Some Black people are never going to like you. Ever. And that’s ok.
Black people are not a monolith. We all have different ideas, thoughts, processes and actions when it comes to how we deal with this shared experience of Blackness and Racism.
Some black people might and will decide that in the interest of their survival and mental health that they don’t want to know you. Sure they will smile and nod and chat about the new spiderman movie at the water cooler, but dassit. Some black people don’t trust you and they never will. And to keep it 100 they have 400 plus years of receipts and reasons on why that is.
And I know what you are thinking. I voted for Obama. I called the ACLU about voters rights. I have examined my white privilege. I have a poster of Maxine Waters in my cubicle. WHY WON’T KEISHA INVITE ME TO HER “INSECURE” WINE, STEAK, AND FRIES SUNDAY NIGHT WATCH PARTY!
1) She doesn’t want to. 2) She’s doesn’t want you bringing that gluten free vegan mac and cheese that “tastes just like the real thing” She ain’t about that life.
You should not be doing the work because you want black people to love you. You should be doing the work because it makes the world a better place. And because the work makes you a better person.
So far the best metaphor I have found for the relationship between Black and White America is that of a Husbands who beat their Wives. Because I think it captures several things. I think it speaks to the trauma that black people have undergone and the PTSD and warped self image that lingers in black communities, and the healing that needs to be done.
Say a husband who beat his wife for years, went and got help. He unlearned all the shitty things that gave him justification to beat his wife. He went to anger management therapy, the whole nine. He went on to marry another woman, he tells her everything he’s done. She is ok with it. She believes that he has changed. He loves and treats with care and they have a wonderful life together. He goes to make amends with the wife he abused. She tells him that’s nice and everything but he can go fuck himself and don’t ever talk to her again.
You would never fix your mouth to tell that first wife she was wrong.
So why do you demand the same from black people?
Some black people are going to love and trust you and want you. Some are not and that’s ok.