It’s been a while since freshman year, hasn’t it? Feels like just yesterday.
I need to address a matter of concern that I have noticed on your various social media posts about the current state of affairs regarding race relations in America. Accordingly, you have frequently cited me as your Black friend in defense of some of your more reactionary statements. Perhaps there is a misunderstanding about the nature of our relationship, so allow me to clarify: we were never friends. We were only roommates during freshman year and did not hang out outside of our shared time in the room. Therefore, I must ask that you cease referring to me as your Black friend. This is probably something I should have addressed a long time ago, but as I keep coming up as a topic of conversation, I need to set the record straight.
First of all, I am only half-Black, so I don’t even know if I qualify as a “Black friend” by your definitions. It wasn’t until you met my parents on Parents’ Weekend that you even believed that I was multiracial and, yes, some offense was taken to some of the remarks you made before I made this clear. I won’t get into too much detail, but you should probably remove the term “mulatto” from your vocabulary. Just a friendly tip.
In some ways, I guess that was my fault as I didn’t conform to your stereotypes as to how Black Americans act. Perhaps I could’ve made things clearer by throwing more “urban vernacular” in my day-to-day speech? I should have recognized that your knowledge of the Black American experience didn’t extend beyond what you saw on episodes of Cribs and Pimp My Ride, and simply debased myself for the purposes of making the whole experience easier for you. For that, I apologize. By the way, I never thanked your mom that time she told me I talk so well.
Secondly, the fact that we were forced to share a small space together by university officials hardly qualifies us as friends. Our topics of conversation were limited to “sup,” “I need the room for an hour,” and “stop eating my Easy Mac.” That is hardly the basis for a friendship, especially given that, except for when sleeping, neither of us was in the room at the same time for more than 20 minutes. These days the conversations you and I had are ones that I go to great lengths to actually avoid. Forced small talk is painful for most people. Just because we’re in the same room doesn’t mean we have to talk to each other. Especially when I was reading or studying.
While we’re on the subject, you didn’t have to blast Jay-Z every time I was in the room, either. I’m not even really a fan of his. I guess the effort is appreciated, but I was always more of a Nas guy, if we were actually friends, you’d probably have known that or that I’m more of an indie-rock fan.
As a sidebar, I only said you could sing the n-word lyrics just to get you to stop asking me. I don’t make blanket statements for the entire Black community. Hell, I’m not even comfortable saying that word, so you really shouldn’t have told those guys I said it was okay that time you got your ass kicked.
Finally, neither of us made any effort to keep in contact since that time. I appreciate the happy birthday posts on my Facebook, but I don’t think that makes us friends. Would you even know that it was my birthday if Facebook didn’t remind you? I freely admit the fact that I wouldn’t know my own relatives’ birthdays if it weren’t for those reminders, so I’d probably call bullshit if you said you did. Besides, wishing someone a happy birthday is a borderline empty gesture anyway. It’s like when you ask a co-worker how their weekend was. No one actually cares, you’re just being polite. I wish co-workers I don’t like a happy birthday, and I only do that for the free cake.
I guess I appreciate the periodic likes you send on memes I post, but that doesn’t really change the fact that I really know nothing about you, and what I do know would cause me to question any relationship I might have with you. After freshman year, I gave you the nod acknowledgment whenever I ran into you. I don’t know how you interpreted those greetings, but that means I saw you, but did not want to engage you in any meaningful way whatsoever. I imagine you get that a lot.
So while I understand you not wanting to be perceived as racist, I would sincerely appreciate not being used as a prop in your failed attempts to disprove the obvious. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
Also, you should know you snore.