Inter-racial Friends

When I was very young I had mostly black friends. I never looked at it that way, but that was the way it was. In kindergarten my best friend was black and the first guy I fell for was also black. He was the class clown and used to break dance during nap time. I thought he was the cat’s meow.

When I went into elementary school there were very few black children (I attended a private school), but none-the-less, I made good friends with a black girl again and even our parents got along well. When I entered middle school, and then more so in high school there was a natural separation of cliques by interests and races tended to gravitate into groups due to similar cultural interests. We never had issues of cliques hating each other or starting wars with each other, we just kept to our own circles.

Now, living in the melting pot of Columbia I’ve made friends with a co-worker, who also happens to be black. I’m not really big into races, in fact if my subject matter didn’t have to do directly with it, I probably wouldn’t bring it up at all. But in this case, I was a bit surprised by our recent trip to the mall.

See we went to the mall in a predominately black area and got some pretty nasty looks. In one Saturday night at the mall we received 35 looks of disdain, disgrace, and disgust. And that was only after we started counting. The looks shifted between the two of us based on the color of the skin of people walking nearest to us. And surprisingly, most of the people looking at us so disapprovingly were black.

I gave the example of my having friends when I was young to draw a direct juxtaposition. See when I was young I never thought twice about the color of someone’s skin. Not because that was how I was taught, but because the thought never crossed my mind that my best friend,  Brittney, was any more different than me than the girl with blonde hair. It wasn’t until 1st or 2nd grade that the idea that some people had different colored skin was even brought to my attention, and I never noticed it before then. They were just people. People like me.

Even now, I make friends with people with common interests, regardless of skin color or other physical traits. But it took making friends with someone with an alternate pigment to realize how divided our country has become and how very prevalent the reversed racism has become in every day life.

Personally, I think it’s very sad that some people are so narrow minded that they would disrespect a person because of fickle issues like skin, hair, or eye color, where the person was born, the opinions they hold. I charge you, dear reader, to judge those you know on character and on action; judge not by appearance.

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