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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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