This is an interesting concept: having genuine interracial friendships and other relationships without “effort”. Don’t get me wrong, every relationship requires an immense amount of effort from all actors, except interracial relationships seem to have too much effort put into not just making them work, but making them exist.
There always seems be some compromise in order for an Indian and a black girl to gel or for a white and black to gel these days. The only way for blacks and whites to mingle is if the one listens to “black music” or “white music”. The only time we feel comfortable to make friends with an Indian is if I can add that, I absolutely love Shah Rukh Khan and that I think Ayishwariya Rai is the most beautiful woman ever to walk the earth. Or, or…that I’ve seen Slumdog Millionaire four times and absolutely love it!
As the post-apartheid generation in South Africa, we ought to be the ones who don’t allow race to dictate whom we will or will not associate with. True, we are mostly drawn to people with whom we have more things in common but sometimes it seems as though we believe that without that common ground- all genuine interracial relationships are impossible.
I’m all for immersing oneself in a different culture and whatnot, but I remain sceptical of the fact that that there are white chaps who feel that they need to know all the latest Nicki Minaj and Beyonce songs to be able to get on with any black people or that people have to feign accents in order to fit in. Or the fact that any non-white’s pre-requisite to befriending a white fellow is to have a favourite band on standby. Can’t we just form friendships with people based on their characters and not the fact that we all do the same things, shop at the same stores and know the same people?
I’m sure we can. Besides, things will be so much less-constricted then- with fewer people forcing a “hayi bo” or a “ shot bru” at the end of a phrase in order to get some response of approval or marvel at this exquisitely rare creature who must be rewarded with the privilege of being my friend or the title, “one of us”. Let us quit hailing that black friend who’s so well-spoken that she’s practically white or that white friend who knows so many black slang words, that he’s practically black. Why does he/she have to ‘practically ‘ be anything other than what he/she is in order to be short-listed as a potential friend?
I say, we should all just make friends, regardless of race, whether or not someone shops at Top Shop, knows the lyrics to Cara Cara or listens to AC/DC. We should be able to mingle without having to compromise ourselves and our true characters and see if that turns out well, yes?