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Thread: Question - how many close friends of colour do you have? OR How to be a friend

  1. #11
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    Not something I think about. All of my friends and acquaintances have some variance in skin tone which I do not consider an issue. If I were to place value on a qualification as how to choose friends it would whether they a dog person or a cat person but that is a topic for another thread.

  2. #12
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    Razz, maybe you should start with, how many close friends do you have?
    Close friends, I think needs better defining.
    Good question! As others have mentioned, proximity creates friendships but not close friends. Different friends over the years have helped me refine the ore of my being and then moved on but their presence stays with me.

    My parameters for close friends and reciprocated include freedom to think for myself and share those thoughts without being judged even if very different than theirs; being open emotionally; sharing challenges knowing that their support and love are there and they remind me of my strengths to deal with those challenges;
    Some close friends have changed due to their new relationships that change their circle of friends. One white male in particular comes to mind.
    Another close friend simply sits with me when I am emotionally hurting and gives me strength and support. She also gives me insights into what my need might be - eg., she stressed to me that whatever new home I chose after my DH's passing with " I cannot imagine you without a garden" and she was right. We share thoughts and challenges freely.

    A group of 7 women share everything going on in their lives knowing that insights will be gained into understanding the challenges from diverse perspectives. We have made amazing discoveries in understanding and coping with fears for the world, our family and our future.

    Another friend is available at short notice for whatever need arises as has happened. We are very different in our view of life.

    One friend and I share spiritual insights and support at a totally different level than with anyone else. I know when she needs me and simply go to her.

    I have a walking friend who has an extensive family, stable life-long residence in the same community but is confident enough to share freely knowing that nothing will ever be judged or discussed elsewhere. It has been interesting to see this develop resulting in mutual trust and acceptance.

    So at the end of the day, beyond my family as others have mentioned, close friends are 'dear hearts' to me, loving me, accepting me and including me in their worlds without reserve as I do them. That usually takes time but not always.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #13
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    Seriously, dog people! Two of my kids are dog people. I don’t know where I went wrong!

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    Seriously, dog people! Two of my kids are dog people. I don’t know where I went wrong!

  5. #15
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Of my 125 Facebook friends, 5 are Asian and 4 are Black. Obviously I don't have 125 "close" friends, nor does Facebook represent ALL my friends and acquaintances. But I was trying to get a sense of the color of my social circle and adding up my friends on FB seemed like a reasonable way to do it.

    Even though the proportion of my non-white friends is in the single digits, I live in an extremely diverse area, where I am actually probably the minority race in my neighborhood--the rest being Indian, Chinese, and Japanese. A lot of my FB friends are old friends from high school and college, where my exposure to non-whites was extremely small and limited. From my white-bread town in CT to the Catholic woman's college in NY, I had little chance to make friends of other races.

    I don't think my prospects for cultivating non-white friends is going to grow--in fact, it will shrink if I move to Vermont, where the place I'm considering moving to is 97% white.

    But I don't think people have to be socially integrated to simply expect everyone, no matter what race, to be treated fairly. Unfortunately, distrust from the people comes when those in power, whatever race that might be, undermines the common humanity of all people. I think that's the tone that the author in the article is describing.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  6. #16
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    We have a fairly wide circle of friends but none are black.

    Over the years we have had black friends, but none at the moment.

    Certainly we have black acquaintances with whom we are friendly. One gardening lady is almost “friend”status for me. I am pretty sure DH would count her as a “friend”because he plays cards with her.

  7. #17
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Very few close friends. Three, maybe. Widen the circle a level and I'll count my (biracial) stepdaughter; I could count a black guy I know/knew in our neighborhood but he moved and pointed his life in a different direction. I'm getting to know my (white) neighbor's new (black) wife and her (grown) kids. That's it. Thinking about it, it does not help that Minnesota (especially outstate) is overwhelmingly white and that, as a result, the places where I spend a lot of my time are filled with white people. The volunteers I work with at the food bank largely are white; they're older and retired and have the time and income to volunteer at a food bank during the day. They represent an older version of Minnesota/the Twin Cities. I do see people of color volunteering at some of the more public food bank events, but in very small numbers. Folk dancing is another very white activity -- again, lots of older native Minnesotans, many of them from rural backgrounds. I think I can count on one hand the number of non-white folk dancers I've met around here. The ratio likely is better in other major cities. Our neighborhood is fairly diverse, but I'm not so social that I've developed many friends at all in it; mostly acquaintances.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  8. #18
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Close friends.......who are not my family....very few and far between. I have a tightly guarded circle. Nobody gets into it without proving their loyalty over time. I value self sufficiency and tend to attract friends who do the same. So we usually suffer the trials and tribulations of life on our own. Sensing a breaking point, we step in and offer each other emotional support just by our presence. But I don’t expect nor want anyone to go out of their way for me. There are a lot of people on the outside of the circle but very few who come and go. Yes, most of them I worked with. Some of them I suffered with. One of them, saved my life risking his own. Close friendship is it seems to me a great roll of the dice. I don’t like rolling craps so I keep people at arms length. But I’ll share things with a perfect stranger that I wouldn’t dump on a friend. If that makes sense.

    Because of my experience with prejudice against humans in uniform....I tend to be disgusted with any first impressions based solely on ones outer shell. I find the racism discussion to be utterly useless. Black is black. White is white. If somebody is a jerk to you because of your skin color....well that’s a great motivator. Go out and conquer.

  9. #19
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I've had a wide variety of "first ring' friends over the years--black, Chinese, Hispanic, LGBT, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, etc. But my core friendships now are limited to a few, including my Mexican-American mate, an LGBT relative or two, and someone I've known since fourth grade.

  10. #20
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I dont see how Jews count as being “of colour” but whatever. If we get to count Jews, can we count gay people? Then, I can rack up quite a few virtue points.

    Before they moved we had as friends/frenemies a gay couple, both black men. That should count for double points.

    They were friends because they were super gardeners and we socialized in many plots, traded plants, attended the same parties. They were enemies because they always backed The Garden Diva who really seems to lead gay men around by the nose. Sometimes one is closer to one’s frenemies than friends. The frenemies occupy time and resources, space in your head.

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