The more white friends you have, the less black people will get shot and killed. How you ask? Take this classic Dave Chapelle comedy sketch about driving in a car with a white friend and his encounter with police. Nuff said. Now imagine the same scenario with only black friends, the outcome would be much different, in that it would likely have ended in violence or at a minimum somebody is getting arrested. When you roll with your white friends, it ratchets the tension down a notch and makes it possible for your white friend to say crazy stuff like “Sorry officer, I didn’t know we couldn’t do that”.
Imagine trying to catch a cab as a black man, we all know it isn’t happening. Now sprinkle in a white friend, let them hail the cab and boom you hop in first and you got eem. Because at that point, it’s too late for them to try and refuse to drive you somewhere and they have to take you wherever you want to go. Same scenario in a mixed bar, you’re trying to get your drink and you are starting to feel like you have the power of invisibility, because the bartender doesn’t seem to be able to see you. Instead, roll to the club with your white friends, let them approach the bar for drinks and boom you are being served.
Trying to buy a house and need to get a mortgage from the bank? Do you feel like they give you the run around when you give them a call on the phone or are they asking you a ton of questions that seem to have nothing to do with the purpose of your interaction? Add in a white friend/representative to the mix and say they are your property manager or your lawyer and suddenly those random unrelated questions are no longer being asked and you are being offered the same products and services you need without the “black tax” (i.e. higher collateral, higher interest and/or insurance rates, larger down payment, etc.) and the run around.
Now how do we go about saving the world? The answer is by making white (diverse) friends. Why is this important? It is important because friendship makes us better people, it makes our lives richer, friendship is one of the essential relationships everyone must experience in life. Interracial friendships are important because they create opportunities to transcend bigotry and ignorance due to lack of exposure and misunderstanding based on stereotyping and what is wrongly promoted in the media.
Please don’t get me wrong, it is not a crime to spend time with the people you are most comfortable with. However, those people are usually the ones who tend to look, think, and act like you. Point being, if we continue to consciously or unconsciously elect not to spend time with people different from ourselves we are inviting further separation, isolation, and danger. When we don’t pursue and maintain diverse friendships we are making it virtually impossible to understand and be understood by people from diverse backgrounds. The distance between us and the reliance on cultural stereotypes and assumptions to learn about one another is the reason why black and brown lives are de-humanized, de-valued, and treated as though they have little or no worth.
So, do your part in saving the world and go out and get some white (diverse) friends.