Laying-Off my White Friends

[DISCLAIMER: Now I got to step up and copy this is as my disclaimer. I say what I have to say or what I feel has to be said. I will always say what needs to be said, even at gun point. I am a person of great conviction. I try my best because even if I do things as planned, there might be negative consequences to whatever I have to say. My biggest regrets are things not done and battles not fought. It is not my intention to speak ill of people, but I’ll try to do so without the malice of reverse racism in my heart.]

Laying-Off my White Friends
Written by Grandpa Dinosaur

There is a thin line between patience and tolerance for me, I am a VERY patient person. I will wait on someone, forgive them to an almost UNREAL Buddhist-like nature. At the same time, I’m am not a very tolerant person. I do not look kindly to injustice, I have a personal high standard and am a person of strong conviction (although I do falter and blame myself time to time). As a Ghandi quote once said, “It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.”

These days I find it harder and harder to talk to my old White friends from high school, to the point of avoiding them completely. Either it is from being tired of being told I “start conflict” or “that I talk about racism too much.” Even if they don’t say it out loud, you can read their faces. I’m starting to see how hypocritical their way of thinking and living (dismissive as well), it’s hard for me to deal with because it’s worsening as my high school colleagues and I get older.

More than race, it’s also class that’s dividing us. I don’t have the experience of being “a child” and completed College in as close to as close to “no nonsense” as possible. I see University and College as a necessary education in order to gain skills and experience to start the career I want, where as a good portion of my friends can afford to go all the way to graduate school (or have the means to) and University and College is their sandbox to discover who they are and play around.

One of the main reasons that I’m deciding to break it off with a few of my White friends is that it’s hard because what I have to say is often played lightly or treated unreal. I have experiences similar to the ones that Davita Cuttita talks about in her Girls in the Hood. We grew up in the same apartment building only floors apart and even lived together on ocassion. I take VERY PERSONAL OFFENCE to people who say that my past is “too unreal” or that I am “making it up,” especially when I see the lives of those who were my elementary school friends. I get really mad when people say “you didn’t grow up in the Ghetto,” as if they have the intelligence and good taste to judge the final and deciding how Ghetto is Ghetto.

I’ve already said “good bye” to a few of my White “friends” and am deciding if I should lay-off some more. I know a lot of you say that that “you’re friends are really awful,” Davita Cuttita often tells me to get new friends—and I have—and also to move on. Which I am struggling, but managing to do.

The girl who I was talking about in Disconnect: Communicating with White People was really mad that I wrote about her (and her boyfriend) in this blog. The blog entry, amongst other real life things, have caused us to split apart.

All I have to say is Davita Cuttita invited her to read the blog. BUT Davita Cuttita DID ask for my permission, I almost didn’t give it—but I did. (Davita, please don’t beat me up.) I just recently invited another friend who so far, hasn’t complained and I’ve asked her to complain so it’s all good. This blog is not even for me most of the time.

This entry though, it’s for me.

I had mentioned the article and sent one my friends, who will be named Terra for privacy (and the first of my close friends that I have exposed PDDP personally to) the link later after our conversation.

It surprised me what when I mentioned it to her because she replied by saying: “didn’t she write about you too?” The article Terra was referring to was something that was written obviously about me and those like me (not racist, but still personal) and it hurt my feelings at the time, but I was pretty mature and she was entitled to her opinion about me as much as I’m entitled to an opinion about her. It’s hypocrisy otherwise.

I approach people dissing me with the flair of a Cambodian Comedian: I dance it off. I’m cool with it, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me or even like me but I want people to know where I stand and what beliefs in solidarity with. As a coloured woman, I have to be strong. Even more so as an Asian woman who is not pale skinned, slender, “beautiful,” “stylish” and single and especially in front of children.

Now I got to step up and copy this is as my disclaimer: I say what I have to say or what I feel has to be said. I will always say what needs to be said, even at gun point. I am a person of great conviction. I try my best because even if I do things as planned, there might be negative consequences to whatever I have to say. My biggest regrets are things not done and battles not fought. It is not my intention to speak ill of people, but I’ll try to do so without the malice of reverse racism in my heart.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t care about her writing about me and had completely forgotten about it until my friend had brought it up. And it wasn’t an Livejournal posts, where talking BS about your friends is normal but something (that I believe) was to be submitted to a school newspaper to go into printing circulation. (But I’m not certain.) Now you’re all thinking, “god damn you’re friends are cruel.” To tell you the truth, I was hurt but I didn’t show it. I just laughed it off as I said.

Davita Cuttita on the other hand wasn’t so forgiving as I learned later, as Davita had written another article for another school newspaper and wanted to read what my friend had written. Davita Cuttita is NOT AFRAID TO RIP ME A NEW ONE, but I welcome her face punches to improve my skills. She critiques quite heavily and asks questions. Lots of questions. Oh! And Davita Cuttita’s article was on Anti-racist Graffiti on the York University walls and the newspaper clipping that hanging on my “door of honour,” because it is Davita Cuttita‘s first published in print piece.

“We made it, baby. We’re coloured and literate!” HA!

