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Interracial Friendship: How to Move Forward?

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I’ve gotten even more responses to my recent discussion about interracial friendship. Here’s an excerpt from a comment that I posted in response to some thought-provoking feedback I received:

“Hi there Bliv! Yes, I think I messed up on this one. While I calmed myself, I did respond out of emotion a bit. Thank you so much for talking about your experience with your brother’s best friend. Yes, it is good that that they responded with laughter. Question for you, is there ever a time when laughter is NOT an appropriate response? When might other responses (what could they be) be more appropriate? I think I get fatigued when I think that I should laugh in situations where I feel like people should really REALLY know better (especially in work settings). In fact, it seems like the flubs, goofs, insensitive comments are often coming from majority group members rather than the other way around. I guess I just want folks to take sensitivity training so that I don’t have to bear the brunt of their curiosity, ignorance, etc.

What do you all think? Do majority group members bear responsibility for educating themselves about issues about difference? What would that look like? Should minority group members grin and bear it? Are we just being too sensitive? Why or why not? Do you have personal stories that relate to these questions? Please share.

This is much bigger than the topic of hair (my husband is going to chastise me for that, I can hear him saying, “T, stay on point!”) but I think it gets at the root (pardon the pun) of why I discuss hair and identity to begin with. My kinky, nappy, coily, loced hair is different than the hair of the majority of the people I grew up around. I am on a quest to find out how that difference (among others) manifests in terms of how I identify, how I feel about myself and others, how I interact with others, etc.

Also, several of you have contacted me via email or FaceBook to inform me that you’re having difficulty posting your comments on my blog. Please don’t give up! I’m working to figure out what’s going on and I’ll post information once I have it. Thanks for your patience and interest; it means a lot!

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