If you’re tired, try being Black. You don’t get to be tired, because you are a part of the group committing the offenses. And if your Black friends are offended by some things you say and you’re put off by their responses, why not consider you DON’T know everything, you aren’t as woke as you believe you are, and perhaps there is still some work you can do on yourself.
Your intentions do not matter if the persons on the receiving end are offended. If you’re tired of being friends with Black people because you believe you being offended is more important than understanding your Black friends, imagine being descendants of slaves having to navigate White feelings, white tears, White fragility, and actions for 400 + years.
If being around Black people is causing you such grief, you probably should get yourself a divorce from them. You’re probably not going to be a good ally for the people you claim you’re becoming wary of anyway. Your relationship will eventually become one where you feel like you’re better than them. You’re going to become a White savior, and we don’t need any more white saviors. You’re offended, and you can’t seem to understand the root of it.
When we try to tell people how we feel, somehow the feelings of White people are ALWAY recentered (just the way you did). Everything has to be about you. We cannot express our desire to be treated as equals, as human beings, and women. Furthermore, like clockwork, White people will consistently neglect the topics we are trying to discuss as if you have a short tolerance for any misery from Black people. Instead of being wary, try listening. Instead of being tired, gird your loins. We have to do it. Every single day! And if you are not that person, trust me, we encounter several other racist rude-a-mons. There aren’t enough good, tolerant White people to offset the bad ones.
I’m sorry for us, and you.
If you are interested in not engaging in seemingly racist inquisitions, allow me to share a few tips.
- Avoid discussing topics tied to status and class. Inquiring about details people use to find out a person’s class or status in society should be a faux pas. Don’t ask those types of questions unless you have a personal relationship with people because they are considered private.
- Understand Black people are generally conservative. We are private and we are proud, especially Black women. When/if we share with White people, it’s because we’ve allowed you into our inner-sanctum. Respect it, and don’t think you have a right to intrude anytime. Enter when invited, be mindful when you weren’t. It’s for a reason.
- Sometimes there are cultural differences. I have Black friends and I have a rule. If my friends don’t tell me their business, I don’t ask. If they want me to know, they’ll tell me. I don’t toot my own horn, and I don’t intrude. I don’t make small talk that requires the disclosure of info I’m not privy to. And don’t say everything that comes to your mind, even if you think it’s innocent. Sometimes, women aren’t ready to share.
- It’s absolutely cool to engage in casual conversations. I chat with people all the time, but the conversations are general in nature. Keyword is general. Also, the situation matters. If we are in the grocery store line waiting to check out and we strike up a conversation, great! Keep it superficial. If we are in a work situation and it’s appropriate to ask about where I went to college and you want to know, by all means, ask. But don’t ask your new Black neighbor all sorts of inappropriate questions just because YOU feel they aren’t out of line.
One reason you’re likely so frustrated with talking to Black people in your social circle is because you have the privilege to act and do as you please. We have lines, and you’re likely not accustomed of not being able to cross them. Your attitude says more about you than it does your friends.
You can quit being an ally when you want, and you never have to deal with us if you don’t want to. We are accustomed to faux and seasonal allies. Black people don’t have that luxury. We must engage with White people because you all possess everything we need for our survival. We can’t be weary or tired. We must be nice to you (White people), even when you don’t deserve it. Our parents prepare us from birth to navigate being in your world, including how to talk and not talk to you. Clearly, White parents don’t do the same which explains why you’re tired.
And that’s the problem.
We are different. Respect our differences and our culture. Understand class and status topics should be off-limits unless you have a close, personal relationship, Try learning. We’ve spent our entire lives learning White people, and trust me, if you’re offended, multiply that by 100 and you’ll feel the way we do about having to deal with inquisitions and racism.