Many White Americans Willing to Give Having a Black Friend a Shot
ST. LOUIS, MO — A USA Today survey published today shows that white Americans are becoming increasingly more open to the idea of talking to a black American and possibly even adding one to their Facebook circle of friends.
“Hell yeah. I’d try talking to a black man. Do you have one of them here I can practice on?” said 32-year-old UPS driver Paul Devries in one of the study’s focus group sessions.
“But what do I say to an Afro-American? I should Google it.”
“I mean, I see black people everywhere but, truthfully, I don’t know much about them except for what I see on the net…or ESPN.”
The survey was conducted in 17 cities polling 1,600 white adults who do not currently have nor have ever had a black friend. Saying “hi” to an Afro-American co-worker on the elevator or knowing the name of a black bank teller were not considered cases of friendship.
“There was this black man…maybe a bit brownish…at a barbecue I was at and I thought of just walking up saying ‘hey bro’, but I thought it might seem like I was trying to act all open-minded…or gay. Hahaha,” said another focus group participant, 41-year-old Subway sandwich artist Nick Scott.
“But I do actually call lots of white customers ‘bro’ so it might have been okay.”
The USA Today poll found that white women were most open to the idea of having black friends (62% Democrats, 36% Republicans), followed by white men under 50 (47% Democrats, 29% Republicans).
Results for white men over 50 were not included in poll results as the newspaper was only able to find 3 willing participants in that category. USA Today said that the majority of older white men contacted refused to take part, many calling the question “ridiculous” or accusing the researchers of “stirring things up with the blacks.”
“I’d never really noticed that I don’t have a black friend,” admitted 26-year-old focus group participant Jessica Alder.
“But I’m totes going to walk up and start talking to the first black person I see when I leave here today. Maybe buy them a meal or something.”
USA Today Editor-in-Chief David Callaway said the survey results are encouraging and a “sign that white Americans are slowly opening up to the idea of breaking down racial prejudice…but they just don’t seem to know how to do it.”
“In our next survey, we’re going to ask blacks if they would consider having a white friend.”
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