Month: March 2010

Oreo Advice – Turn Slave Labor into a Sexy Pasttime

Picking cotton was a tedious and painful job endured by millions of slaves in the US for profit they never got to see.

What better then to say that you enjoy as an Oreo! Few things will throw people off your ethnic scent like appreciating a task that scarred the hands and lives of your ancestors!

Thanks, then to Cotton USA for making that conversation piece more possible.

(And thanks to friends at Sociological Images for the tip and link!)

A good romp through a prickly, spiky cotton field with basket in hand has the potential to remind an of color of a terrible institution and possibly illicit a sense of allegiance to one’s race.

But not for a well-trained Oreo. Instead, that same romp will bring feelings of relaxation and ease as you help make others more comfortable with a country’s sketchy past.

Bonus points if you include in your discussion that with the advent of technology like the cotton gin, picking and separating cotton wasn’t all that difficult in the end.

Who doesn't like to work outdoors?

Want more Oreo Advice? Check out: More Good Oreo Conversation Starters, Great Moments in Advertising, and When Being Black Can Actually Help You Out

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Give This Kid a Creamy!

For new readers, no, a Creamy is not a terribly veiled innuendo. It’s something so much better than that.

A Creamy is an honorary award given out to those who embody the true Oreo spirit. Creamies may be acquired for impressive acts of deflection, mis-direction and public self-loathing.

Today’s Creamy should be super-sized because I don’t think I’m going too far when I say the recipient is a genius!!!

So, you may remember the Compton Cookout party that was brilliantly advertised on facebook and organized by college students in San Diego. Well, shortly after that, a noose appeared hanging in the University of San Diego library.  The community was all a-tizzy and in very un-Oreo fashion,  many RBP students confirmed assumptions and protested these events.

Well, imagine my pride when I learned that whoever put up said noose must have been a TOE reader.

While confidentiality is keeping the prankster’s true identity a secret, an apology printed on the front page of the UCSD student newspaper included this:

“As a minority student who sympathizes with the students that have been affected by the recent issues on campus, I am distraught to know that I have unintentionally added to their pain,” the student wrote. She was suspended Friday and remains under investigation for a possible hate crime.

What a brilliant move!!! Like those guys in DC with the rifles and the serial killing, no one saw this coming from an of color. A black student being under investigation for a potential hate crime…against black students!! Check and Mate!

The woman wrote that she and friends had been playing with the rope early last week, making a lasso and then a noose.

She said that she took it to the library Tuesday, strung it above a desk and forgot about it.

Well orchestrated from the go! This student could have made any number of things with that rope…cat’s cradle, tea cozy, formal bridle. But the choice was  a noose! This shows great planning (do you know how to tie a proper noose on short notice?) and wonderful commitment to the cause. I’m all for knowing the punchlines of some of color of color jokes, but creating a physical representation of specific and gruesome crimes…and then “forgetting” that you left it behind…Fan.Tas.Tic.

Congratulations you, whoever you are. If you’re in Los Angeles, look me up. I’ve got all this freshly pressed ivory colored linen and a sewing project that I think might be right up your alley.

Studios Continue to “Help” Us Out

So, this week, a man of color helmed the passing of one of the most influential pieces of legislation in our lifetimes.

But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that your average of colors are able to do much on their own. And remembering that fact is crucial to sticking to the Oreo lifestyle.

The Oreo Experience is therefore very excited to see casting news for “The Help.” The Help is based on the book of the same name by author Kathryn Stockett. In this book, a white woman comes home from college to find that her beloved maid is gone. She decides to look into the matter and after losing her precious possession, she figures out that racism is a bummer and then gives some RBP (other maids) the ability to break their chains.

Even better is who’s attached!!!

  • Author Kathryn Stockett: White.
  • Writer/Director Tate Taylor: Probably has freckles.
  • Likely starring (and discussed long before the two major RBP actresses who, despite TOE’s suggestion, must be in the film) Emma Stone: Totally sunburns.
  • Producer Christopher Columbus: I know, it’s too good to be true.

Who better to tell the story of some black women suffering from the oppression of a firmly entrenched class and race system? Just like Spielberg’s MLK flick, a core production team of this shade removes any hint of uncomfy verisimillitude from the whole process. Because movies should be fun, not awkward!

Making a movie about the lives of oppressed black women? Meet your dream team!!!

Novelist Kathryn Stockett

Lead Actress Emma Stone

Writer/Director Tate Taylor - dreamy...and creamy!

