i think that most white people are scared/intimidated by black people. if they're not the type of white person who has spent any time around black folks or has black friends, i have found that these white people are either scared of, or treat black people like they're invisible.
i started to thinking about this when i was thinking about my neighbor. i don't try to be the center of attention, but i have known white women who BARELY gave me the time of day when they've never even had the chance to know me( to dislike me). but yet, they'll mingle with another unknown white person( let's assume we're all at a party and no one knows each other) and will be super chummy. i believe that most white people think that interacting with a black person is a low priority-we're not potential friends, we're just sort of invisible to them. and if we happen to be too bold to be invisible, they're scared and intimidated.
this theory of mine is nothing new, although i'm not sure if i've ever put it into words in this blog. but what i started to realize, as i was driving down the street today, after being snubbed by my neighbor was this:
whenever i interact with a white person for the first time, i instantly categorize them afterwards this way (based on their behavior when we interacted):
1)they are a white person who has never been around black people, who has never had any real/meaningful interaction with black people, and is basically afraid or intimidated (warranted or not). this person views the black person as a sort of "foreigner" in their world and doesn't believe they can relate to them on any level. this person prefers to only deal with them on a need-to basis, and never "sees" the black people around them in daily life. thinks of all black people as the stereotype, and doesn't know that it's a stereotype.
2)a white person who is familiar with black people, may have gone to school with black people, might even have one or two as friends. they're not scared of black people, they're friendly only because it's not their nature to be rude, but that's the extent of it. they don't necessary dislike black people, but they don't want or care to have more than the token black friend. most black people seem "exotic" to them.
3)a white person who was probably raised in an area around black people( or spent any lenth of time ) in a diverse area (workplace or neighborhood) with black people. has several black friends. is not scared or intimidated by black people unless there's a valid reason to be, and open to talking and hanging out with black people.
i realized today that i instantly categorize white people this way after meeting them. i didn't even consciously know i was doing it, until i analyzed my thoughts in sort of a daze while driving today. i was thinking about my white neighbor and how she snubs me for no good reason. and i listened to the voice in my head automatically put her into category 1, and decided that that was why she treats me that way.