Hey! It’s your one black friend here! You remember me, right? I’m the person you talk about when you mention that your “black friend” really misses old Kanye, or that your “black friend” still hasn’t seen Mamma Mia! (P.S.: never will).
I’m supposed to “tell it like it is” and be there for you. (See also: Wanda Sykes in Monster-in-Law, Queen Latifah in Bringing Down the House, etc.) I know you get uneasy when I ask things like, “Did you know that 53 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump?” or “Is the show called Pretty Big Lies or Little Liars?” And, of course, “Hard pass on Lena Dunham.”
We are now operating in a world that — in the span of one election cycle— suddenly expects you to have a level of awareness that was optional before. I want to acknowledge that and to thank you. I’ve concluded that the best way to do that is to exclusively refer to you as “my white friend,” or “MWF” for short.
Friendship is a two-way street, MWF. I know I’m out here giving you cool points, so I want to let you know that you’ve been returning the favor. Mainly, that means that I should be able to brag about you when I report back to my family and [regular] friends.
I want to be able to tell the story of how I went to lunch with MWF, and you showed me an entire Instagram account dedicated to Meryl Streep and food. (True story, by the way. Find it here.) I want to talk about the time when I was invited to a party, and there was no music — and have that story make sense, because people will know I was at MWF’s house. I never get these kinds of experiences with any other group of friends, which is what makes our friendship so special.
Plus, this establishes the mutual nature of our relationship. It says, “Hey! Thanks for studying me like some sort of wannabe anthropologist. Know that I’m doing the same thing, and boy, do I have notes!”
It’s something I’ve recently become passionate about and started incorporating into other aspects my life. I now also call people “my straight friends” or “my able-bodied friends.” And you know what? If you happen to be a straight, white, able-bodied friend, I might just have to start calling you my best friend. Don’t tell anyone. Please.