Producer Chris Columbus

Can’t wait to see what they’ll tackle next! Harriet Tubman biopic, anyone??

See also: MLK has a dream….that white people will make his movie, other movies The Oreo Experience loves and how inspiring movie trailers can be.

The Benefits of Blending in: You Get to Have Kids!

Gays: In case you were thinking that the dismantling of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was a good idea in that will allow more people to feel free to express themselves without fear of reproach in their chosen career, think about the consequences! If you all of a sudden suggest that people should stop repressing themselves just for the comfort of those around them, be ready to be ridiculed. If you aren’t holding it in with all of your might…you know what you might turn into.

Consider this: The Florida Family Planning Council, a conservative Christian group in Jeb’s state, recently released a newsletter to its followers featuring this picture.

Lesbians, per the FFPC

The picture was printed with a story about an evil judge who ripped some poor, defenseless orphan out of the potentially endless and often dangerous cycle of foster care and handed it over to lesbians to be loved and raised in a stable and nurturing environment. The caption in the newsletter identified one of the people pictured as one of the new moms and sent ripples of fear through the folks who read the newsletter.

After all, how dare a judge put a child in a home with ladies who are not only gay, but, you know, really really gay.

Turns out, however, that this is a picture of the actual couple:

Actual lesbians. Actually.

The FFPC asserted that they accidentally ran the wrong photo and issued a quasi-pology in the comments section of a Florida reporter’s column.

The FFPC is an organization that successfully lobbies local governments for changes to laws. This is a group made up of educated, professional people including many lawyers and doctors. They write articles, they draft letters, they blog and design web pages. They have been around for eight years. They know a whole lot about the life cycle of a fetus and have memorized tomes of religious text. Per all the photos on their website, they know how to exclude people of color from an organization in a state with a minority population of almost 40 percent– 6 percentage points higher than the rest of the country.  They know the ins and outs of the judicial system and can organize a great big gathering in a pinch. So, really, they don’t have the know-how to check a photo for accuracy?

Of course they do! Which makes the fact that they chose not to even more genius! They knew that lesbians who looked like “lesbians” were way scarier than you know….lesbians. Especially when you consider that the President of the organization said that none of his readers complained about the printing error.

So, ladies, don’t run the risk of that bob being too short.  Comfort the rest of the world by growing that hair out and buying shirts that minimize those shoulders. We can go get your highlights while I touch up my relaxer!

America’s Next Top Oreo?

This cycle of Tyra Bank’s self-focused extravaganza, America’s Next Top Ty–er Model, started with a wonderful, wonderful surprise. Contestant Simone proudly announced that she was an Oreo!

When she said this, Tyra looked skeptical, and it seemed doubtful that Simone would make it through the next two rounds of elimination.

But a half-shaved head later and Simone is still with us and now can proudly walk the runway…right into our self loathing hearts.

BUT, is Simone’s claim to Oreodom true? As you know, we have high standards at The Oreo Experience and it’s worth taking a moment to see if Simone measures up.

So far, the Oreos have it!

We’ll be watching her progress and rooting for her all the way. And I’m not saying there’s a hand-stitched caplet with her name on it if she wins. But I’m not not saying that, either.

What do you think? Does our little Oreo have a chance? Did they do right by that one girls’ eyebrows? Do you think Simone would accept my Katamari challenge? Let us know what you think.

Don’t Read This Book Late at Night

I was as freaked out by this as I was at Paranormal Activity and when my Arabian jumped a 5-foot square oxer for the first time.

Author Damili Ayo brings us her book, “Obamistan! Land Without Racism.”

A peek inside, shows us gems like this:

…if you are a drug dealer of color and are ready to move on to other work opportunities, you should check out the MBA program at your local university. Having already proven your entrepreneurial skills, you will be given a full scholarship. You will probably drop out before you complete your degree, but as in the tradition of Harvard Business School, that will be because you have been offered a fantastic position at a successful firm. This will leave lots of job openings in your former field for white drug dealers to get their start. However, if you are a white drug dealer, you will need to take more serious precautions against arrest. Before, you could just hide behind a copy of the New York Times and watch as the cops cuffed and booked the brown-skinned man across the street. But your skin no longer serves as your get-out-of-jail-free card. You won’t get less time or lighter sentences either. Basically, the free ride on your white horse is over.

At first blush, such a world may seem like a good thing. But for us Oreos, it most certainly is not.

