african american

Conversations with WhitePal – March Madness

All transcriptions of WhitePal conversations accurately reflect actual conversations between me and people who do their best to tolerate having to explain things to me.

INT. OFFICE – THE OREO EXPERIENCE’S DESK – DAY

WHITEPAL, 20s, giggles as she finishes a conversation with TOE.

TOE: Awww, he sounds fun!

WP: Yeah, he’s a cool guy.

TOE: And he’s a real basketball player? Like he’s famous?

WP: Yeah, people know who he is.

TOE: Cool! When are you seeing him again?

WP: He asked if he could see me after the game tonight. I told him I would, but only if he got a Triple Double.

TOE: …. Is that something on In N Out’s secret menu?

Everything's a little better animal style.
(source)

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Still not totally sure what a triple double is, so if someone could enlighten me, that’d be baller! (That use of a basketball-derived slang word’s gotta count for something, right?)

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And the above is so not the only time I’ve had to reach for an urban dictionary….

There was the time me and a WP disagreed over what a toaster was.

And the time we talked politics.

The night we dished about going to karaoke.

That embarrassing experience at an engagement party.

And something about hair products.

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DOs and DON’Ts For Throwing a Blackface Party

Pretty much every year, a group of college students decides it’ll be a swell idea to host a party where people dress up like minorities by, among other things, donning some good ol’ fashioned blackface and sometimes a grill or two.

Just a reminder that these people were all making active choices.

Just today, we learned that sorority sisters at The University of Southern Mississippi were put on probation after they decided to dress up like the Huxtables. (Argyle and wigs were not enough, natch, they had to go whole hog).

Earlier this year, students at Université de Montréal donned blackface for a presentation in their business class.

C’est manifique, messieurs!

Last year, students at the University of California, San Diego hosted a “Compton Cookout.” The invitation to that party went a little something like this:

“February marks a very important month in American society. No, i’m not referring to Valentines day or Presidents day. I’m talking about Black History month. As a time to celebrate and in hopes of showing respect, the Regents community cordially invites you to its very first Compton Cookout.

For guys: I expect all males to be rockin Jersey’s, stuntin’ up in ya White T (XXXL smallest size acceptable), anything FUBU, Ecko, Rockawear, High/low top Jordans or Dunks, Chains, Jorts, stunner shades, 59 50 hats, Tats, etc.

For girls: For those of you who are unfamiliar with ghetto chicks-Ghetto chicks usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes – they consider Baby Phat to be high class and expensive couture. They also have short, nappy hair, and usually wear cheap weave, usually in bad colors, such as purple or bright red. They look and act similar to Shenaynay, and speak very loudly, while rolling their neck, and waving their finger in your face. Ghetto chicks have a very limited vocabulary, and attempt to make up for it, by forming new words, such as “constipulated”, or simply cursing persistently, or using other types of vulgarities, and making noises, such as “hmmg!”, or smacking their lips, and making other angry noises,grunts, and faces. The objective is for all you lovely ladies to look, act, and essentially take on these “respectable” qualities throughout the day.

A few years ago, word got out that students at Tarleton State University, University of Connecticut School of Law, Clemson University and the University of Arizona all threw ghetto parties on Martin Luther King Day.

Happy MLK Day, everyone!

It seems that like prostitution and casual drug use, these peccadilloes are here to stay. So instead of trying to legislate morality into students, maybe we should take a cue from the Libertarians and give everyone some guidelines on how to party like it’s 1849 without risk of disciplinary action. It’s like learning how to have safe sex…assuming that by “sex,” we mean “really terrible party ideas that the future leaders of our country maybe shouldn’t be coming up with.”

So here are some Dos and Don’ts for your next ghettotastic shindig.

