In the Name of Love
All in all, I appreciate her concern and told her this, and that I understood that we all have (or had) perceptions about Africans, specifically the men, and everyone is entitled to his or her own view. Personally, I don't want to be judged based on what anyone thinks of Black Americans, especially the bad, and I don't want to do that to someone else. It's almost akin to the woman who continually chooses wrong man after wrong man, then all men become dogs. But does that make them all dogs? I would say not. Sometimes we have to take a step back and look at ourselves to see what's really going on.
I would be misrepresenting myself if I made it seem like I don't have prejudices, because I do. And some, to be quite honest, I hold fast to because in my opinion, they keep me safe. But, I am working on this.
My friend isn't a bad person, just very concerned for me. Her views are based on her own experiences and what she knows from African friends and her sister, and I won't take anything away from that. The only thing I don't like is feeling like whatever resentment she may have toward African men in totality is being projected on to me. She promptly let me know that even if I am wrong about this man and he breaks my heart, she'll still be there for me.
That made me angry, but email is email, and who knows the tone she intended (though I know her pretty well, and surmise that my first impression is the correct one). I responded to her in a kind way, but dammit if I didn't suppress my desire to express that anger---damn the non-confrontational me! I have got to work on that!!
Anyway, in the end, people are people---good, bad and otherwise---and while culture and sometimes race plays an intricate role in who we are, so does upbringing and taking responsibility for ourselves and who we choose to become involved with.
I would think that we all want to be taken for who we are as individuals...
Do you think broad-based views on race and culture cloud our perceptions of people or truly enlighten us?