I met some friends at a local Bar in South Tampa. It’s a spot we frequent when nothing is really going on. Quite a few of my old friends were there and one of my very close friends (since middle school) was also there with her new dude. We were having a great time until Donald Trump’s face came across the TV screen. One guy said, “What do you think about the Trump?” I was kind of quiet because I was scanning facebook on my phone, so I think they forgot I was there. I was the only African American in our group but that’s no big deal for me because I have grown up often times being the only one or one of two.
However, when I heard her boyfriend’s comments, I looked at her shocked and she looked a bit embarrassed. To my surprise he added they both had voted for Trump. I have always thought of Trump as a candidate of the ignorant, uneducated and the poor white supremacist who wants to feel better than someone. Ironically, he proved that to be true again. He sounded like an unapologetic racist quoting things as factual and was all wrong. One of the guys kept laughing and correcting him. I was so disgusted that I got my purse and left. How could she be my friend and be with a guy who feels the ways he does about President Obama, one of the most accomplished and prominent African American men in the country. If Obama isn’t good enough, what Black man is? With her knowing my family and me most of her life, I expected her to speak up but she didn’t. I feel my children (whenever I have some) would not be in a positive environment at her house. I don’t think I can be her friend anymore.
When I got to the car, I called our other friend (who is also white) and she ask me to forgive her because she was never that smart. She also reminded me that if it wasn’t for the two of us, she would not have made it out of high school. Although we all went off to college, she stayed home and went to HCC, Hillsborough Community College and didn’t finish that. To top it off she got pregnant and I took her to have the abortion and gave her money. So how could she even consider Trump. I feel she has been revealed and she cannot be my friend anymore. Why should I continue the farce? What would you have done? I am still a proud Black woman even if I do have white friends. My sentiments are she should have spoken up.
--Black and Proud
Dear Black and Proud,
I would have spoken up for myself, my people and President Obama. Then I would have gotten my purse and left if I didn’t feel comfortable. I blame those of us (comfortable black folk) who have white friends for not sharing unfair situations and incidents when they happen. If you had been sharing your experiences they would know racism exist and know your pain. We sit in our comfortable majority white world at work or at school and in our suburban neighborhoods and act as if we are immune to racism and never let them know how we feel about things. We go to their parties and be the only one and then when we have a party and they don’t show up, we make excuses for them. Speak up, tell them if you can be the only one at their parties, then they can be the only one at yours. If they think they are not safe around Black people, then you have failed to represent your people positively and failed as a friend. You should let it be known that your friends and family are successful, educated and stable.
As far as your friend is concerned, she may be dumb but she is not that dumb. White people are privy to conversations and jokes that you and I will never hear. Everyone knows that the KKK endorsed Trump, if she wants to vote for the same man the KKK supports, she cannot be a true friend to you. Be glad you found out the company she keeps while in the safety of South Tampa and not out in the country somewhere. Be sure and tell her if Trump was president back when, she would have been in jail or at home with a baby on her hip. Maya Anglo said when a person shows you who they are, believe them the first time. “Man is not judged by where he stands in times of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of controversy” Martin Luther King Jr.