Yes this happened

Awkward Conversations

This week, I’ve  had three interesting Oreo-related conversations. One of them really rubbed the wrong way. Transcripts are below. Unless otherwise indicated (or me), all speakers are white…natch. 🙂

Monday – during lunch

OreoExperience: “How was the college tour this weekend?”

Friend: “So, he decided against San Diego State. And I’m so glad! When we went there, there were so many Asians! I mean, who is my son going to hang out with when there’s nothing but Asians in the engineering school?”

I mean, just look how awkward this guy is. I would hate to be stuck in a library -- or on a time jumping island -- with this hottie, er...Asian

Tuesday – at the gym

Friend: “I just talked to Manuel–the guy who cleans the cafe up here–for the first time.”

OreoExperience: “Cool. He seems really nice.”

Friend: “He is. He’s been married for 15 years and he has a son.”

OreoExperience: “Lovely.”

Friend: “Yeah. And I was especially glad to hear that he only had one son. I mean, Mexicans have such big families and he obviously can’t support them working at that job.”

With the right conversation, this is not the only place you'll feel pain after spin class.

Wednesday – outside reception at work

OreoExperience: Thanks for bringing the release forms, I’ll get them to the right person for you.

NewWriter: Thanks, I appreciate it.

OreoExperience: Are you new to LA or have you been here a while?

NewWriter: Just a couple of years. I was doing production before and only recently started writing.

OreoExperience: Cool. Well good luck! It’s a tough business, but it’s pretty awesome.

NewWriter: Yeah. I have this one friend who’s Nigerian. And he told me about how when he goes in for meetings, people really intimidated by him and expect him to be like stereotypically black or something. Like he writes regular comedy, but they expect him to sound like Tyler Perry.

How. Dare. He?? My week was going so well!! 😦

Friend had the decency to not notice that I was also brown (on the outside) and therefore might be thrown off by stories filled with stereotypetastic overtones. She didn’t think for one second that while she was sad that her son would be the “only one” of him at his new school, that I might have little sympathy for that because I have pretty much been the “only one” in every school I’ve ever been to ever. shhh, black! YAY!! My Oreo work has paid off!! Bonus points because the disdain she intimated that she had for minorities reminded why I’m trying to hard to escape my ethnicity in the first place.

She got to dump about annoying things that people of color do; I got to validate my lifestyle choice. Everyone wins!

So thanks, NewWriter, for bursting my Oreo bubble. By attempting to compassionately connect with me about the bummers of racism, you shined a great big ol’ spotlight on my skin color that I have been (ironically) trying to keep in the dark for so long.

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What was the last thing that someone said to you that rubbed you the wrong way–race related or otherwise. Bonus points if it was something from this blog. 🙂 Either way, let us know in the comments!

For more on Tyler Perry perils, click here.

For things people didn’t go ahead and say that I so wish they had, click here.

For conversations people wish TheOreoExperience  understood better, click here.

To see how to get started with your own Oreo lifestyle, click here.

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For Mor-eo! Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

This Is Also Why We Can’t Go To Nice Places

The evening started off so well! An exclusive invitation to a private party in the Beverly Hills, a private valet company, a shuttle ride up to the front door because the driveway was just that long, open bar, truffle oil…an Oreo’s dream! I didn’t check the list, but I was pretty sure I would be the only or one of just a few of colors there.

Just getting in the door without wearing the catering company’s uniform was probably proof enough of my Oreo-ness, but in a discussion about pets wearing clothes, I dropped a few lines about how my horse was very upset to be costumed as a bee for Halloween just for good measure.

Half an hour in and I hadn’t seen another person of color, so I knew I was in good company…

…and then we were sat at our tables.

It was all place-card seating like at a wedding. I saw my name calligraphied on a card and walked toward it and saw a chilling sight.

Four other of colors walking toward the same table. And not to bus the plates or refill the water.

As we all sat down, I looked around the room.

Apparently, I was sat at the black table.

Another black table.

There were two other black people at the party and they were sat at tables where they were the only ones. But here was I, surrounded by of colors. Didn’t they know who I was?? I was told that we were sat at tables where we would likely have things in common with the other people. What, I wonder, might the five of us be expected to connect over?

To reclaim my standing as a good self-loathing Oreo, I made mention of how much I admired a painting on the other side of the room. It was a cheerful, brightly colored depiction of black people picking cotton. Saying that I liked this piece made it pretty clear that I wasn’t a regular black person as an RBP might ask the question of WTF was going through that rich white woman’s mind when she decided that she needed to buy a cartoon of slaves and hang it in her dining room.

