Keeping Black Friends

I’m a huge fan of Stuff White People Like (if you don’t know what it is, lift the rock up and come out of your hole, please). I’ve read the book two times now. But I want to give back. You know, share that good karma.

Thus, I’ve come up with a list of things non-blacks *shouldn’t* do if they want to make/keep black friends. I’m dedicating this post to Martellus Bennett, a Dallas Cowboys second-string tight end and the George Washington Carver of the Black Olympics (Google it, I won’t link it). He should concentrate his efforts on not dropping Tony Romo’s passes. Seriously, Bennett’s comedy career ended with one bite of watermelon.

With that said, the list:

Should it be this much of a struggle? Maybe so.

Should it be this much of a struggle to understand one another? Maybe so.

5. Never offer a black person watermelon. You may offer a black friend watermelon in good faith, but trust me, try cantaloupe. Here’s why: Offering a black person watermelon — even if you aren’t aware of the stereotype — will cause confusion, especially if you and said friend are outside and the heat index is in triple digits. On one hand, said black friend doesn’t feel comfortable “taking the unintentional bait.” Then again, he/she wants it because it will do the body good considering the current climate. It’s a lose-lose situation that will result in you not understanding why your friendship ended.

4. If your black friend is riding with you, do not play Jay-Z. When a black person walks into a non-black establishment, one oddity is bound to occur: A hip hop song will play within 10 minutes … or am I the only one who notices this? … … *crickets* Anyway, playing the American Gangster album or Mos Def’s “Ms. Fat Booty” will not win you cool points with your black friend. In fact, you will lose them with relative haste, especially if you start reciting lyrics and an n-word slips out. Your best bet right now is to play any Michael Jackson song not titled “Black or White.” Better yet, if Neil Diamond or The Dixie Chicks are in your car’s CD player, just let it play.

3. Don’t ask a black friend to define a slang term. This is why someone created urbandictionary.com. I don’t own that site, nor do I frequent it. So I can’t answer all of your queries. Yes, I can define “the trap” or “cutty.” But utilizing your black friend as though he’s your personal Hip Hop Thesaurus will make him conjure up a mental image of “yuling” you across the room.

2. When a racial topic comes up, don’t ask your black friend for his/her opinion. This situation presents itself often, like college and the workplace when there are 30 people in a room and only one is black. Race comes up, and everyone turns to the black almost as though he or she speaks for the entire race. This is the main way white people swipe their race cards … that and asking “Why do you have to play the race card?” Yes, you all make debits from the Bank of Race, too. Admit it. … We do not want you looking to us to answer every minority-related question for the rest of our lives. If you haven’t been around enough black people to understand what we’re thinking, buy the DVD set of Flavor of Love 2 read a Michael Eric Dyson book. Note: You’ll need both http://www.m-w.com and urbandictionary.com handy.

1. Never Never Never ever tell a black person he/she looks like anyone, especially some famous black person. It would behoove you to not even tell black identical twins that they look alike. See, when blacks complain about some fool telling them that they resemble another black person, there is a 99.996 percent chance they are lamenting a non-black’s Rush Limbaugh-like opinion. Trust me, I ask “Was it a non-black?” at least once a week, and the answer is always “He/she was white.” … If you flub on this at the wrong moment, you might soon be filing assault charges (Tell a black woman that she looks like Whoopi Goldberg. Love you, Whoopi). Maybe that’s your desire. I hope it’s not. We clearly don’t need more blacks in the prison system.

Faithful TMCY Readers, there must be other ground rules out there. Give us a few.

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104 responses to “Keeping Black Friends

  1. HAHAH! You covered them pretty well. Number 1 especially gets me. There are not many of US that work at my job and yet people are constantly mixing me up with another woman that is 4 inches taller than me, 25 lbs heavier and 2 shades darker. I really don’t understand it.

    The only other rule I’d add is don’t ask me a million questions about my hair like it is science fair project.

    • My first year at a new private school my class took a trip to DC. When we got back, a small group of students (with teacher supervision) made a CD of all the pictures to memorialize the trip.

      Each picture was captioned with the names of the students in it. I was in a class of 100 students with 2 other black female students. In one picture they have my name where one of their names should be.

      I remember thinking “Damn. There’s only 3 of us. The least you could do is keep us straight…”

    • @tam: Yeah, the entire reason I wrote this is because of a story similar to yours that I’ll let Oates, who comments sometimes, tell if he wants.

