Throughout my life, I’ve been to a lot of different schools. For elementary school, I went to a school that was mixed when it came to blacks and whites. Then I went to middle school, where the population was mostly African American. After middle school, I went to a private high school where the students were mostly white. Finally, I went to college where of course, the population was once again mixed.
If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that race doesn’t matter in terms of making friends. In grade school I had friends that were white, Chinese, and I believe Native American as well. In middle school, most of my friends were black or bi-racial. The few white friends I had in middle school actually ended up being less than kind. In high school, I had friends who were both white and black.
What’s my point? My point is that people are people. Some white people are utterly nice and some are cruel. Some black people aren’t so kind and some are the best friends you could possibly have.
I remember in middle school I was experiencing a lot of anxiety. It was obviously quite clear because after class, my teacher told me to stay after so we could talk. He asked if I was okay and asked something along the lines if what was bothering me had to do with the group that I had been in for a class project. I have to admit, that I had no idea what he was talking about. Eventually, I caught on. He was asking if it bothered me that I was the only white student in a group of African American students. I told him that that wasn’t the issue. Honestly, I hadn’t even noticed.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t blind. I knew that in middle school, there were way more African American students than white students. Was it awkward sometimes? I guess a little. The truth is though that I wasn’t terrified to walk the halls because the school was filled with students of a different race. To be honest, most of the kids I had issues with were the same race as I was!
When making friends, it’s important to look beyond skin color and focus instead on personality. Are the people that you’re friends with going to be there for you when you need them the most? Are they kind? Do they do the right thing? If you can say yes to these questions, then you’ve got yourself an amazing friend! Don’t judge others on the color of their skin, judge them on their personalities!