Hi Vena,

I’ve honestly found out the white folks I follow are more allies than frenemies/foes. That’s what really blind-sided me about the roommate. In my other examples, none of these people were friends or associates, just randoms I knew. (Clearly not the guy I actually dated or the one I hung out with.) I can kinda get a vibe before I follow anyone — black, white, Asian, Hispanic, etc., by looking up a username and then a keyword phrase. It’s why I wrote, “Why I filter new friends in this tense political world.” Let me take the L early on so I’m not thrown off later; if there was anything the roommate/friend taught me, it’s pay far more attention earlier on.

The only person who I can think of off the top of my head who duped me again was an intern that I defended. Another editor (a sista) was bullying the hell outta this girl, and it was getting on my nerves. I finally told her she needed to stop, and I pointed out all the things that she was doing similar to the intern (taking a long time to learn programs). I genuinely liked the intern (white girl) and hung out with her once. Then a school shooting occurred, and she went off on a tangent on Twitter about how it’s “not the right time to talk about gun control.” I almost fell off the couch. I caped for the girl so hard only to find out she was indifferent about school shootings of all topics. In this case, it wasn’t a matter of race. I don’t regret defending her against the bullying editor, but I just … that threw me off too.

I can’t make people agree with me on all social justice, political or cultural issues, but bare minimum, can you not use the n-word and not be cool with folks getting shot up at school?! Is that too much to ask?!

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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