      But it is beyond insane to mix people up like that, period. We don’t all look alike.

      And someone I was talking to yesterday about this post mentioned something about hair. All I can say is, Google works …

    • @Tam and @doJo

      Gosh, how could I forget the “Wow, I’m darker than you comments” following a weekend sun bake…like that’s some reason to award extra points or something… lol

  2. #2 is my most absolute MUST UNDERSTAND for the 2520s. Just the other day a racial issue came up and a colleague made a comment and I cold-busted him glancing at me to see if I took notice.

    Yes. I took notice. However I had no dog in that fight and I surely didn’t feel like playing Black America’s spokeswoman like I usually do so I let it be.

    List adds:
    -Don’t ask to touch my hair. Not only is it offensive, but it’s stupid. You don’t know what I do each morning to my hair — I might rub dog sh*t in it every day to make it airy. Come on now with that.

    -DO NOT assume the only music I listen to is rap and thus won’t know who Panic! At the Disco is… I’ll bust your chops for that. 1) It’s ignorant. 2) It’s ignorant and 3) It’s ignorant. Your bros listen to rap music, so why wouldn’t I listen to… well… not rap music.

    -Don’t ask me to invite my friends somewhere so your party can look diverse. Make your own black friends. It’s not like making my black friends was all that easy.

    Finally….
    -Please keep all your “I’m a minority, too…” comments to yourself. I can see that you’re Jewish, female, gay (well, maybe not see that you’re gay, but…), etc… that still doesn’t mean you get what it’s like to be black and that is completely ok. Let’s just flow with it.

    • @asmith: yeah, so I agree with all four of your takes. I want to expound, especially the last one, but yeah… I’ll let someone else do that.

      What’s weird is I’ve literally told most of my non-black friends this stuff on this list before, and it’s actually enlightening… lol.

      • I’ll trust that you expound should no one else choose to. 🙂

        I typically wait until a good situation comes up to point it out. You know 2520s can be good for acting like stuff doesn’t happen when you can’t bring up a relevant and recent incident.

    • “-Don’t ask to touch my hair. Not only is it offensive, but it’s stupid”

      YESSS! I had a co worker who never asked, she just did it. I wanted to rip her arms out of her sockets.

  3. Not sure if it is appropriate for me to comment since I’m not black. Feel free to delete me –

    I hate when someone tries to look less racist by saying ‘I have black friends!’ Uh, if you keep using your friendship as a ‘get out of jail free card’ when it comes to racism, you’re probably not going to have those black friends for very long.

    • Those are my favorite ones…

      It’s usually the first clue that they are ignorant beyond repair. If they had black friends for real, they would know not to say crap like that…

    • @mrsmarcos: No, we need white people to comment here. It provides for a better dialogue…

      ‘the black friends’ thing is hilarious. I’ve had someone play that card on me in the worst possible situation … but hey … *shrugs*

    • “I hate when someone tries to look less racist by saying ‘I have black friends”

      That is so true. LMAO. I hate that… especially when they know the exact number of how many they work with.

  4. Lmao wowww this is all so real! Brings back so many college memories. #1 in particular – my soph yr I tutored this old white guy at our campus literacy center – why dude hype me up telling me how beautiful I was and looked just like his favorite movie star…here I am sitting there like “really? thank you, and who is you fav star” and he says…Whoopi Goldberg! I didn’t know if I wanted to die laughing or cry more! It f-ed me up so much b/c he was dead serious. I didn’t know if I should blame the horrible comparison on his whiteness or the fact that he couldn’t remember his ABC’s – at any rate I let it slide but it still hurt my pride for the rest of that day lol.

    • natural nubian

      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! i’m crying ’cause i can only imagine the look on your face when he said whoopi’s name! and the crazy part is i’m sure he said that with a straight face, o-so-sincere.

    • @jamie:

      I don’t even want to believe this mess you just typed. This is too unfathomable. You should have immediately told that person that you thought they looked like a hula monster or Roseanne Barr or something. SMH.

      You have NO REASON to let that mess bother you for ever five minutes.

      • Lmao omg Damon I couldn’t tell that man that – it was a compliment in his eyes so I had to muster up a thank you which was hard considering the huge knot I had in my throat after he said that ish!

  5. Nicki Sunshine

    1. Don’t start using slang words you wouldn’t normally use.

    2. Never assume I want to eat chicken.

    3. Don’t ask why I don’t wash my hair every day (the question has been asked so many questions throughout the years and I am SURE you know why by now.)

