I won’t even charge you. But you will have to answer some questions in exchange for the race-based friendship you desire.
What is up with believing America is a White Christian Nation? Since when? Do some white people walk around with their eyes closed?
What is this obsession with artists’ selling out? The same capitalism that gets the pharmaceutical sales rep their flat screen TVs should not be accessible to artists?
Do you like fried chicken and ribs?
Will You Be My Black Friend? [GQ.com]
i’ve always been a little too aware of the race of my friends. One of the most embarrassing memories I have is when I was 8 years old and I made my uncle guess whether my best friend was black or white, and he just started laughing at me. “He’s black!” I said, already feeling like there was something wrong with my question. I didn’t know one of the basic unspoken rules in America, which my question (and this essay) is a violation of: It’s okay to be proud of having black friends.
This best friend’s name was Bobby Poindexter. He was tiny but adult-seeming even in the second grade. He wore a white vest to school sometimes. He was a little Marvin Gaye motherfucker. If you could smoke menthols in the second grade, that’s what Bobby Poindexter would have done. He used to take me to his church, which was way different from any church I’d ever been to. He had an Aunt Bootie who was 400 years old, ate Horehound candy, and carried a purse ﬁlled with Bibles and what must have been twenty pounds of concrete. He introduced me to the idea that you could have “cousins” who weren’t your cousins, and he called me “cuz,” which was in retrospect a precursor to “nigga,” which I bet he wouldn’t have called me. I identiﬁed with Bobby Poindexter because he was bused into my elementary school and he existed outside the social strata of my world. I felt absolutely no social anxiety when I hung out with him, which made him one of a kind, if you didn’t count my mom, who I couldn’t bring to school with me.
UPDATE – It’s a long article but I do recommend (if you have the time) reading it. Friedman is attempting to work out all the complications and strangeness of being a part of the world when who you are should dictate that you aren’t welcome or that you shouldn’t attempt to explore. It’s a path that could veer into social tourism and superficiality but it doesn’t.