asian friends, three mixed race friends, one other race friend, and four friends of unknown race. …

To put it another way: Blacks have ten times as many black friends as white friends. But white Americans have an astonishing 91 times as many white friends as black friends.

In Washington, D.C. I see these scenarios almost on a daily basis. Sometimes I wonder to myself, how can people be so monolithic when they live around diversity. But then I realize, a lot of it has to do with their upbringing. And of course population. There are more white people than black people in the world.

The Post continued:

To be fair, the numbers suggest there is plenty of racial self-selection in black Americans’ friend networks too. But focusing solely on black-white relations, there’s a pretty big difference between having only one member of a given race in your friend network, and having eight of them.

In fact, PRRI’s data show that a full 75 percent of whites have “entirely white social networks without any minority presence.” The same holds true for slightly less than two thirds of black Americans.

Hey, so the world isn’t post racial. Big deal. Rock with who you want to rock with. But like I said, I’m not going to be a token for hire.

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  • Anthony

    Slightly off topic, I dare say that most black people who think they have white friends are not as close to those white friends as they think they are. I would bet money if I had it that a lot of those white friends have affairs in all white circles that their black friends will never know about.

    Black people hanging with black people is the strongest thing we can do for each other. When we chose to be with each other, and build each other up, we are strengthening ourselves and our communities. I do not think it is an accident that the media loves to show blacks in relationships with whites on programs, or that even on black shows, there is usually a token white character. Just like in slavery, they fear us when we get together. Although they don’t really want us around, they love having us always begging to have time with them. As a man, it kind of reminds me of when I was young, and some (by no means all) pretty women loved having men admire them and want to be around them, even if they did not actually want anything to do with the men in question because it built up their self esteem.

    I just say be proud black people, and love yourselves!

    • binks

      “Dare say that most black people who think they have white friends are not as close to those white friends as they think they are. I would bet money if I had it that a lot of those white friends have affairs in all white circles that their black friends will never know about.”

      Good point, just because you are “cool” and “friendly” with someone doesn’t mean you two are exactly friends or in their circle. Personally, I am not surprised by this study in the least.

    • noirluv45

      Anthony, you are absolutely spot on here.

    • maralondon

      ‘Black people hanging with black people is the strongest thing we can do for each other. When we chose to be with each other, and build each other up, we are strengthening ourselves and our communities.’

      My sentiments exactly.

  • And when change in demographics changes the US to a “minority-majority” country, that will be their issue to contend with.

  • apple

    because they can.. white people do things that are questionable, mean or evil because they can! why can they ? because they are white! but dont get it twisted, they dont want you to self segrate either, esp if its something you are creating that they want (they don’t want you to have nothing nor do they want you to stop needing them).. if you try to get on by yourself and create something for your self, whether thats clothing, a musical genre, a neighborhood, a WHOLE DAMN COUNTRY, they will come and invade it, take it from you, then try to make it for them.

  • valsays

    They prefer it that way too. This is why when there’s a token in their lives indirectly or not, For instance in a classroom they think that one person represents the entire race. I’m sure most of us here have felt the pressure and frustration that accompanies that burden.

  • Tony

    I don’t have white friends. I have white acquaintances.