  6. I’ve got more:

    1. DO NOT ask your black friends to rap at social functions. I don’t care if you’re friends with Rakim himself.

    2. If your black friend is in a BGLO DO NOT ask them to step for you. And when they humbly decline the offer, DO NOT under any circumstances say, “Come on! It would be very entertaining for me if you did!”

    3. The majority of black people that go to college are not athletes. DO NOT ask a black person what sport they play when you either see them at school or see that they attend college.

    4. DO NOT arbitrarily ask a black person if they have or want some weed.

    5. DO NOT act shocked when a black person tells you that their life has no parallels to anything that comes on BET.

    I could go on for days based on my college experience alone, but I’ll save some for everybody else. LOL.

    • (Slow clap)

      IN accordance with #2…

      Don’t ask the black people you know to show you how to do the latest dance. Firstly, that’s what youtube is for and IF they know how to do it, they probably don’t have the patience to teach you anyway

      BTW, I’m not even in a BGLO and I get asked to step. LORD JESUS does that make my blood boil.

  7. 1. Do not ask me why black women’s hair doesn’t grow.

    Ex: when I was in college a girl that lived in my dorm (caucasian) asked me why black women wore weave all the time and was it because our hair didn’t grow. First and foremost our hair does grow it just has a different texture in general (I won’t even go into how many black friends and family members I know that have naturally straight or wavy hair).

    2. Don’t tell me I’m gorgeous…..for a black girl!

    Ex: When I was in college this guy selling magazines (caucasian) knocked on my door to see if I would sign up for a subscription. I invited him in and ended up signing up with him and during his stay he said. ‘Gosh you sure are beautiful, I’ve seen so many black girls that are very very ugly but you are gorgeous…’

    3. I think someone earlier mentioned this, but DO NOT ask a black person to ‘rap’ at an event.

    Ex: When I was in junior high school I attended a mostly white Catholic school with me being the only black in my class. We did a routine to ‘Rump Shaker’ for the school talent show and one of the girls I was performing with said ‘yeah, and you can rap for us….’ smh…

    4. Stop thinking that because you are friends you have a right to say things that should only be a commonplace amongst blacks.

    2 Examples: 1. When I was in college my freshman year roommate said ‘n1ggah please!’ claiming that she always wanted to say that and knew I wouldn’t hate her for it. 2. When Michael Jackson died a co-worker of mine said that she and her friends all said that black people in general should have had the following Friday off work and that they were thinking of painting their faces black to ‘fit in’.

    5. Last but not least, stop thinking that when you say something offensive like what was listed in #4 that I won’t check you. I’m tired of feeling like I have to remain politically correct and professional and take continous garbage like Joseph C. Phillips in the movie ‘Strictly Business’. Yeah, I might let some ish slide to keep from making us both look like arses but I will most definitely look at you as what Obama referred to as ‘the typical white person’ for the entire tenure of our relationship…

    • Ol boy in example #2 would’ve smooth gotten slapped, right before I said “I’ve met many white guys that are dumb, but you are the dumbest.”

      And in response to 5, doesn’t it get so tiring having to play that role, though? I feel like white people are forever testing my gangsta. Please don’t. Not in the workplace. You.will.not.like.

      • @ASmith

        I swear it’s like they want to see how far you will let them take it. It’s like a game of tug of war and I’m never winning. If I check you and curse you clean out or slap the taste out of your mouth you will find a way of saying that all blacks are violent. If I let it slide and don’t say anything to you then you’ll say that you have a friend that think it’s ok for you to do and say ‘such and such’ further making me look like an arse to my fellow man in a subtle way….*sigh*

        • My BFF and I always discuss how we’re responsible for how we send them out into the world.

          He had a couple of friends he made in our junior year who got a ltitle bit too comfortable. He knew they didn’t mean anything by the stuff they would say, but finally he said “Look, now this stuff is funny with us, but if you say that mess out in public, somebody WILL come beat the crap out of you and then it’ll be my fault for not telling you to be better.

    • “2. Don’t tell me I’m gorgeous…..for a black girl!”

      But JLBD, “you speak so well …” ~theboondocks

      i know that makes no sense. but, you know. You do.

  8. The whole you look like somebody thing is not so offensive provided you look like that person and/or the person is attractive.

