In Ben Passmore’s comic and now animated short, Your Black Friend, a Black man sits in a cafe and watches, somewhat helplessly, as a white person nonchalantly ignores the all too common casual, anti-Blackness of a fellow white person. And I do mean casual, frequent, routine, often, regular—you feel me. Now, it’s hard to believe these two adult white folks are unaware of what they are saying (or not saying). But the real issue is that neither of them is willing to acknowledge it.
But Your Black Friend isn’t really about either of the casually-racist white people in the cafe. The real focus is to show the world through the lens of the Black man. He represents every Black person who has been in a similar situation. This series is for every Black person with a white friend who has silently stood by and let racist slurs thrown at their Black friend or another unsuspecting Black person fly by without flinching. This is about the millions of white people who claim not to be racist but fail to call out the very racist behaviors of their counterparts. This is about the dangers of being silent about racism.
“Your Black Friend hones in on the unique kind of indirect bigotry that springs up when people who don’t see themselves as racists fail to call out racism when they see it—something that not everyone understands is dangerous in its own way.”