Without double and difficult standards, how do we know what we’re working toward? If my natural nappy roots were suddenly the norm the nation over, how do I explain to my lungs, the years of having them slowly eroded from breathing sodium hydroxide fumes. What happens when my White People to the Rescue loses relevance because we no longer need them to save us? I have loathed so many things about me for so long…would I even be able to learn to love? The standards create the yardstick and scales I used to measure and record my BMI: Black Meting Index. With nothing to be better than, I would be nothing more than an RBP.

Thankfully, Ayo’s story is just that, a story.

Has anyone else read it? And did you have the same night terrors? Let us know what you thought.

Follow the Rules and Make it Easier for Journalists

I would have posted this picture even if it didn't go along with the story.

One of the most important rules of being an Oreo is not to congregate with other Oreos. Doing this is obviously dangerous for an Oreo because it may cause you to start relating to other of colors on about things related to being of color and then your years of repression are as ruined as a salmon frittata cooked at 375 instead of 350.

But it also puts journalists in a sticky situation.

How are sports writers supposed to write about blackletes in typically anglo sports if they can’t call them “The Tiger Woods” of that sport?

Writer Richard Morgan writes about this phenomenon in his article: “The Black Athletes Who Don’t Play Basketball.”

In 2005, The New York Times noted that Kyle Harrison and John Walker were both considered simultaneous Tiger Woodses of lacrosse — and that wasn’t even counting the other two black lacrosse players, John Christmas and Harry Alford, who were layered onto the story as icing.

Adolfo Cambiaso is the “Tiger Woods of polo,” according to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel and according to Vanity Fair in May of 2009. Unfortunately, Jabarr Rosser, then a 10th grader in West Philly, was already named as a potential Tiger Woods of polo in the Philadelphia City Paper, way back in 2001.

If only Kyle, John, John or Harry had paid attention to the rules, they wouldn’t have put the NYT and Vanity Fair in such an awkward position. And we’ve seen how much VF wants to get imagery right.

Morgan continues:

Phil Ivey is, by all accounts, the Tiger Woods of poker. Although, given that he earned $17 million in three days of playing–and another $7 million in online poker–he doesn’t need endorsement deals the way Woods does.

Kelly Slater, the part-Syrian Australian, is or is not the Tiger Woods of surfing, depending on who you ask.

Jeremy Sonnenfeld was, for a while, the Tiger Woods of bowling—due to his age, not his ethnicity. England’s Robert Fulford was the Tiger Woods of croquet, again due to his age—though he was in competition for this title with Jacques Fournier. Same with the white Englishman Phil Taylor, the Tiger Woods of darts (and, by The Independent‘s measure, “Britain’s greatest living sportsman”). Although that was 2001, well before The Independent got around to writing about Lewis Hamilton, the young black Briton who is the Tiger Woods of F1 racing.

But if you are going to start crowding a non power sport with more than one person of color in it, be sure to do it correctly. Morgan describes how sports writers prefer to write about these anomalies.

Sports journalism tends to be celebratory, regardless of who is the focus of the story. With black athletes in atypical sports, stories rely on showcasing the player’s rare talent and fierce determination that have blessed him or her with the power to overcome whatever obstacles have kept blacks from joining, say, fencing teams in the past. It’s a very Billy Elliot version of The Blind Side.

But, as with The Blind Side, the story often becomes about how it takes a village of white people to transform a troubled kid by means of civilizing leisure. There’s the white adoptive family, the white coaches, the white private-school teachers, the white personal tutor.

See! While a high profile career in sports requires mostly insanely intense focus, determination, strength and a high pain tolerance, there is also a secret ingredient…if you’re of color. I don’t think we need to watch the video again to remind us of what that secret ingredient is, but just in case you wanna, here it is.

Aaaand, in case you’re worried that all these Tiger Woods of whatevers will make it more difficult for you to stand out at your next lacrosse meet or equestrian trial, don’t worry, Chris Rock is here to remind us of things of colors shouldn’t do…so that we Oreos can proudly go forth, do them and confuse!

His upcoming movie, The First Star, tells the story of people being baffled by black skiiers. Much the way Essence was, Morgan says a few years back.

in 1989, Essence ran a story on the National Brotherhood of Skiers; they marveled at “the sight of all those sisters and brothers at the summit, out there on the mountain at the crack of dawn, even after partying all night.

Oh, right…Essence is a black magazine…don’t worry. I only learned that in research for this post.