By Breanna Edwards, The Root
This is not a drill. And this is not our sister site, The Onion. Come this Thursday, people of the beige persuasion, from far and wide can come to a special networking event in Georgia where they can…*gasp*…meet a black person.
Seriously folks, there’s a Facebook event page and everything for the 2-hour meet and greet in Lawrenceville that’s being hosted by Urban Mediamakers, a group of independent black filmmakers and content creators.
According to CNN, the event is the creation and dream of Urban MediaMakers founder Cheryle Moses, who was inspired after seeing a 2013 study from the Public Religion Research Institute which showed that 75 percent of white people in the U.S. do not have friends of color. The study actually found that most white people have a circle of friends that’s about 91 percent white, CNN notes.
So, basically, what that means is that 75 percent of the time when a white person claims “I’m not racist! I have a black friend!” they’re lying? Someone help me out, I’m bad at math.
But whatever the actual “number” is, black people live with this truth everyday.
“In the black community we know of white people who don’t have a lot of black friends,” Moses told CNN. “But still, seeing a statistic about it just opened our eyes.”
However Urban Mediamakers is now cheerfully trying out these folks by getting them a black friend.
The Facebook event cheerfully reads:
But, the Urban Mediamakers, and many others, want to change that statistic!
With your help — diverse actors, filmmakers, writers, movie lovers, our members and supporters — we are inviting non-black people to put aside any pre-conceived notions about the black community and bring an open mind to our “Come Meet A Black Person” Networking Event.
“Come Meet A Black Person” Networking Event includes introductions, our Get-Acquainted Scavenger Hunt, Cheryle’s Chili Bar, munchies, drinks and giveaways
Yeah, but still, why?
Moses and her group is hoping that those who decide to come to the event have a chance to connect on a more personal level, rather than just come to have ye olde, tired “conversation about race.”
“It’s a great opportunity to start relationships,” she said. “And if you have a relationship with somebody, you are inclined to treat them like yourself. If you don’t have that relationship, then you’ll only treat them based upon what you may have seen or read somewhere.”
The highlight of the party seems to be a “cultural” scavenger hunt that will help the uninitiated white person become more familiar and learn about the black community.
But color me a black-ass skeptic.
In theory, I get it. To some this may just be a really clever idea. And who knows, Moses’ dreams may just come true, and we get one step closer to a better world (insert cheesy song about healing the world here).
However, at the same time it gives me the same icky vibe as black women who opt to put up signs and invite strangers to touch their hair.
We are not entertainment. We are not props. And this is certainly not the kind of side show I would want to be a part of. But there are far better, more patient people than me.
More power to them.