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message 1: by Holli (new)

Holli I really found this article interesting and wanted to share it with you all and see what you thought about it. The question to the panel was.... "Do you have friends of other races?" and that made me think about my friendships as I'd honestly never thought about them in that way.

Just wanted to put it out there to all of you and see what you had to say on this topic....have our OWN panel so to speak :)

message 2: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
What a great discussion they had. I think I agree with them on most topics.
I've said it before on here to women I have no idea their ethnic background; but I think it really comes down to the moment when you are talking with someone and you say "AH HA!! they get me."
To me, growing up, ethnicity wasn't the issue as much as it was your economic background. I couldn't connect with the rich kids with a two parent home to save my life. I wanted to for awhile, tried for awhile, but we just came from such different worlds it didn't mesh. My best friend to this day is a friend I met at 11 while we were both growing up with a single mom in low income housing. But she get's me because we were in it together. We share a history we know from where we came. We have a bond that I can never have with another friend because of that. She's half mexican. But it's not because of that or inspite of that it's because she 'gets me'.

I can appreciate what one of them said about at the end of the day she didn't want to deal with her white friends and explain the difference between a taco and a burrito but not because of an ethnic issues I think it is more that the white women she knows don't get where she came from, who she is. Sometimes you need someone who knows you without having to explain yourself or your life to them. That is what makes it easy and peaceful. Not that they cant be friends otherwise it just takes a little more work and a little more patience and I truly think that after a certain age or time in your life you dont want to work at that you just want it to exist.

When you meet that person and say "yeah, I thought i was the only one!" thats when you connect.

Good article.
BTW I never think of ethnicity when talking to all of you I just realized. Many of our members don't have a true picture of themselves up so who knows the ethnicity behind who we are talking to but we connect through books and through being a woman. That is our common element and it works. ... can you guess my ethnical background?

message 3: by Holli (new)

Holli I agreed with alot of what they said too and I honestly had never thought about this question in regards to my friends before. My best friend has been my best friend since we were 4 and she is half white/half Japanese and it really never came up with us except for jokes here and there when she eats her dried seaweed. LOL

Other than her though....the rest of my close friends are white. I find that interesting because I'm not at all rascist or prejudiced (its never an issue with me) and I'm just wondering why I've never connected on a level like that with others who aren't white in my life. I would never seek friends out for that reason (as one woman on the panel said..."to put that down like a check in your things to do in life list") but just found it strange that I don't have any.

I don't think about ethnicity when meeting people and I'm one to be curious about other's backgrounds and ask questions (like the child who wanted to ask about the black woman's hands) more than someone who wouldn't want to try to understand. I'm like Tera...would rather connect on some emotional level than any other kind.

This article has started me thinking....I started thinking about men and their friendships and how I think they are more apt to branch out in race than women are. Do you agree with that?

message 4: by Spencer (new)

Spencer (spencerafreeman) | 143 comments I agree with Tera in the sense that it's not about race, but about the "aha! I'm not the only one" moment. I went to a diverse high school and college and I loved it- meeting people who share common interests with you, yet come from different backgrounds- you broaden your horizon that way. To me, friendships are built with a foundation of shared interests and is sustained by learning what the other person is into, where they come from, what they like... Just like a relationship; you are attracted based on first impressions, but you remain interested based on getting to know the other person. No one wants a friend that is exactly. like. them. It gets boring. I would have never found out about certain things, or gotten into certain music/movies/books if it weren't from friends who are different from me.
I have friends from all walks of life: Two of my best friends are greek and the other russian. I also have friends that come from where I come from, and others that were born in Canada.
While I understand that sometimes it isn't about race, but about understanding- such as growing up in the same tax bracket or understanding what it's like to grow up middle class or with a single parent- I think that having a friend who can relate doesn't mean that they are the only ones who will "get you" or that they themselves will necessarily "get you." Regardless of how much you have in common, someone will only "get you" if they are truly interested in you and is willing to listen. I know people who are just like me on paper: same single parent, middle class type, yet I have never clicked with them. On the other hand, I have a friend who is the complete opposite: WASP with a beach house and boat, as well as a complete family, and her and I get along extremely well. We have a lot of the same views, yet the views we don't share, we are both willing to explain and listen to the other person.
I have never been the type of person to care about race, wealth, or sex. I look for people who intrigue me and who "get me." That's what friendship is to me.
PS- Holli, you mentioned that you never connected with someone who isn't white, and I just want to say that if you consider chics in goodreads friends, then you've definitely connected with a non-white who considers you their friend :) (me)

message 5: by Spencer (new)

Spencer (spencerafreeman) | 143 comments *whew! that was a mouthful!

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I've never considered race/ethnicity when it came/comes to being friends with someone! I either hit off with someone or I don't!

That being said, one of my best friends since high school is of a different race, but I've never actually thought to think of her as African American or Black until this very moment! I don't know which she prefers (if either at all) and since she's on GoodReads, I sincerely hope I haven't offended her!