I didn’t care about the article, but at the same time, I feel a little more justified to continue to write what I am writing. Even if my own friends don’t like it and and what I have to say or what I believe. Slowly I am empowering myself to stand up and say what I have to say, without the baby talk, extra long explanation or sugar coat. More than anything, I’m starting to value my own feelings and stamp out small fires of drama before they begin. Before this blog, I didn’t know how to call out racism efficiently and now I do.

I didn’t care about the article, but at the same time, I feel a little more justified to continue to write what I am writing. Even if my own friends don’t like it and and what I have to say or what I believe. Slowly I am empowering myself to stand up and say what I have to say, without the baby talk, extra long explanation or sugar coat. More than anything, I’m starting to value my own feelings and stamp out small fires of drama before they begin. Before this blog, I didn’t know how to call out racism efficiently and now I do.

The hardest thing I ever had to do was value my own feelings, to not be invincible or strong, but to admit I had feelings. And to admit it to myself and hold myself up and say it’s okay to be sad sometimes or get mad sometimes.

Sometimes I wonder if between my White friends and I, if my feelings are important. I feel in my chest I know that my feelings are not respected, but I don’t know. I’m going to ask. It’s the deal breaker. It really is.

Deep down, I know that my friend (with the boyfriend) and I ended up breaking apart was because I had thought she was my friend and that our friendship could stand up to boyfriends and drama, but it couldn’t. She did a lot of things that hurt me, she did a lot of things that made me distrust her, she treated her boyfriend better than me after he had acted badly in my house. I couldn’t hold her accountable for anything. She said she was still mad with her boyfriend when I called her a week after, but they still spent a lot of time together and went out a lot and he was even with her while she was on the phone. She invited her boyfriend continuously to Anime Club and didn’t invite me, even though I was attending before her and we used to got together for more than a year. And she didn’t “okay” my attendance until I complained about how upset I was. She went out with her boyfriend and his friends after we hung out together for my “make-up for missing the party” birthday celebration. I couldn’t even hang out with her alone without her boyfriend throwing a fit or getting jealous. I felt that she was often talking down to me and I often couldn’t tease her without a cruel or biting reaction. We just couldn’t be friends anymore.

(Although she made me promise to give our friendship an audit when I feel less mad at her. I’m a man of my word, and I was told I shouldn’t have given her no chances considering what happened.)

I really wish she didn’t read this blog. I’m not even writing this to make her stop reading this blog, I got to get this stuff off my chest. I never have these kind of problems with my coloured friends, because they know where I come from and they value my feelings.

My distrust of White people continued to grow, but I still want to be friends with White people.

For a long time I felt extremely hated and blamed myself, but I’ve finally come to terms that I’m not a jerk for getting mad. I’m not a jerk for getting angry. I have every reason to be angry. Not just about the racist things, but about the value of my feelings.

However, I can’t be friends with people who continue to hurt my feelings and destroy my trust. I also can’t be friends who belittle who I am and my feelings.

And you know what, I’m still making friendships with White people who understand my past and treat me nicely. I’m up front about what I want and understanding in return. I’m starting to build better and greater friendships with White people based on honesty. I’m still talking about my experiences, and I know I can separate my personal life from my writings but I also have grown to learn that I shouldn’t stop myself to appease others. My feeling are important to and I finally have a place to talk about them.

I admit I get confused too and need answers. I want to ask you readers for advice, what should I do about my other White friends? Should I (bother) questioning some of my other White friends if they even care about my feelings? I can ask them frankly, but I want to know it I should. I can’t stay friends with them, if I don’t know where I stand with them. what should I do? They’re the kind of White people who are subconsciously racist and brainwashed with the usual “colour blind” and “I’m not racist if I do this” propaganda.

I can’t believe you read all of this. It’s easy to update the blog, but it’s hard to pump out stellar articles.

My next article, however, will be about beatin’ kids. You will enjoy it immensely.

Advertisements

~ by l on August 1, 2008.

3 Responses to “Laying-Off my White Friends”

  1. You are far too close to this situation to see your way out of it. If you lead your life without these people for six months, then contact them again, the ones who are your friends will welcome you with open arms. That is, if you choose to contact them again.

  2. I recommend that you ditch your lame friends. I don’t assume that all of your white friends are lame, but to me, a lame friend would do the following: devalue your racial heritage and life experience, and thereby, your worth as a human being.

    Why associate with someone who puts themselves above you? Why put yourself in a position where you need to censor yourself and pretend not to care about truly offensive and demeaning attitudes and actions? I don’t mean to imply that you should never be friends with a white person under any circumstances. Instead, be friends with white people who have examined themselves. Be friends with white people who recognize that they benefit from unfair privileges, who recognize the systematic dehumanization of people of color, and who fight against that system through speech and actions. I know that white people like that exist, SOMEWHERE. I’ve run into them on the internet frequently, but in real life, they’re more scarce.

  3. Thank you, Carolyn J. and Loopzilla. I’ll try to mash both of your advice into one somehow. I’m not going to stop being friends with White people, but I’ll stop being friends with White people who belittle me and my feelings.

    I’ll be back to writing about more meaty articles soon, I’m in the middles of writing/drawing/printing five comic books—But I’ll find the time in between. Somehow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: