Catch 22s – What’s an Oreo to Do?

210160_f520I just finished taking the Stuff White People Like Test again. It’s part of my regular Oreo maintenance and something I would recommend all Oreo hopefuls do to track their progress.(NOTE: The SWPL list online varies slightly from the test in the book–which, of course, is a proud part of my home library).

Don’t worry if you start out with an initial score in the 60s or 70s, you’re still half way there. Not all of us can get a 97% like yours truly.

And some anglo-tastic things do take getting used to. When I first started eating expensive sandwiches, for example, my common sense really wanted to kick in and tell me to save my $17 dollars for something more impressive than chicken salad on a brioche. But I was using the word ‘brioche’ in a sentence, so I kind of had to go for it.


Likewise, gentrification has its obvious downsides and I do feel bad when I see the trail of tears that is the working class hoping that the move inland will treat them better. But how else am I going to ensure that I stand out in the neighborhood?

Some things, however, were just easy. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy non-motorized boating, Portland, Oregon or trying too hard. 

The full list of Stuff White People Like serves as a very handy guide for Oreos, but there are some things on the list that cause problems. For example, White People like The Wire, Dave Chappelle and…it hurts to type this…having black friends. 

So what’s an Oreo to do? If a person of color says that they like The Wire, Dave Chappelle or having black friends, they are considered typical, crass and unfriendly, respectively. The ruling class expects us to like these things because they look like us. So in order to maintain Oreodom, we have to lose any affinity for them. But in order to achieve 100% on the SWPL test, one has to admit to liking them.

The dilemma makes your head hurt almost as much as relaxer cream stings the scalp.

The truth is that it’s precisely these kinds of things that are keeping me from scoring 100% on the test.


The best I can offer you is this: When discussing these subject,  choose your words carefully, and tread lightly. Very lightly–outside and inside. And when in doubt, pull our your Criteron Collection edition of Song of the South and a David Sedaris story and you’ll win them back.

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