I don't necessarily think that when one has friends only from 1 specific race that it's an indicator of racism or prejudice - I think in a lot of cases it's an indicator of common interests or circumstances or location.

message 7: by Holli (new)

Holli I'm not saying I haven't ever connected with someone who isn't white....I had an extremely phenomenal friend who was black when I was 14 and sadly her life was cut short a couple of years later in a car accident. I've connected with alot of different ethnicities and backgrounds as I never judge anyone and I love learning about people and sharing differences and thoughts and also sharing those "hey I like that too" moments with people but strangely my super super close friends are all white. Or half white/half Armenian or Japanese. I had honestly never thought about my close friends (I'm talking my friends who have been best friends of mine for 10 years or more) in that a "race" way. I just don't think about it. But when I saw the article I realized that those best, close friends were all white and I thought that was odd.

I'm glad to have connected with people on this site and I most certainly have never thought about anyone's race or status or anything like that....I like you all and have connected with you all based on shared interests and thoughts and how intelligent, witty, and lively you are!! :) I can honestly say I've never given anyone's race a thought on here..... and I would love to have friends of every race. I'm not sure why I don't. I'm thinking that where I grew up (in Central California) wasn't conducive to it but I did try.........

And that's cool Anastasia......very cool :)

message 8: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle I have many friends who are not white. A lot of them I have met at my job, which is great. We have diversity fairs that introduce certain elements of each culture to anyone interested in attending which is cool because many times you enjoy something but have no idea its history or meaning to someone else. I think the biggest factor in race is proximity. Would I have indian friends if they didn't work with me or wern't my neighbors? Could I share recipes with asians whom i only met through preschool? I honestly would probably be too afraid to make new friends. Here, we all have a common intrest, which is our place of employment, and usually it leads to further exploration it each person's life and experiences. I may not be best friends or share every waking thought with some but I think the backround can start anywhere and maybe making new history with someone else!

message 9: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
This thread is totally making me think of The Office. (I love that show) Remember Diversity Day that Michael tried to do. One of my all time fav episodes!

message 10: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle It's not that bad and the food is a plus!

message 11: by Spencer (new)

Spencer (spencerafreeman) | 143 comments Holli, I was born in Cali!! All my family (except my mom and I) still live there. I grew up in LA and have visited just about everywhere! Even though I've been in Atlanta for a while, I still consider myself a Cali girl at heart :)

message 12: by Laura (new)

Laura (apenandzen) | 1445 comments I have had friends of all different races, I actually like it because you learn stuff from them you wouldn't necessarily learn with your own race/religion/ethnicity.

I enjoyed learning a little about Hindu from my Indian friends, learning about the Jewish faith from my Jewish friends, learning a little Spanish from my Puerto Rican friends, etc. So I think it's neat and until a topic like this comes up, I really don't think about it.

Oh and Tera - that is probably my favorite Office episode. I think the first season was definitely the best.

message 13: by Holli (new)

Holli OK Anastasia....I knew there was somethin' about ya!! You had that Cali girl vibe!! LOL That's cool.....I miss it. Miss it bad. What made you move to Atlanta?

Where are you from in LA? ALL of my friends and family are in California. I'm from Fresno but lived in NorCal too. :)

message 14: by Silvia (last edited Sep 15, 2008 05:57PM) (new)

Silvia (silverware) | 24 comments What a good topic Holly! My university is made up mosaic of people of many races and I have develped several close friendships. I have humbly learned about other customs and am eager to learn more about cultures that I am not familiar with. Last month I attented an Indian Engagement party for one of my girlfriends and it was the most beautiful, colourful ceremonies I had ever seen! I do see the differences between races and the beauty that each one has to offer!
And I hope that my Pakistani boyfriend counts in this discussion too :) because he is the closest friend I have come to ever have. We poke fun at our differences and are strong in a world that is still sometimes harsh against interracial relationships.

So maybe another question would be have any of you guys had an interracial relationship? (P.S. This reminds me of a Seinfeld episode Tehehe!)

message 15: by Spencer (new)

Spencer (spencerafreeman) | 143 comments My mom wanted to move and I was too young to have an opinion :P
I have lived in LA, inglewood, oakland... I have relatives in LA, Santa Cruz, San Diego, Bakersfield... Everywhere! Us cali people just have cool demeanors... laid back :)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 369 comments what a very interesting and insightful article. It is really something I have never sat back and thought about. When it comes down to it..if i look at my closest group of friends..we are not very diverse culturally. I do not think it is of a conscious choice. I have many friends who are of different races or ethnic backgrounds but none whom i am really close with. Sure, I would love to have friends of different cultures..however..i'm not going to think in terms of that..start trying to "meet my quota" of ethnic friends or something. haha. but really..a friend is a friend. no matter race, or age, online, or in person.

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