    I just let my melanin-deprived folks know stuff up front like:
    1) I don’t watch BET
    2) My childhood was neither like the Wire or the Cosby Show
    3) I don’t know what government cheese tastes like
    4) I don’t talk in Ebonics (usually), you shouldn’t either (in fact, talk even Whiter than usual)
    5) If you say jiggy, brah or aight around me on in my direction, I will slap
    6) If you think about using the N word, I will reverse Rodney King you…
    7) For the record, I think OJ was guilty, Michael Jackson is Black and Bush was an idiot…

    After I explain all that and they wanna be cool, it’s all good.

    • @Mr. Smart Guy – I love #2. Very true.

    • @tjhenderson: good comment, but trust me, this entire post was bore from two things: a convo about watermelons and Marty B …. then that I really do have friends who have No. 5 happen to them and they actually don’t look like the person they’re being told they resemble.

      That whole halle berry/gabrielle union lookalike thing in Breakin All The Rules is great example. Although Foxx said it, it was written by Daniel Tapitz. and it’s the furthest thin from the truth.

      More than anything, it’s just annoying.

  9. Morning, y’all!

    All of the rules already listed are good and I co-sign on them. I haven’t personally experienced each & every one (yet) but I can relate to them because I know friends & family members who have.

    A few more to add:

    1. Do not tell black friends “I’ve never heard a black person speak so well before”. CRAZINESS.

    2. Do not tell me that I don’t look like I’m all black and continue on to ask me what I’m mixed with. Do not tell me that I could “pass” for a Latina or Indian…WTH?

    3. Do not ask me how it is possible for black siblings to have varying shades of brown (when they have the same parents). I had someone ask me before how anyone could believe the Huxtables were a ‘real’ family (albeit a TV family) because two of their kids didn’t even look like they belonged in the family all based on complexion…WhAT!?!?!?!

    4. Do not give me a nickname (w/o my permission) just because you think my name is too long, too hard to remember or too difficult to pronounce. Do not constantly misspell my name.

    5. This one has already been said but in my opinion, it’s worth repeating…do not ask (or expect) me to be the sole spokesperson for the ENTIRE race on any given subject matter.

    I’m sure there are others but these came to mind first.

    • @Shawnta’

      lol, your number 3 is oh so dear to me. I hear this all the time and I feel like slapping folks because ironically there are some black folks that say the same ignorant stuff. My mother is very fair with sandy blonde hair and her younger brother is very dark. They both have the same parents. The funny thing about genes is they have a tendency to reach sometimes. Remember, most of us black folks here in America have white and native american blood flowing through our veins strong. It’s biology and it happens….smh!

      • High fives on that number 2!!!!

        • @Nicki: Yup…I used to hear it all the time in college and I still get it from time to time now, especially if I wear my hair a certain way or change up my make-up.

      • @jlbd: Yup; I hear a lot…from non-blacks & blacks but usually from non-blacks. My mom, aunt & uncle all have the same parents. Although my mom resembles my grandfather, she doesn’t have my grandfather’s or grandmother’s complexion and she looks different than my aunt & uncle (although a few people, including me think she and my uncle resemble each other). My mom is very fair, has light freckles all over her face, arms and upper chest and reddish, brown hair that lightens in the summer to a blondish color.

    • Nos. 1 and 2 are on point on this list. I think I made the “you speak so well” comment somewhere else in these comments. hilarious.

      It’s one of the most backhanded compliments you can give…. like how else am I supposed to sound?

  10. 1. Never start a sentence with, “I am not racist, but…..
    2. Do not look at me for approval for anything(laughing at a joke or whatever)
    3. NEVER CALL ME TO TELL ME HOW YOU TASTED. A BLACK WOMAN AND USE THE SAYING ONCE YOU GO BLACK…. HELLLL NO!

    • @Ernesto: Along with your #3,

      Non-blacks should never tell their black friends that they’ve always wondered what being ‘with’ a black person would be like…uhm, keep your fantasies to yourself.

    • The fact that #3 would be necessary to say is DISTURBING!

  11. I just thought of another rule…

    Do not ask me if I am offended or how I feel about a black man marrying, dating, having kids with or just f*cking a non-black.

    • I think what’s so bad about that is that you KNOW they’re really searching for the black consensus on (enter issue).

