Chapter 22 of Waking Up White: and finding myself in the story of RACE by Debbie Irving
Have you tried to form relationships across racial lines? How have they worked out? If they didn’t get very far, how did you explain that to yourself?
I have been able to form relationships across racial lines, but unfortunately, it’s only been when we were in structured, interracial settings. I have a good friend from Dallas who is a black woman dedicated to race relations. I worked with her in groups to increase racial sensitivity, and I still keep in touch with her on Facebook and email.
I also had some really good friends in Dallas who are Turkish Muslims. They reached out to the members of my church, and deliberately invited people to dine with them during Ramadan. It was a very interesting relationship, and we still keep in touch sporadically.
I haven’t been able to make those kinds of contacts since I moved to Washington, and I’m beginning to realize it’s because I am reluctant to put myself in the position of being rejected by the other communities. I don’t want to appear to be interested in them as friends just because they are racially diverse from my current acquaintances.
The retirement community I live in is not diverse at all, and I believe we all suffer from the lack of other races and opinions, but, so far, I have not been able to make any headway in finding a way to encourage diverse people to come to live here.
If you would like to join me as I blog about my experiences with race, please read the book. It was life changing for me.