I Don’t Identify As Black

End Racial Distancing

Jeffrey Kass
Equality Includes You
3 min readJan 22, 2022

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Jeffrey Kass with friends at Black Cowboys of Colorado event
Image: Author’s Photograph

As a white-skinned Jewish guy, I get asked at least once every few months, “Why do you like Black people so much?”

While it’s an inherently racist question, and indeed nobody ever pondered the quantity of my white friends, most people who ask aren’t consciously racist.

Most white folks just genuinely are bewildered at a white man embracing Black people and their culture. How does a white man call so many Black folks his brothers and sisters? Mind you, the reason they’re confused and curious is because they don’t have Black people in their lives. They move effortlessly through life with their “I’m not a racist” clothing. All while not having meaningful relationships with any — or at best no more than one or two — Black people.

The first time someone asked me this question was in 1989 in college by a then girlfriend, except her question came with an extra “Do you think you’re Black?” comment after I purchased an all-red pair of Ellesse shoes. Alas, having Black friends and wearing red tennis shoes didn’t somehow make me Black.

Having Black friends hasn’t always come easy. I lost count of the number of white women who gracefully backed out of dating me when they learned about my wide circle of close Black friends. “I just don’t understand” is how one woman a few…

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Jeffrey Kass
Equality Includes You

A Medium Top Writer on Racism, Diversity, Education, History and Parenting | Speaker | Award-Winning Author | Latest Book: Black Batwoman V. White Jesus | Dad