I need some advice. When Martin Luther King, Jr. Day came around this year, I wanted to celebrate with a cookout. As I was thinking about who I could invite over, I realized my guest list had a certain lack of diversity to it. To put it bluntly, I realized I don’t have any black friends. I promise it isn’t intentional! It is just the way things have worked out for me so far in college. So here is my question: is it more racist for me to not have any black friends, or to befriend someone just because they’re black?
On one hand, I could just keep doing what I’m doing, but I am a sophomore already so you would think I’d have at least one black person in my clique, right? It’s like, kind of racist to not even have a black friend, right? I feel like it just looks kind of bad if I only associate with white people, even if I do it unintentionally.
At the same time, I don’t know how to just befriend a stranger, no matter their skin color. Almost everyone I know started out as a friend of a friend. Do I just ask them if they want to hang out, but not like a date? Would they know what I’m doing? Does this happen to black people a lot this time of year? There’s a black guy in one of my classes, so maybe I can try to sit near him next class while people are still figuring out seating so it seems natural.
I hope this didn’t come off as offensive, but I just really want to make sure I’m doing the right thing here. I would appreciate any advice you have to offer, and also any recommendations for black people I can befriend (or not befriend?).