      My university ranked #2 for worst race relations. Our diversity numbers were pretty good (for our locale and type of school) but everybody self-segregated. One of the newspapers took an overhead shot of the lunch room during peak lunch rush and you could see the black kids in the middle, the white kids on the edge of that and everyone else on the fringes of the room. Right after that picture came out, I was in a class with one of my black friends and the class discussion turned to the picture. My friend and I had previously discussed how we hated how sometimes we could tell the class was waiting on the “black consensus” report from us and so she piped up “Yeah, we all congregate in the middle like that because that’s when we make decisions about how we all feel so we can know what to report to you guys…”

      The silence lasted just long enough (before everyone started laughing) that I knew some of them thought she was serious. It was SO disturbing.

  12. Another…

    If I’m frustrated, aggravated, irritated, annoyed, upset, angry, really effin’ pissed off about something, etc….don’t just brush it off or try to minimize my feelings/emotions by saying I have an ‘attitude’. No, I’m have the same feelings as you and I’m expressing them just as you would in a similar situation.

  13. Don’t ask me to teach you how to dance. And unless you’re my hairdresser, please don’t touch my hair.

  14. Yeah for the last month and a half, I’ve been told I look like Tiger Woods and before that I have been told I look like every other light-skinned man from Chico Debarge to Tahj Mowry (The Smart Guy).

    Another rule, if we are at a professional setting and I don’t know you…Please don’t reach out for some pound or some daps. A handshake will do just fine.

    Stop believeing (sp?) that Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton are the Emperor and Prime Minister of Black People. Ties into that whole “the thoughts of others don’t necessarily represent my view” theory.

    I don’t mind if I use a slang word and they ask what that means, just don’t arbitrarely suggest that I even know what “yuling” is.

    I’ll think of more later. I showed some of my white friends at work this, they thought it was great. Especially because I been telling them how I irritated I get about being called Tiger Woods.

    • Oates, this post was for you and the question I asked you via text about the Tiger Woods thing last week … lol … but you prolly already figured that out by now …

      • Oh and when I worked at the rec center @ Mizzou, I had many of the sorority girls suggest I look like David Blaine!?!?! WTF!

        • @Oates: you just answered your own WTF in that first sentence … sorority girls. enough said.

          Lord, please forgive me for stereotyping. I do know some brilliant sorority girls. I do.

    • natural nubian

      now all these “twins” of yours makes me only wonder what your nationality is oates. how u go from chico D, to tiger to davin blane? technically if you mix all of that in a pot I can only come out with something similar to a mexican.

    • natural nubian

      oh my word, and the dayum pound thing!?!?! if i hear one more muthaf#$@! time “don’t leave me hanging bro!”…..”bro” …..oh, so now we “brothas?” GTFOH!

      i mean why dey always tryna be down!?

      • The problem with it is that I don’t look like any of those people! Not even close.

        Oh yeah and I forgot Braxton P. Hartnibrig from Jamie Foxx. I get that one too.

  15. This relates to a previous letter on TMCY, but to all non-blacks that are gay: please stop comparing your struggle with being socially accepted for your sexuality to blacks’ struggle to being socially accepted for our skin color. It’s not the same and I won’t go into all the reasons why. Just know it and deal with it. It’s insulting to insinuate it and it needs to stop ASAP.

  16. Another one: please do not think because there is a blackman in white house, everything is cool. Being the only black male working where I do can be hilarious at times. Lol

  17. Damon,

    Did anyone ever tell you that you look like Denzel Washington with a body like Arnold? Did I just break two rules with one comment?

    • @DPLUV:

      Normally it’s Kanye West, which I don’t understand… If I could every get non-blacks to tell me that I looked like Denzel Washington and believed it, I might just start buying rounds of drinks for random people.

  18. Holy crap. I do everything wrong. I asked you to define a Jason Whitlock term that Urban Dictionary was a little iffy on. I told you that you looked like a lawyer in your new Ink photo AND I always try to get your (or Greg’s) opinion on racial topics. Never again! I have seen the light!

    I have one thing I’d like to add: When white people hit the “slang” waaaaay too hard or change their hand shake slightly when in the company of black people.

    • Gooch: I love you, man.

      I’m over here crying….

    • natural nubian

      charles, u are a trip for real! why-o-why allllllll of a sudden my cc’s (caucasian counterparts) wanna grip up a brother? i’m a woman and i had a white guy try to grip me up!!! i felt violated!

  19. I meant in the white house

  20. @Charles: that is too hilarious. It’s like yo yo yo yo yo what’s up! I think I forgot two more yos. Lol. Man, what you are talking about is in The Big Book Of Racism by Ego Trip.

