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When we do, I look his way every so often to see if he’s staring back, to see if we’ve got what my best friend and I call “the affinity,” a mutual acknowledgement that we one another. But while they chased after blondes and brunettes, I was ignored.
It’s a pretty good way to pass the time from Brooklyn to midtown. I spent my childhood surrounded by black and brown kids, but when I got to high school, suddenly everyone around me was white.
Since Trump was elected, I’ve felt paradoxically alienated by white people finding or doubling down on their commitment to change.
Somehow their politicization has begun to seem cartoonish, filled with performance and self-congratulation. But it wasn’t only on election night that translating experience felt so fraught.
It’s an odd thing to then go back to my date and continue the performance of “getting to know you.” I fantasize about walking up to him and saying, “Gotta go!
” before heading for the door, but instead, I sit down, and continue talking about which dystopian novel best describes our current predicament, or whatever.
Even if I did want to talk about how I feel, I’m not sure I’d be able to articulate it, especially to someone with such a different frame of reference from my own.
In those moments, I’ve wished to be sitting in front of someone who could relate.
We bring like-minded singles together who are open to new experiences with different cultures and ethnicities, whether they reside within your own neighborhood or abroad.
No matter how close I held the mirror up to their faces, sometimes their good and liberal wells of understanding and compassion were simply inaccessible.
On election night, I thought about all those moments, and I felt overwhelmed at the possibility of taking that on over the next four years.
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White men have preoccupied me my whole life, from the schoolyard to the subway, but these days I’m seeing them differently.