Is it petty to write about a person while they’re in your presence? Is it the same as talking (or whispering) behind their backs? What if that person is a friend of yours? What if that person turns out to say racist things, even though you are certain (90% after the first comment with a gentle decline by 5% with each further comment until you reach 50% at which point you completely give up on this friend) that this friend is not a racist. I know and can rationalize that there is a difference between racial bias and racial bigotry, racial ignorance and racial discrimination. I know this, but the reality is that to have the patience to make a person aware of their racial bias or racial ignorance is to tolerate their racist comments, sometimes, for a long time. And I am not a fan of tolerating harmful people. Nevertheless, I am at the point in my life with this person that I need to make a decision about whether or not I will tolerate the comments in hopes of educating.
I am not a fan of educating the ignorant (and no, I do not believe I am or am even in the vicinity of being the most intelligent, but I know that I am smart enough to understand many things). I am, however, a fan of watching people grow and change, blossom and learn. And so perhaps, the problem truly exists within my general understanding that I am also “white enough” to where people forget that I am not white, and then occasionally, they say racist shit, which means that everyone in my orbit is a bit racist, since the majority of my orbit is white. This, however, cannot be true because this particular person is the first friendship within which this particular issue has come into being.
Then, perhaps, the problem revolves around my general impatience with people who say dumb shit in the first place. I have little to no tolerance for people who have nothing original to say, and oddly enough, this always includes racists comments. Of course, I’ve experienced racists comments said by every type of person, but I have not had a personal friend who does this, not until this one friend. I’m perplexed. I’m confused. I’m more confused than actually concerned about whether or not this person is a good person. I couldn’t care less about his/her goodness. I am confused about how a person of this age, in this day in age, could openly say things without even a hint of awareness about how racially charged the thing said is. I wish I could quote-unquote write what he/she said, but I cannot for then that person will know I am talking about him/her (but actually, the chances that they read this are slim, if extant at all).
Thus, I am forced to simply sit here in contemplation as I continue to have to interact with this person, regularly. The avoidance tactic was not received well, but we are on good terms right at this moment. Eggshells, nevertheless, remain. And so, I do not know if I’m asking for help so much as I’m asking for a compatriot in this particular struggle, the struggle of not wanting to merely “cancel” a friend. I also know, at the same time, that it is not my responsibility to fix anyone. So, there’s that.
Until next time.