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The day my (white) friend called me (a white person) her Black friend

allies calling in racism white people Aug 02, 2022


Sounds a bit racist, doesn’t it?  Buckle up, let’s go remember a short road trip I took with a friend and see what we can unpack along the way. 

One hot Arizona summer day, when my daughter was about 8, my best friend and I packed up our collective children into her car and off we went on a 4-hour drive from the Phoenix Valley to Las Vegas.  If you don’t know, Vegas in the summer generally has a BUNCH of FREE stuff for families to do and we were there for it. 

Kids were in the back, watching movies and noshing on snacks; she and I were in the front jamming along to the radio and talking about all the things BFF’s discuss.

And then a Chrysler 300 passed us.  All shiny and cute.  I got excited and blurted loudly “THAT is the car I want next!”

She stared.  At the car.  Then turned her head to say to me “You are the BLACKEST friend I have ever had.” 

I was stunned.  What did that even mean?  Was my kid listening from the back seat?  How do I respond to this? 

And I say, “What do you mean by that?”  And she said several things next.  She told how she had test drove one and they were made cheaply and would fall apart soon coupled with her impression that ‘only Black folks’ drive that car.   

Back then, I had no idea how to have a great vacation week with my friend and our children and have a difficult conversation.  So, I let it go that day.  But I never stopped thinking about it. 

Do you know how to call in your friends and family?  I mean, we all know how to call people out, right?  I mean how to call in. 



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