Lora told me this morning that an old friend of her's is coming for a visit. A girl she grew up with that moved away from Quincy a few years ago. She asked me if it was okay that the girl stayed tomorrow (Saturday) night here. "Of course," says I. "Why would you think it not?"
"Well," says she. "The girl is black."
"So," say I. "I have black friends."
"Who?" She asks.
Ok, let me just say that Quincy has only 38,000 people and only 4% of those are black. Plus, I don't even live in the city, but about a half mile north of it, and never really spent much time there other than school, where I was pretty much a loner. So when it comes to the friends department I have very few as it is. I do know some black people but thinking about it, I really don't KNOW any black people.
So now I'm worried about this girl thats coming to stay with us. How do I act around her? What do I say so as NOT to sound too white? I've realised that I know absolutely nothing about black people. Mainly because I've never thought about it. People have always been just people to me. Until Lora hit me with that "she's black" thing. Now I'm confused and not knowing how to feel about this.
Does my ignorance, and now my uncertainty, make me a racist in some way?
There aren't any black people here in the community. I don't ever remember having a black person in my house before. I lived next door for ten years and never once do I remember any black people being there. And the year I've lived here in dead grandma's house hasn't been any different. I've never personally heard anyone I know say anything racist. (Then again it's hard to hear what people say when I refuse to go out much to interact with them.)
Lora grew up in Harrison Hills. The Hills, as we call it, is a government housing project and is about 50% black (which is probably most of the black people in Quincy.) so I know my baby has had black friends and doesn't have a racist bone in her body. (She's more of the "To Serve Man' is a lesbian cookbook" kinda gal.)
So I'm thinking, "she asked me because she thinks I might be a bigot?" Or maybe she just wasn't sure how I felt about it. Which would mean that after three years together she doesn't know me as well as I thought she did. Or maybe she knows me better than I know myself?????
I embarris her enough as it is. I don't want to do it tomorrow in front of her friend. Staying in the bedroom the whole time she's here would be WAY too rude and I wouldn't do Lora that way.
I'm really iffin' about this whole thing. I don't want to talk to Lora about it because she would feel bad. She's been depressed enough since the election.