  21. And yet another…

    Don’t tell me that you feel like you’re a black person trapped inside a white person’s body or that you think you were black in a former life. WHAT!?!?!?…Have y’all had anyone say this to you? I never know what to say & usually don’t even bother responding. Craziness.

    • What I usually hear is “Man, I wish I could be black”

      I ALWAYS want to slap them upside the head.

      No, sir, you want to be white with all the dumb percieved priviledges of being black (i.e. saying what you want, having rhythm, being cool…)

      • What cracks me up is in my last job when I got promoted to office manager I was speaking with the branch manager briefly before starting my assignment and he goes ‘Yeah, I mean my ipod has everything in it, I love rap you know that g-funk stuff from the early 90s’ ….. I looked at him like, ‘ummmm, what does that have to do with me managing this branch?’ smh…it never fails…

  22. You know, most of the crazy stuff I hear is from people at work. I attribute a lot of it to the age difference between me and my coworkers since I am always the youngest person in the room.

    Here are some of my favorite whitey (W) comments:

    W: What are you mixed with?
    Me: Black, American Indian and Irish (the Irish part always raises a brow)

    W: How do you get your hair like that? It doesn’t look like most black girls’ hair…
    Me: I employ an entire team of Paul Mitchell staff that come to my house every morning.

    W: You are so not like other black people…you speak so well!
    Me: Why yes, thank you. I do believe in subject, noun, verb agreement.

    W: So what’s up with Al Sharpton, is he like you guys’ leader or something?
    Me: Who?

    W: Did you catch that new Soulja Boy video? He freakin’ rocks!
    Me: No, I’m sorry, I’ve been too busy trying to derail his career to watch his latest material.

    W: Do you know how to do the Superman dance? How’s it go again?
    Me: *rolls eyes, walks away*

    W: What’s the most important issue facing blacks right now?
    Me: Well, speaking on behalf of millions of blacks in America, I’d have to say we are most concerned about swine flu at the moment. The interuption of pork distribution would be detrimental to our celebratory dinners with hamhocks and porkchops.

    W: What up homie!
    Me: Hello, Becky.

    Bottom line, if you aren’t sure if what is about to come out of your mouth is PC, exercise the ten second rule…if it sounds ok after you repeat it to yourself a few times, then let ‘er rip. But, be prepared to get an undesirable response if your question or commment is just plain stupid.

    • I always get the raised eyebrow when I say my last name (which is Irish); They always say, ‘wow, you have such a European name’ (given my first name is French)… I always give them a halfway bogus story about how my great grandfather was a slave and took his master’s name (that may very well be true because he has no record of birth)… the kicker was when a guy came to install my telephone line in my old apartment and when I answered the door he looked shocked. He thought that from the name on the work order I was surely from France or Ireland. When folks see my mom they think that the Irish side came from her but it’s really from my father’s side. My mother’s side is where the native american and French comes in…smh…

    • natural nubian

      W: What up homie!
      Me: Hello, Becky.

      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! no u didn’t monica!

  23. Stop thinking that we are a specimen to be studied. This goes for Soledad O’Brien and anyone else who thinks that being ‘us’ can be summed up in a book or mini-series. The only difference between us and any other non-black is the extra melanin in the skin. For instance in order to live and sustain ourselves we have to eat, drink, sleep, and go to the bathroom. We also have s3x in order to pro-create and our babies come out of the vaginal hole as described in human sexuality. We also feel emotions such as sadness, anger, happiness, contenment, etc. This sounds crazy right? Well I got into a cyber argument with a caucasian male who was trying to break down the science as to why black men are more likely to be incarcerated and he referenced all these books that were attempting to analyze the black male. It never occurred to him that outside forces such as institutionalized racism is 90% to blame….smh again and again!

    • “Black in America” is such a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I’m happy that some clueless white folsk will get to see Black folks on TV who are your everyday variety… but at the same time…

      Many of them AREN’T the everyday variety; they’re the exception, but they make for good tv and that’s why they’re being exploitedprofiled (I wish I had the strike command for my speech… like my own personal voice over… LOL).

      I’ve been begging MTV to do a True Life: I’m Black and Educated.