But before I could form that question, I was distracted by the painting that hung on the wall just beside me–over the black table.

It was a painting of a watermelon slice.

Sigh. Sometimes even the best Oreo is lost for words.

And I should have known…I’ve gotten in trouble for not checking the roster before. I’ve also been duped by fancy parties before. Hmm, things to do for the new year—create Oreo Party Survival Guide…or maybe just get comfortable in my own skin…nah, we’ll go with the survival guide!

Luckily, there was enough fois gras and Scandinavian holiday pictures to share to distract me until it was time to take the shuttle back down to my car where I reflected not on how oddly placed the pictures were…but more on how being rich looks really effing awesome. A sidewalk to front door shuttle? Really? C’mon!

I can almost see their house from here!

What kind of party would you throw with unlimited funds? Do you have any art at home that might be suspect? Let us know in the comments.

Hey look, it’s me throwing a Christmas party!…just in case you haven’t had the chance to see it yet. 😉

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
And subscribe on youtube! (Check the youtube page for the brand new music video “White (on the inside) Christmas!”
Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

Aunt Jemima IS Sweet; Butterworth is Shunned

Not only does she make breakfast treats even more delicious, she totally reminds me why I work so hard to be an Oreo!

Wow  if that’s what RBP look like, no thank you! And if that caption (which read: “Aunt Jemima, you is so sweet”)  is how they talk…ugh! not for me!!

A big thanks to Tennessee Republican Terri Lynn Weaver for posting this pic on her facebook page shortly after Halloween of her (on the right) posing with her pastor.

Also, thanks to the folks at Sociological Images where I found this video of coverage of the photo. Click the link for the video.

There are so many things to love about that video and this story that I don’t even know where to start. So many good tips and reminders for Oreos! Here’s some of what I learned from this clip.

1. When lawmakers and men of God decide together that dressing up in blackface is okay, how can you possibly argue with that?

2. The use of the phrase “some of my best friends are black”–still a totally valid argument. In the video, Weaver asserts that “she is the least racist person because SOMBFAB.”

3. When doing a story about a contentious race issue, be sure to put your of color reporters on it and have only a passing quote from someone who’s a non-color so that there’s no doubt that this story is pretty much just for black folks and doesn’t affect anyone, except maybe the poor lawmaker who clearly doesn’t understand that facebook is a wildly public space accessible by anyone with a computer or cell phone.

I wonder if we can get that Aunt Jemima get up in a sexy version for the ladies!

I also wonder what other costumes Pastor Jemima threw out in favor of the one he picked. I mean, if he were going for syrup ladies, he could have done Ms. Butterworth and not had to spend so much money on shoe polish.

 

For more fun with facebook, check out this skin whitening app, this invitation to a “Compton Cookout,” and this charming message I got in my inbox.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oreo Origins: College

You learn a lot on a college campus. A lot.

A story coming out of Harvard Law School fondly reminded me of one of an experience I had when visiting colleges during my senior year of high school.

The Harvard story goes like this: A promising young law student says to her friends via email:

“I just hate leaving things where I feel I misstated my position,’’ Grace wrote. “I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African-Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent.’’

Way to go law student for applying the logic you have bee learning in school to a major social issue! With so few of color students (let’s hear it for my Ivy League Oreos!) pahking their cahs in Hahvahd’s garahge, it only stands to reason that it’s because your RBP is well, just not as bright.

And that reminded me of an inspiring day on the campus of a school I was considering attending.

The year I graduated from college, my home state repealed any sort of affirmative action practices in schools. What this one college took that to mean is that they shouldn’t allow any minority students to attend their weekly summer sleepover recruiting events. So they pulled the minority students out of the early scheduled sessions and put us all into to one camp session.

Not cool. Because there we were. About 200 Oreos and Coconuts at the tops of our class with our Bad Religion tapes and our composition notebooks full of angsty poetry, forced to hang out with a bunch of other of colors.

And then this doozie at lunch:

College (aged) counselor: You guys are so lucky to be minorities.

Minorities: Oh?

C(A)C: Yeah! You guys can get into school and not have to be smart or anything!

I don’t know what became of that girl, but she left an impression that day. I resolved to stand up for who I was.

A proud Oreo.

The conversation shifted to field hockey and John Hughes and I’m pretty sure that by the end of that chat, she was wondering if we were really minorities or not.

For proof of how much fun it is to be a minority on a college campus, check out this party, this club and go back to school with a little pop quiz.