  • DON’T:  have a blackface party at a school with a black dean. I’m looking at you Mississippi!
  • DO: Keep a tight grip on the invite list. Some people are really sensitive and will report your party to school officials because they’re too busy not taking that stick out of their ass. So don’t let word get around that you’re hosting.
  • DON’T: Post pictures on facebook, Twitter, tumblr…actually, don’t take any pictures at all. Remember that person with the stick where the sun don’t shine? Well those same humorless aholes will likely send those pictures to someone who has the ability to make your life more difficult. So take the higher road and don’t give them the ammunition they need.
  • DO: not ask yourself why this is the theme you chose for your party in the first place. You have way too much to do to spend time thinking about your decisions may affect other people. Besides, don’t they see how ridiculously clever and ironic you are!  Ugh! They’ve probably never heard of Middling Banana Sunshine Patrol either and MDSP is like the best thing to happen to house music since…you know what, never mind, you have to be really in the scene to even get what they’re doing.
  • DON’T: make friends with RBP..like ever. They will straight leave your ass (and maybe cut you) when they see the one picture you couldn’t help but take. They may also report you to the dean. Oreos are probably pretty safe as they won’t bother showing you the silent tears they’re crying on the inside.
  • DO: remember to wash off the shoe polish before class in the morning! Showing up with those streaks on your face will be as awkward as it was waking up to that person in your bed who was soooo not cute now that you’re sober. Ick!!
  • DON’T: bother maybe doing a quick Google search to see why blackface is so fucking offensive, it’ll just bring down the mood of the room – total party foul!

Happy Partying!!!

What other tips do have for getting away with pretty offensive behavior? What do you think of these parties? Have you ever been? When’s your next one? Can I come? Let us know in the comments!

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8 Other Awesome Things About Slavery

She knows what's up with black people.

This weekend, Michele Bachmann caught some very unwarranted flack for trying to promote marriage and family unity.

Bachmann, along with other Republican politicos, signed a pledge written by activist group  The Family Leader that said this:

“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.

The goal of The Family Group and it’s completely inoffensive pledge is ostensibly to push America back to a more family friendly environment by cracking down on abortion, getting rid of porn and by getting all nostalgic for the early days of this country.

Now, some people might say that instead of bringing various sides of an argument together, invoking the institution slavery in a discussion about anything other than actual slavery only serves to polarize anyone who might be reading that document or listening to someone talk about it.

Those people are lame and boring!

Especially because as Bachmann, et al, pointed out, slavery did some real good for black folks! I don’t know if they need another speech writer or document typer-upper. But here are eight other kickass things about slavery that we might want to work into some legal documents!

1. Fitness plans. According to some stats I hastily Googled, almost half of all black people are obese. This article says that in 42 states, more than a third of the black people there are obese. And in 15 states, that number goes up to 40%. I imagine that means that those black people are so fat that…they probably have a number of health problems and are uncomfortable in tiny seats or skinny jeans.

But back in slave days, blacks were super fit!! You can’t have a high body fat percentage when you’re doing hard labor all day. Not only did they get some cardio in when they were running from dogs and bullets and things, but they also got some fantastic strength training by carrying around full bushels of crops.

Not fat.

2. Better names. So there were those studies a while back that showed how identical resumes were handled much differently by recruiters depending on whether they had regular American sounding names or super ethno-black ones.

It was much the same in the good ol’ days. Slaves would come over with these hard to pronounce names and were promptly given new ones. They didn’t have to think about it or sift through dozens of baby name books to figure out if they were more a Madison or a Brighton or a Westley. Slave owners did the work for them! You came into the plantation an Mbutu and left a Marvin. Easy peasy!

3. Zero Percent Unemployment. It’s not new that The Great Recession has been hard on everyone. But statistics show that it’s been super hard on blacks. Whereas the national unemployment rate hovers near 9%, it’s up near 16% for black people and even slightly higher for black men.

That’s so not how it was when slavery was en vogue. You’d be hard pressed to find a black person out of work then. And sure, they didn’t get paid and had to work ridiculous hours, but you know how good an internship looks on a resume!

4. Travel Benefits. Trying to work overseas can be a nightmare! There’s Visas and sponsors to worry about. You have to figure out how to get your paychecks converted into the right currency for whatever bank you’re using. You can’t lose your passport.

But slaves got to work overseas and had someone else take care of all the particulars! All slaves had to do was mind their own business in Africa. Then, suddenly, they got a surprise trip to a whole new world with lodging already taken care of!