      • @ASmith

        I think the thing I did not like about the first installment was that if you were from the ‘hood and dark skinned you were more apt to be locked up, unemployed, or single. Then if you were light-skinned the opportunities were endless. That comparison they made with Michael Eric Dyson and his brother was appauling and was SUCH a stereotype. We are a group of people who have a myriad of backgrounds, religions, economic statuses, skin tones, education, etc. LIKE ANY OTHER RACE! We can’t be broken down that simply. I heard this installment will focus in on the black elite (which is so very interesting to me indeed *rolls eyes*) and how their society is so unknown and untapped but exists very strongly. I just hope it’s not a repeat of last years’, I will be so disappointed…

  24. *dead* @ all of these. soo on point.

    things i can add that i *hope* haven’t been added:
    –don’t tell me you want to get a tan so you can be my skin color / you’re jealous of my skin tone because i never sun burn. kill yourself.
    –never in your life use the term ‘ghetto booty’ in my presence. i get it. you think you have a big butt.
    –stop posing for pictures with the cliche sideways peace sign & puckered lips. you look stupid. and contrary to popular belief, most black people smile in pictures. it’s true. i have evidence.

    • ::jumping up and down::

      Oh my I LOATHE when my white colleagues get tans and are oh-so-happy to say “look, we’re the same color!”

      No, ma’am, we are not. STOP IT.

      LMAO @ “it’s true. i have evidence”
      I’m not joking when I say for the longest I was SO confused as to why they posed for pictures like that. I would be like “do you know you look stupid?” It wasn’t until one of them responded (incredulously) “we’re doing our ghetto poses!” I had to just walk away. Wasn’t no fixing that stupid.

    • natural nubian

      dojo, i’m dead. the tan thing is possibly in a dead-heat neck-2-neck tie of perplexing the heck outta cc’s. i easily get extra chocolately whenever i go home to florida….why-o-why when i come back with a nice glow the looks/stares start in the office? for real? did u really not know we’re capapble of getting darker? *sigh*

      • I was invited out by some white colleagues and I jokingly (first mistake) said (second mistake) “I’ll pass, I don’t wanna get any darker…” (third mistake).

        Lord, the look of sheer confusion and incredulity was shocking.

    • @doJo: That tan comment reminds me of a time I was in class in undergrad and this certain class was taking place outside. My professor says: “This is great, we can all work on our tans so we can look like Tam and Adrienne(the only other black person in our class). WHAT.THE.F$*K.

  25. LMAO @ ” Never Never Never ever tell a black person he/she looks like anyone”. It is sooo true.

  26. Another one: Don’t say stuff like ‘we didn’t want to change the complexion and tone of the environment’ and then, when we call bullshyt switch it up and say ‘it was a safety issue and we didn’t have enough space to accomodate that many kids’…. and then think that we will all of a sudden forget what the original comment was just because you claimed to have ‘misspoke’…

  27. When you find out that I am Catholic, don’t say: ‘I didn’t know you were Catholic’…. like I needed announce that to you after I state my name and educational background. There are millions of black Catholics….smh again…*my neck hurts*

    • Black folks do that too. My BFF is Catholic and so many times in school people would say “Whoa, he’s Catholic? There are black Catholics?”

  28. I’ve got another one, and it’s personal:

    Do not hang a poster of Snoop Dogg over my desk at work, and think that I’m not going to pull it down and give you a lesson in practicality afterward.

    yes, that actually happened three years ago.

  29. I’m on a roll (sorry y’all I’ve had alot of dumb stuff happen over the years)… When I tell you that I’m getting ready to graduate, don’t assume anything…when I was working in corporate accounting years ago my boss found out that I had a graduation coming up and he started telling me about how he was so relieved to be done with his last final when he graduated…he then proceeded to ask me what I was getting my bachelor’s degree in and I said, ‘I’m actually getting my MBA’….he gave me this look like, ‘get out of my office’, but in the same breath said ‘congratulations (insert fake smile)’…..lmao!

    • First off, maybe we should cease and desist with your contact with 2520s.

      Secondly, sometimes they can be bigger haters than black folks when you tell ’em about your education.

  30. one other thing: Yes, black people do blush da+n it!

  31. Damon this was genius!

    The only thing I could add..

    White people, listen up: the one or two Black dudes at the office — you know, guys like me? — don’t assume that we know where to get the best weed. I hate that and it puts me in a conflicting or compromising situation.

    You see, I have to worry about losing my job because all of a sudden I’ve become the “weed man” around the office. From then on out my excuse for being late will always be that I was up all night smoking weed.

    Not only that, if I do turn you on to the real weed man, then I’m suspect should he get busted as the snitch who brought the White boy in. So, White people, get your own damn weed and don’t assume that people who look like me are in the know.

