Month: October 2009

Obama Takes Don’t Ask Don’t Tell From Gays, Gives to Oreos

alg_obama_dont_askWASHINGTON – In a highly anticipated move this weekend, President Barack Obama promised gays in the military that they would soon no longer have to abide by the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy and told Oreos that they would soon be able to.

 

“This is a huge victory,” said Trevor Wilcox, an Oreo from New Hampshire. “It always comes up in conversation that we’re ‘different than other black people.’ Now, the phrase ‘black people’ can’t even enter into the conversation. It’s like hiding in plain sight. We couldn’t be happier.”

 

At the President’s historic speech, some Oreos expressed their condolences toward the gay community.

 

Said Becky Harris, an Oreo from Buffalo, Wyoming: “You would think as a near-Oreo himself, Obama would know better than to ask gays to be openly against the mainstream. I mean, during his campaign, Obama went through great pains to support white frustration at black angst, distance himself from his black pastor and have his wife wear J. Crew.”

 

At the end of the speech, the crowd of thousands cheered Obama’s pledge. However, if the new Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy goes the way of of Obama’s other campaign promises, these changes won’t go into effect until sometime in the 3000s.


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.

gentrification2

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.

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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.

Obama Problems – Education

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan

President Obama agreed with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, this week when he said the American school year should be longer so that more students will get a better chance at a better education.

 

Currently, US 4th graders ranked 11th in reading skills and below Latvia and Kazakhstan in math skills. 

 

Obama suggested that keeping students in school longer will help them become more competitive in the global economy when they are adults.

 

The students most likely to be influenced by these changes are students of color who are on average more likely to be in underperforming schools. 

 

And thus, the students most likely to be harmed by this potential legislation: budding, young Oreos.

 

When I was in school, I didn’t have a President pushing math and science at me. I found those nerdy subjects all by myself. I could have easily paid attention to the football and basketball games that I attended…in my marching band uniform. How fantastic are spats, btw!!!

LITTLE-DORRIT.300

But I snuck my calculus books into the stadium in my hatbox underneath my band cap’s bright white feather plume and I didn’t need an elected official to tell me to kill my social life like this. I did it because I cared enough to do it.

 

And because of those early efforts, I have won the right to call myself an Oreo today.

 

Imagine the tens of students like myself who would no longer be the special, noteworthy darker skinned child who bucked the trend and read on their own volition, could solve a differential equation because they liked it and joining the Academic Decathlon team because the bullying hurt so good.

 

If all students are encouraged–and especially by a President of half color–then my work would be in vain, my efforts would be for naught, and my Dickens Fair Society would no longer be a color-free, safe haven.

 

C’mon, Mr. President. You know you love Little Dorrit reenactments. Don’t take those away from me. 

 

 

An Oreo Conducts Herself Accordingly

200332868-001The Oreo Experience congratulates Boston Symphony Orchestra harp player, Ann Hobson Pilot, for doing her part to help others keep their own Oreo Experiences alive and well.

This week, Hobson Pilot announced her retirement from the orchestra. Pilot was the first African American principal in the BSO and upon her retirement, leaves only one African American musician in the orchestra. 

The real tragedy: That she didn’t so this sooner.

Hobson Pilot had her time in the Oreo sun. When second musician of color, cellist Owen Young came along, it must have looked like he was falling in line with something ethnic people might do rather than working to separate himself from the pack. The balance was thrown off and I can’t imagine the looks of disdain and scores of lowered expectations Young had to endure when it was learned that he was not the only one of his kind in the group.

I can only imagine the fear and frustration obvious Oreo Young must of have felt when after selecting a classical instrument to study, paying for thousands of hours of private lessons and foregoing events like dating, he arrives to his first day of rehearsal to see that he is too late to take the Oreo position in the orchestra. 

Two other of colors came, and rightfully, left theHarpist Ann Hobson Pilot orchestra during Hobson Pilot’s reign. 

Thank you, Hobson Pilot, the BSO, and the public education system for keeping the balance of power in such an elite organization exactly the way it should be.