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3 Ways to Respond to "But I Have Black Friends"

One of my toughest and most painful lessons this year has been realizing that many of my "Friends" adored me, but despised my race. It's a rude awakening. I look at memories differently. Yet, I smile upon my childhood self, grateful that she wasn't aware of this harsh reality. I've always had a very diverse group of friends and people I love. I've heard "you're different" and "you're not like the others" my entire life.

But, I am like the others. In fact, I am "the others."

In these cases, I tell stories. I tell how I feel, how my friends feel, and give a different picture. My picture.

Today's share includes a few tips for engaging someone who does or says something racist or prejudice, but shields it with a defense that makes them appear "immune" to racism.

There is often confusion about being able to love someone Black and still thinking and acting in ways that are harmful to the Black community. One way to get through these types of defenses is to tell stories. Instead of starting with "You," try "I have experienced.." 

If someone says/does something racist and says... "I have Black People in my family." 


"Do you? Well, let me tell you some of what I have been learning..."

"My boyfriend/ girlfriend/partner is/was Black." 


"Beautiful. Let me share a story a friend of mine shared with me about their experience."

"I grew up around Black people." 


"I would love to hear some of your stories. Imagine if you were in their shoes for a moment. How would they feel about what you're saying/doing?"


Overt racism is not only easier to spot, but easier to dispute. But, it's the racism that hides behind friendships, relationships, and other shields that become difficult to call out.


In Solidarity,



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