Ugh! It's as crowded as coach, am I right!

5. Easier Investment Portfolios. Have you looked at a paycheck recently? They’re so confusing! There’s the gross pay and allowances and all kinds of taxes. And don’t get me started on how complicated it can be to have a 401K! You have to figure out who your dependents are and how much of what stock you want to invest in. And if your company does matching funds, what’s the tipping point when you start taking out too much…it just goes on and on and on…

But slaves didn’t have to worry about all that. No pay meant no financial headache! No one likes doing their taxes and slaves got away with never having to.

6. Lots of Time Outdoors. How tiring is it, being cooped up in an office all day! Fluorescent lights and distant windows and office chairs that never seem to be adjusted quite right. It feels so good to just get away at the weekend. Go outside, take a hike or even just a walk around the neighborhood. Camping is a huge industry–people love it! And those lucky lucky slaves got to be outside all the time!! And they didn’t even have to wear sunscreen!

7. Low-Sugar Diet. We’ve already talked about the obesity rates among blacks, but diabetes is sky-high, too. Diabetes rates are twice as high among African-Americans than it is in whites. And they’re more likely to have to have limbs amputated. No. Thank. You.

It’s hard to over do it on the sugar when you’re eating scraps of meat and bread and so slaves totally had it good when it came to controlling carbs! It’s soooooo hard to say no to dessert. But slaves never got the chance to say yes! How easy would it be to be healthy without all that nasty temptation everywhere!

8. Gated Community Living. Today, neighborhoods where lots of black live are all scary like Compton or Oakland or The South. But as slaves, blacks got to live in super secure, fenced-in areas that would be totes out of their price range today. Jealous!

I mean, no, they didn't live in the big house, but they got to live behind the gate. Which is more than I'm doing, tell you that!

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Trailer Trashing – Transformers, Larry Crowne, Monte Carlo

Hey, look at that — free time! Quite the concept this “free time” business. I should look into it more often.

I should also get caught up on my pop culture.

Movies are a great way to solidify your Oreo experience. The repeated images of certain types of people doing certain types of things really reminds us who we are and who we can…or probably cannot be.

So let’s see what’s opening this weekend!

Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Robots do battle in what is clearly an intricate and well-developed plot… Is it weird that I had a huge crush on StarScream when I was a kid?

Stuff White People Get to Do in This Movie – Be astronauts, threaten Shia LeBoeuf, lie to robots, wear Kevlar, replace Megan Fox while still keeping eyes wide and mouth always slightly ajar, para-glide, seriously–in every shot she’s in in the trailer, the girl’s mouth is open and she’s not speaking what is up with that?, be both able-bodied and sit in a wheelchair, save the day.

Stuff Not-White People Get to Do in This Movie – wear Kevlar and deliver bad news.

Is there a medical reason why her lips can't touch? Should we start a fund?

Larry Crowne – Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks and Magical Black People, oh my!

Stuff White People Get to Do in This Movie – enjoy a simple, but oddly fulfilling job, be employee of the month, hold the power position(s) at a large company, be a Dean/Principal figure, be adorably bumbling, dislike their challenging, but unfulfilling job, enjoy ice irresponsibly, utilize public transportation, ride scooters safely, change the tough chick’s heart despite her best attempts, demonstrate hilariously uncharacteristic sexual abandon, enjoy love with a hint of embarrassment.

Stuff Not-White People Get to Do in This Movie – marvel at the ability of the white guy to be employee of the month, deliver sassy advice to the white guy, help the white guy realize his fashion and romantic potential, be made an example of, be unnecessarily jealous.

They're so in love and they don't even know it!!

Monte Carlo – Wait, what? Movies can cast quasi-minorities in lead roles in films that have nothing to do with them dressing in drag?

I know, TP, I was confused and hurt, too.

