11. “But I Have A Black Friend” Racist
AFRICANGLOBE – If there’s one thing to know about racism, it’s that racism (and race) is incredibly complex. Many people think racism means one group of people hates another group of people. However, racism manifests in all kinds of subtle and insidious ways. It operates on both a micro and macro level. For this reason, it’s so hard to talk about racism, or even recognize it when it’s going on.
So sorry, just because you’re not burning crosses on some Black person’s lawn doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not part of the problem. It’s important that we recognize the different ways racism exists in the world, because being aware is the first step in fixing the problem. The fact of the matter is, there’s no one specific kind of racism or racist. There are many types of racists, and they come in all forms, from the blatant to to the inconspicuous. Below is a list of just a few of the different kinds:
“But I Have A Black Friend” Racist
The “But I have a Black friend!” line has become a crude cliché, but some oblivious people still use it as an excuse whenever they get called out for racist behavior. Last week, the wife of an Alabama teacher who wore blackface for his Kanye West Halloween costume came to his defense saying, “Some of my husband’s best friends are Black.”
What people who use this excuse fail to realize is that having a Black friend is not some kind of fool-proof guard against saying or doing racist things. Just because you’ve befriended one, maybe two Black people, doesn’t mean your behavior doesn’t offend an entire race. Instead of using your innocent hypothetical Black friend as a way to absolve yourself, actually own up to and learn from your mistakes.