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A Definition and Explanation

March 24, 2009

The Oreo Experience or: A Total Whitey in a Black Chick’s Body

Oreo – Slang: Black on the outside….white on the inside.

My grandparents have really cool recessive genes for black people. They have this rich, dark skin with bright blue eyes.

I also have an interesting recessive gene for black people: the one that makes me love Renaissance Fairs, Kristen Chenowith and dressage competitions.

This blog is dedicated to that existence.

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I Think She Likes Me!

April 23, 2015

So yeah, I think it’s time I take my new relationship public. Spoiler alert: It’s going well!!

 

What do you think? How I can keep this going? Let us know in the comments!

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That Time I Accidentally Joined a Cult

April 5, 2015

…or at least the first time.

 

 

Have you ever done anything insane for stupid reasons? Let us know in the comments!

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The Best Quotes From That Deadline Story

March 26, 2015

People have been up in arms over Nellie Andreeva’s story on Deadline about how there are too many ethnic faces on TV these days.

If you didn’t get a chance to read it, you can check it out at this link.

Tl;dr version: Because TV shows are getting more diverse, deserving white actors are losing out on roles and we’ve maybe gone too far with this whole diversity thing.

People were not impressed.

ShondaRhimes Deadline

And sure, the article is full of quotes like this:

“…the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction. Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in a color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off-limits for Caucasian actors, some agents signal. Many pilot characters this year were listed as open to all ethnicities, but when reps would call to inquire about an actor submission, they frequently have been told that only non-Caucasian actors would be considered.”

And this:

“Because of the sudden flood of roles for ethnic actors after years of suppressed opportunities for them, the talent pool of experienced minority performers — especially in the younger range — is pretty limited.”

And this:

“While they are among the most voracious and loyal TV viewers, African-Americans still represent only 13% of the U.S. population. They were grossly underserved, but now, with shows as Empire, Black-ish, Scandal and HTGAWM on broadcast, Tyler Perry’s fare on OWN and Mara Brock Akil’s series on BET, they have scripted choices, so the growth in that fraction of the TV audience might have reached its peak.”

And sure, people are upset with the fact that a white lady is screaming “reverse racism” because like 5 shows have minority leads. Yeah, people are bugged that she’s intimating that black actors aren’t as talented as white actors. And folks are annoyed that Andreeva is OK with the fact that there has always been a larger percentage of white people on TV than there are in the actual population, but it freaks her out when it’s the other way around.

Fine. Heard.

But while there were some “offensive” quotes in this piece, there were some great ones, too! And no one’s talking about those. So, you’re welcome from The Oreo Experience.

Here are the best quotes from the Nellie Andreeva article.

Like take a look at this:

“In one instance, after a number of actors of different ethnicities tested for two roles in a pilot this year, two Caucasian actors ended up being the top choices for the two remaining regular parts.”

A dependent clause! Just chilling, hanging out in the middle of a sentence. Obviously, this girl can write! And the fact that she can write complex sentences while her freedoms are being chipped away one episode of How To Get Away With Murder at a time is extra impressive. Anne Frank only wrote one book. Andreeva writes like four posts a day. You get it, girl!

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And this!

“This is not to say that there weren’t other hot commodities this pilot season; star names were in demand as usual, as were hot young guys and girls and occasional foreigners with that ‘sparkle.'”

Proper use of a semi-colon. That’s hard to do! It’s especially hard to do when you are holding such a heavy torch, even if it is in your non-dominant hand. Have you looked at the I Have a Dream speech? No semi-colons.

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And look at this!

“Television has been successful with shows that had both all-white (Friends, Seinfeld) and all-black (The Cosby Show) casts on the strength of their premise, execution and talent performances and chemistry.”

In-sentence citations!! With italics! Fancy!

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So I think this shows that everyone can just calm down a bit. I’m guessing she even spelled her name correctly. And that is very hard to do when filled with the very justified fear that your people are being unfairly oppressed. I mean, Eric Garner could barely form more than one sentence, imagine how Nellie feels.

 

What do you think of Nellie’s article? Is TV too ethnic? Not ethnic enough? Do we just need more cowbell? Let us know in the comments!

 

I know, dear ones. This may sound like difficult TV times for the aspiringly creative, but you can help. Here are some of the best ways to be a good Oreo, to fight the good fight, and to make sure that everyone feels safe in their skin and with yours.

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Quick Oreo Tip: Always Volunteer to Take the Picture

March 19, 2015

Don’t let this happen to you.

unnamed

 

blackface

 

Always take the pic XX

I know, I know. You’re very excited about singing wenching songs at that Renaissance Faire, performing some delightfully observant sketch comedy, and stopping for a snapshot during that road trip to visit South Carolina’s most haunted historic plantations. You want proof that you were there. You want an image of a lovely memory. You want something to throw up on Facebook.

But phone cameras aren’t interested in what you want.

Filters can’t save you now.

