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I Lost a Friendship with a Dutch Friend Because I Refused to be "Saved" by Him
One of the most tiresome parts of racial politics is this idea that black people require saving & if you don't accept this position as a black person, there must be something wrong with you.
I lost a friendship with a Dutch friend because I refused to be saved by him.
I originally met him in Munich, Germany while I was hopping around Europe by myself and he was also there vacationing. We shared a hostel room together and stayed in contact after our encounter.
One of the things I learned about many Europeans, especially in Western Europe, is how much they know about American politics. Many are far more interested in American politics than even their homeland's politics and he was no different.
Our relationship wasn't built on political discussion but we didn't shy away from it. We had more in common in other places and I genuinely cared for his well-being. After Munich, on two separate trips, we would meet up in Berlin and then his home city of Amsterdam.
Our relationship was going well until the pandemic came and the world locked down as we were in the midst of planning to meet up again in Europe. Suddenly, life became political & even discussing it was far more emotional than I ever wanted it to be.
The situation only got worse after the death of George Floyd because now race was a primary discussion mixed in with Trump's attempt to get re-elected. They say that pressure builds diamonds but in our case, pressure built tension between us.
On one occasion I explained to him that I don't agree with the narratives made about being black in America. I explained my experience as someone who has lived in 5 states & various types of areas throughout my life and negative racial experiences were extremely rare.
At first, it seemed like he accepted my viewpoint and moved on from it but later he would tell me "I can't believe you can't see how racist America is". I understand someone who lives here who may have a different experience that disagrees with me but his statement truly bothered me.
For one, his viewpoint of what America is or isn't is all from a distance and through a media prism. We all have opinions of places that are distant from us but when you meet someone who is from there, your opinion shouldn't supersede theirs & you damn sure shouldn't dismiss it.
However, the real downfall of our relationship came after I said: "I don't disagree with everything that Trump is doing". It was a statement of being objective about some of his actions but that was too much grace to show our president who was, to him, the next coming of Hitler.
Clearly, he had an issue with this statement and I explained to him that we don't ever need to discuss politics moving forward. We had a good relationship otherwise & I didn't want politics to interfere with it.
He accepted but would continue to send me anti-Trump articles and I would ignore them. It came to a point where he admitted that he couldn't move past my Trump statement & my views on race in a final message. That's when he uttered the words "this is my last attempt to save you".
It was unacceptable to him for me to not see myself as a black victim in American society and it for damn sure wasn't good that I was black & found any agreement with Trump. Being black and objective is not acceptable, being black and irrationally emotional is.
Saviorism is a plague in the western world because it places one group over another and the ones below must always wait for the good graces of the people above because they're supposedly incapable.
I don't care to wait for the benevolence of white people. I don't need saving.
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