A recent study shows that African-Americans have more white friends that their white counter parts have African-American friends. In my opinion, there is a contingent of caucasions who have black friends because they feel, (whether consciously or subconsciously), that doing so makes them non-racist and progressive. In contrast, their is also a contingent of Black people who feel a sense of acceptance, and inclusion by accepting these friendships. Both are equally as guilty of cultivating friendships based solely on self gratification, and gain. But the difference is that African-Americans in large part need white friendships more because they have proven to be more beneficial.
When Beverly Daniel Tatum published Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? back in 2003, she used some statistical evidence to explain why black and white students self-segregate and also relied on anecdotes from her experiences as a black student at predominantly white schools.
Those people who asked, “Well, aren’t all the white kids sitting together, too?” would be happy to know that some key findings from a recent study conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute on racial segregation and friendships have been published.
Regarding friendships with other ethnicities and racial groups, whites and blacks were about even: The average white American has one Hispanic friend, while the average black American has two. And while white people have, on average, one Asian friend, black people have none.
The report goes on to explain the phenomenon behind how people’s “friends pools” take shape, and why they look the way they do. Simply put: People tend to hang out with people with whom they have similarities, whether based on race, religion, politics or income.
Studies like these are particularly relevant, the report explains, given how much race has informed how differently Americans are viewing the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
“The implication of these findings is that when we talk about race in our personal lives, we are by and large discussing it with people who look like us.”