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Do you like the way you look in photos? Any filters out there that help save you from yourself? 

Let us know about them in the comments. 

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For Mor-eo Oreo:
Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
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I Just Don’t Look Like Michelle Obama, Tho

February 13, 2015

About once a week at least one person tells me that I look “just like” Michelle Obama. They say this with straight faces, without being punked, and usually very excitedly.

Just for reference. Here is a picture of the First Lady.

michelle-obama-cover-ftr

And here is a picture me in the state I’m usually in when people tell me that I look just like the First Lady.

Just in case it’s still not clear that these pictures are of two different women, let me point out the differences.

Photo on 2-13-15 at 2.05 PM #2

Michelle Obama is 5 feet, 11 inches tall.

I am 5-foot-4 on a good day

 

Michelle Obama’s hair is a beautiful and even distribution of chestnut brown and black.

My hair is salt and peppery in randomly placed streaks.

 

Michelle Obama has gotten her pre-baby body back.

The other week, someone asked if I was pregnant

 

Michelle Obama can clearly do a few good minutes of kettlebell swings

I can recognize kettlebells in pictures.

 

Michelle Obama’s nails are a lovely length and manicured.

The pinky nails on my hands and feet refuse to grow at all.

 

Michelle Obama’s style has been described as “classic” and “all-American.”

My style has been described as “mostly from Target, but sometimes Ross, too.”

 

Michelle Obama is married to the thoughtful, progressive leader of the free world.

I once dated a guy who cried every time we went on a date because I “reminded him so much of the nanny who raised him… But she was more than a maid, she was like family. LIKE FAMILY!!”

 

Michelle Obama went to college and got a law degree from Harvard

I went to college and got a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, or as it’s noted on my diploma, a BJ

 

Michelle Obama has met the Queen of England

I have watched many episodes of Downton Abbey

 

Who do people say you look like? Are they also lying? Let us know about it in the comments.

 

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For Mor-eo Oreo:
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Black History Month: A Short Survival Guide

February 6, 2015

I remember it like it was yesterday.

There I was, 8 years old, making some awesome dioramas, sipping Capri Suns neat, and generally just enjoying the crap out of fourth grade.

Slip one of these inside your Trapper Keeper and you were set!

Slip one of these inside your Trapper Keeper and you were set!

To that point in time, I had made it through 6 years of schooling being able to skate under the racial radar, not draw attention to myself, and generally thinking that who I was was OK.

Then Black History Month came along. A separate but equal period of time in which to focus on what really matters — the things that make us different that we must learn to crush into submission.

Despite my years of training, people still sometimes look at me and think “Oh, a black person. Isn’t that nice/vaguely threatening/potentially interesting.” And during this month, those thoughts have the potential to run rampant. Suddenly you go from just another friendly face at the bar to someone who can potentially answer some questions.

Trust me, you do not want to answer those questions.

The more questions you answer about “your experience as a minority,” or “your point of view on current events as a minority,” or “your thoughts their new savory egg and hemp seed muffins as a minority,” the more likely you are to dirty the lens through which people see you. You’ve worked too hard to suddenly turn into someone’s black friend.

“But what do I do?” you’re thinking. “How do I avoid these conversations?” “What if someone comes toward me, MLK biography open and dog-eared, how do I escape?”

With these 5 steps, it’s easier than you think.

Get Your Blinders On

Always remember that their vision is based on movement. This advice works for avoiding dinosaurs, it works for avoiding Regular Black People, and it works for avoiding well-meaning co workers as well.

You know the feeling. You’re sitting in your cube. Happily scrolling through Instagrams for images for your vision board working incredibly hard at helping the company meet its goals when you feel it. The eyes from a few cubes away.

Do not look into them. One second of eye contact and you’re giving a green light to awkward questions.

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If you find the stares difficult to ignore, just pull out some of your polo prep. Grab a wide-brimmed hat or parasol; and if all else fails, just borrow your horse’s blinders. Colonel Beauregard Sable won’t mind at all.

Opera Sonar and Grand Jete Away

There’s a reason dolphins never run into you. Okay, several reasons actually. But one of the big ones is sonar. They send a sound into the world, wait to see what it bounces off on and avoid what they need to. You can do the same.

Keep a cadenza on your lips and listen for its echo. When that bad boy starts to doppler, get away and get away fast. Whether it’s Grand, Russian, or Tour, a jete is just the thing to get you out of the line of sight asap. A glissade will also do in a pinch.

Plus, look how happy you look!

Plus, look how happy you look!

Let Them Correct You

You only have to say “Blooker P. Wooshingbun” once in a conversation for folks to get the message.

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Look The Part

Get your hair done, slap on a shade of foundation a half shade lighter than you, press that Peter Pan collar, stand in the right light… and folks might have to look twice to confirm your ethnic status. In that second it takes them to reconsider you can make your getaway.

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Distract and Deflect

Sometimes, despite doing everything right, someone’s going to ask you something awkward. It’s okay. The good news is you don’t need to make a scene and be all uppity about it. You’re not an RBP after all. The better news is that you also don’t have to answer.

