Well isn't this refreshing?
I just found out that after nearly 37 years of life I am a racist.
Who would have thought such a thing was possible? After all I have never judged people for their skin color, culture, or religion. If you're nice to me, I like you. If you respect me, I respect you. For me, it's that simple.
So imagine my surprise when my professor tells me that some "expert" in the field determined that people who don't have "people different from them" in their inner circle of friends are racists.
In my circle of ten closest friends, there are no muslims, blacks, or asians. This doesn't mean I don't like muslims, blacks or asians. It's just that I don't have many close friends but the people I care about the most are Susan, Jeanette, Deb, Jenn, Kaley, Val, Gina, Diana, Mike, Elizabeth and Connie. Though we don't keep in touch every single day and some I haven't seen in many years, we're still connected. These are people who make my life so wonderful and richer in knowing them. They are all wonderful people and diverse too in their backgrounds including careers, education, economic status, and heritage. There's even diversity in our ages.
I don't like my circle of trusted people to be too big and the only criteria is what I mentioned earlier. How you treat me and how you treat others means more than your skin color. I find that it's really time consuming to tell more than a couple of people my life story, and well, I just have a hard time making really close friends because I have a hard time committing to spending a lot of time with them. My closest friend Deb will tell you that, we've known each other 10 years now and while we are good friends we just don't spend enough time together, what with working full time, being married and all that goes with just "life".
For me, when I make a friend, I don't feel like checking off boxes when getting to know someone. I don't say "Oh wait, I choose you to be my friend because you meet all the criteria that would take me off the list of racist white chicks" or "sorry I can't be your friend because you're just too damned white" .
Give me a break. Yes, it's cool to have a diverse group of friends but diversity comes in ALL forms. I don't look at people's color, religion or any of that when I am someone's friend, it just happens.
Something bugs me about this whole diversity thing. Some would say I have too many "white" friends. But..what if one of them is Jewish? What if one ofthem is a white South African? What really does skin color have to do with diversity?
One word: Nothing.