  32. My niece was awarded a full scholarship to a major university, my sister always gets the “oh, is it for sports?” No, mofo, she’s a biomedical engineering major!

    Rule #4587.2 Don’t assume all Black folks can excel in is sports, it makes you look narrow minded and just plain stupid.

    • OHMIGOODNESS…

      In high school we were required to do an after school activity — for most people this translated to sports.

      For 2 years I got the same question…

      “Why don’t you play basketball?”

  33. Okay, what about the non-blacks that “talk black” around black people? I don’t mean ebonics, or even slang… I mean trying to talk in a black dialect.

  34. frequent lurker…but coming out to share share.

    ok so today, I saw the feed from the press conference in which the cop in the Gates arrest said that all was well after the beer with the president and they planned to have another talk over the phone and then maybe they would try something non-alcoholic like a “kool-aid or ice tea”. Uhm, this reminded me of this KBF post.
    May we add suggesting kool-aid as a drink to you black friend to the list.

    I thought his choice of words was poor considering all that just went down.

    • To Danni: ROTFLMAO!!!! Now that is funny. No kool-aid huh?
      But here is one for you, DO NOT send me one of those emails that talks about being a “Real America” means I want to own a gun, vote Republican, stop whining about being a minority, so on and so on. Me —–> 😐
      I twist my hair every morning before I go to work, then have to listen to “your hair is so beautiful, my hair would never do that” ((insert the eye roll)) unbelievable.

  35. I’m a non-black, and I’m reading your comments and I’m thinking “man, are they touchy, don’t do this, and don’t do that”, now why would I want to touch your hair? I like watermelon,why shouden’t any one else? And what about fried chicken, is that a no-no too? If I tell somebody they look like so and so, it’s becouse the “so and so” is well know and a celeberty and it’s meant as acompliment. Some people, black or white, look alike. And, not all white people play sports either, but its not uncommon to ask a new white friend if he,or she, played any sport, so why should Mr. White not ask Mr. Black the same thing? If a white freind ask you a question like “why do you ware your hair in a weave all the time, it’s becouse they are interested in knowing more about you.

    • Damon would probably discourage what I’m about to do, but…

      now why would I want to touch your hair? I don’t know, sir. Let’s ask all the people over the years who have asked to touch my hair, shall we?

      I like watermelon,why shouden’t any one else? Do you make it a point to go around asking people if they like watermelon? Is this normal fodder for conversation? If so, ok… clearly this doesn’t apply to you. When you’re eating your beloved watermelon, do you offer some to everyone, or just the ones you think will like it? If it’s the latter… who are those people? I’m really just asking, obviously I don’t know you.

      If a white freind ask you a question like “why do you ware your hair in a weave all the time, it’s becouse they are interested in knowing more about you.
      Fair enough. But would you agree that there are other ways to get to know a person that might be far more relevant to who they are?

  36. I did a similar post called A Few Things Never to Ask Black People (especially bougie ones): http://www.blacknbougie.com/2009/07/few-things-never-to-ask-black-people.html

  37. Reality is so different for everybody. I’m American Indian and when it came up in HIGH school the girl next to me asked if my grandparents lived in a tepee. Sometimes it’s offensive and sometimes it’s just people who don’t know any better, trying to learn more.

  38. hilarious. i feel i may have violated (with love) all these rules. so glad you have yet to disown me!

  39. I’m white and a late on this, but have to add a few that I have witnessed over the years that bother me

    – Going to one all black event or reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X does not make you an expert in the “black experience”, so do NOT try to correct your black friend about said experience

    – If you ask a black friend over for dinner do not serve soul food unless it is in your normal food rotation

    -Do not send your black friends Kwaanza cards and all your other friends X-mas cards

    – Do not act surprised if a black person likes classical music or opera or other “high culture”. Um, Marion Anderson, Dean Dixon et al?

    -If you are talking to black parents, do not start on the, “Oh it must be so hard to raise a black child in America” thing

  40. What are your favoritte films?

    My list is here:
    DALLAS #189024-EWING GATE 81,
    Far From Bismarck, 1999
    ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, THE, 1977
    LITTLE DRAGONS, THE, 1980
    Season In Purgatory, A, 1996
    TIC CODE, THE, 1998
    ALL OF ME (AKA ME TOO AKA ME TWO), 1984
    VISIONARIES, 1987
    STAR TREK:TNG #101 ENCOUNTER AT FARPOINT PT I,
    GATHERING, PART II, THE, 1979

    You may find all of it on imdb

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