Look, it would probably be helpful to be people’s very own personal ethnic point of reference. But once you admit to identifying with the minority, that’s all folks will be able to see you as. So it’s not about being rude to get out of the convo, it’s about self-preservation.

Here’s your script: “That’s a really good question. I would love to answer it, but I have to finish this piece for a haiku festival this weekend.”

Discussing fencing is also an excellent way to change the topic

Discussing fencing is also an excellent way to change the topic

They’ll tell you that they’ll catch up with you later (or, if they’re feeling like risking it all, that they’ll “holla at you later.”) But chances are, they’ll find a real RBP or the self-awareness to know that it’s not your responsibility to explain anything to them and they’ll forget they ever asked. You won’t forget, but that’s okay. Part of being a good Oreo is learning to love that burning, gnawing feeling.

If you don’t have anything going on this weekend, feel free to use our handy Oreo Excuse Generator.

What do you think about Black History Month? Helpful teaching tool or terrifying social construct? Let us know in the comments! 

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For Mor-eo Oreo:
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If you can’t say something nice, make this face instead

November 5, 2014

I enjoy a good podcast as much as the next person. I like knowing juuuuust enough about a topic to show well at dinner parties. I like getting lost in the conversation of experts. I like being exposed to new ideas or fantastic innovations. I like listening to Neil de Grasse Tyson quietly, but definitely, demand to be the funniest guy in the Cosmos.

What I’m less keen on is hearing the n-word 6 times in the intro to one of my new favorite ‘casts.

You might be thinking: “Well, OreoExperience, Were you listening to a podcast about race?”

No, of course not. I went as Hedy Lamar for Halloween, not “Insane, Reckless Radical.”

You might be thinking: “Well, OreoExperience, are you sure the song wasn’t about a ninja who was moving dope. Or maybe the song was about spring insects like chiggers, or someone pulling a trigger?”

Nope. I googled to confirm. And then apologized to my work computer for making it display such lyrics.

You might be thinking: “Well, OreoExperience. It’s just a word. Sticks and stones and all that. You sound super uptight.”

Of course, I’m uptight! One does not perfect a canter pirouette (or anything else in life for that matter) if not by being a bit unrelenting  and a fan of behaving obsessively.

I might have been less surprised if the podcast in question was about race or hip hop or drugs or the creative use of linguistics in disenfranchised communities. Or if the hosts had been a minority of some sort.

But no, it was 3 white guys sitting around discussing economics and how much people like to buy coffee and chips who decided that their entrance music would drop half a dozen n-bombs.

I might also have been less reactive had I not had a friend with me and just told them how much I love this podcast.

It’s in these moments that Oreo training really kicks in. The only thing more uncomfortable than a person who’s been threatened by having the word nigger shouted at them while spit flew from that same mouth suddenly hearing it in a context that makes zero sense is the white person next to them hoping desperately that this situation doesn’t mean that they’re racist.

In this situation, you may feel the urge to throw your iPhone across the room (and since it’s a 4s, you might be doing yourself a favor) and never listen to this show again. At the very least, your jaw may drop.

Do not let it

An Oreo must keep calm and poised at all times for the sake of those around her. For those times when you don’t feel so calm and poised, please practice the following look. It will get you much farther than debating or protesting or bringing up well-reasoned arguments ever will. And it will keep the people around you emotionally snug as a bug in a well protected rug.

Heard a needlessly offensive song in what was supposed to be an informative show?


Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3
Had a friend tell you that this blackfaced Ray Rice costume they saw was totes hilar?


Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

People tell you they’re shocked when they realize you don’t have a super strong opinion about Dear White People?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

 

Trader Joes out of Diet Hansen’s Ginger Ale?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Did a flying lead change when you should have done a canter half-pass?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3


Realized that you didn’t put your phone in airplane mode for the first 3 days of your trip to London?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Realized that a state in this union passed a law yesterday that forces women to plan for their own rapes and buy rape insurance, otherwise they may not get proper medical care after their trauma?

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Comedian feels entitled to make un-requested slavery/rape fantasy “jokes” about a woman he doesn’t know, then gets all butthurt because people ask him not to publicly bring strangers into his demons.

Photo on 11-5-14 at 2.31 PM #3

Smile through the pain. Everyone around you will appreciate it and the pain you experience from forcing your lips into a happy U-shape will soon eclipse the pain of the “injustice” you “felt.”

At the very least, it’s practice to get you out of accidentally making ABL Face. (I think we all know what that stands for… The Royal “We” of course… Oh, we don’t. OK, sorry, I thought we were… anyhoo, check out the meaning behind ABL Face here)

 

What about you? What’s your “it’s all good” face? Do people buy it? What are you grinning and bearing this week?

If you were going to have entrance music, what would your song be? How uncomfortable would it make people?

Let us know in the comments! 

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For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
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