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Racist Best Friends: From the Heart of a Black Girl

 I’m Black and my best friend was racist.

Your girlfriends are the people who are there to support you, encourage you, push you. When a woman has a strong friend base, I truly believe that she can move mountains. Hell, she can move mountains by herself, but add the support of other strong women and she can do anything. This time a year ago, I had the support of one specific friend. She encouraged me to follow my dreams, to start my blog, and was even featured on my blog when I first started. What I knew, but refused to acknowledge was that she had some very real edges around race and privilege that she had yet to explore or do work around.

 I met this friend while completing my undergraduate degree at CSU. We became fast friends. It was one of those instant connections that was undeniable. We had a few different “falling out”s after which we always came back to each other. I truly believed, and still do, that she is one of my soul mates. Our energies just match. I can be myself and laugh so freely with her. I got addicted to this feeling. So I overlooked all of the signs. 

When I first met this person, I learned that she came from a place with very little diversity. She would make outright ignorant comments and I would let her know that 1. What she was saying was wrong and 2. Why it was wrong. There was a third friend in our group who secretly could not stand her because of personality differences and because she was so ignorant about diversity issues. My boyfriend at the time also expressed an intense dislike toward her. But I was charmed. I was in friend love and no one could take that away from me. So I endured the ignorance and educated when I could and things seemed to get better. 

I can pinpoint our friendship ending to a single event. She had met a guy and fallen in love fast. I added him on Facebook and soon came to realize that he was not only a confederate flag flying racist, but that he took pride in it. After seeing multiple posts of his supporting comments made by Donald Trump that were outright ignorant, I decided to unfriend him. A few weeks later, he proposed to my friend. Unfortunately, I found out about the engagement through a post on Facebook. I congratulated her through a message and moved on. I knew that he was not who I would have picked for her, but if she was happy, I would be too. One day soon after this, I contacted my ex. I was in a bad place emotionally and had always turned to him in the past- bad idea to do so after the break up, but we all make mistakes right? When I told my friend she berated me, to put it simply. I left the conversation feeling so small. I did not speak to her for a few days, but decided I needed to address the issue. When I came to her, there was an outpouring of frustration with me on her part for not “properly supporting” her engagement through likes and shares on Facebook. 

Looking back, I realize that she is also a Trump supporter and when I unfriended her boyfriend at the time for such outright racism, it let her know that it is not something that I would tolerate. So she created a problem saying that I was the unsupportive friend. I’ve had months to work this out and here is where I am: I do not, as a person of color and a woman, have to support a relationship with someone who thinks it is ok to treat minorities and women disrespectfully; I, as a person of color, do not have to support a relationship with someone who sports the confederate flag; I, as a person of color, do not have to support a relationship with someone who supports a presidential candidate that gained his following through the disrespect of, disempowerment of, and violence toward people of color. The suggestion that I do have to support any of the above is oppression. 

For so long I felt like the bad friend for disliking her boyfriend, but I’m done with that. SHE was the bad friend. The idea that someone could sustain a friendship with a person of color for 7+ years and still tolerate someone who is racist is a betrayal. My feelings were more than valid and I choose me on this one. The take away on this is: tolerance is good to a point, but you do NOT have to tolerate to the point of your own personal disempowerment. No friendship or relationship is worth that.  Take care of yourself and if that means letting go of a friendship, then let that shit go. Your peace of mind is worth Rubies. I am still healing from the ending of this friendship and I wish her all the best, but this is not about her. This is about me standing up and saying no to being the “good friend” for once and being good to myself. So be good to yourselves chickadees. YOU are worth it. I hope this helps.

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As always with love,
Alli B
Sonny B
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Alli B is the voice behind She is a self-defined weird (queer) black woman who is a survivor of mental illness and childhood sexual trauma. She is a lover of people and a lover of God. Alli’s mission in life is to empower and inspire those who have gone through or who are going through any type of darkness. Her loves are her family, books, writing, movies, and football (Go Broncos!). The boring stuff: Alli received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies at Colorado State University in 2013. She is now working on her Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and is expected to graduate in May of 2018. Alli's goal is to work with underserved populations of women and children through private practice. Her life goals include: running a successful blog, publishing her books, and becoming a successful therapist.

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