And instead of magical black people, there are two magical white people? AND the main character with a Mexican Spanish last night is pretending to be a white princess?? I can only hope that one day my Oreoness takes me to a place where I can pretend to be  a white princess. AND Catherine Tate is in this movie?!?!? Cue Oreo explosion in 3…2…1…

Granted, the feminist implications of this film are pretty terrible (“teehee, despite all my hard work and brains, i just want castles and jewels and pretty and boys and boys!”), but that’s for a whole different blog. I’m still thrilled about the CT cameo. I ain’t even bovvered to pay money for that!

 

For more talk about trailers, click here and let us know what you think!

In case you caught that Star Scream story and want more about TOE’s dubious crushes, check out this story!

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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!

 

Karaoke Fai….WIN!

I went to karaoke with a trusted member of my blanchetourage last night (Need a definition of “Blanchetourag”? Click here!). Wednesday nights at Sardos aren’t incredibly busy, so I was excited for the opportunity to sing more than once and to whip out some new showtunes. My friend said we were meeting some people there, and I was excited to meet them, too.

We got to the bar and I almost walked right out. The “people” we were “supposed” to “meet” were both black.

WTF?

Every time you trick an Oreo, a baby loses its wings

He knows me and that per the Oreo code it is so not okay to hang out en masse with other black people.

My friend mentioned that one of the girls was in a recent revival of RENT and my hackles went down a bit. The musical RENT does feature a lot of black people in it, but it’s very theatery and it’s Broadway and OhMyGodAdamPascalTouchedMeEnce!!! so I tossed her some Oreo points and let it go.

Dear Adam, the answer will always be "yes"

Then the other girl suggested the three of us go sing a song together.

What??

We were the only black people in the whole bar. If we went up to sing together, we’d totally really look like really black people. But part of the aforementioned Oreo code involves sticking to a WASPish code of uncomfortable politeness. So I had to say yes.

And I was totally rewarded for my efforts.

I worried we were going to end up singing something ethnic. Whitney Carey or Rhiannan or something like that. But the track started. And it was Hanson! Three black girls pretending to be two white boys and one white girl three white boys! I couldn’t totally get on board with that and I happily MmmBopped along. I also learned that an “MmmBop” was a unit of time.

I also also learned later that “More Than Words” seems to be about a bj. 😦

“…if you only knew how easy
It would be to show me how you feel

More than words
Is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me
‘Cause I’d already know…”

Yeah, that’s not romantic, that’s about a beej.  Wish I had realized that in high school. Prom would have been much much different.

Lots of popular songs are confusing. And that’s one of the reasons I love showtunes, because the song “Popular” is not confusing at all.

What’s your go-to karaoke jam? (are we still saying ‘jam’?) Do you think Adam Pascal would let me More Than Words him? Let us know in the comments!

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Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

Diary of a Mad White Black Woman – Doggie Style

Dear Diary,

I know that as an Oreo, I should favor tiny, teacup-sized dogs that fit in Hermes bags, take to wearing tiaras and always look scared to death to be alive.

Everyone in this photo is crying on the inside.

I do love all animals, so those shaky little pets are on the list. But, and I hate to admit this, I have a special place in my heart for Pit Bulls.

On paper, this is a terrible idea! Pit Bulls are often associated with the ghetto, they’re banned from many public places and when people see them coming, they often hold their children close and dash to the other side of the street… so Pit Bulls are basically the black people of the dog world. And since they’re kind of black, as an Oreo, I should avoid them at all cost.

Was either unexpectedly approached by a pittie or an RBP. Hard to tell.

But I can’t help it. I love them!

Sure, they have big giant jaws…but those big giant jaws turn into big giant love!!

My what a big smile you have!

They also have big, giant hearts. Yes, these dogs are strong, but they’re also sweet, loyal, dedicated and often misunderstood…which is…you know, not at all how I see myself, even a little bit…

I didn’t realize how much I loved these puppers until my January video, Geeky Pet Names, where I got to work with Angel City Pit Bulls – a rescue org in Los Angeles that everyone should check out and support.

These dogs are also great metaphors. And as a I writer, I’m always looking for one of those that I haven’t exhausted. The video below is a great example of a how a little love and a little understanding can change a little life. It’s also a great example of something that will totally make me cry my eyeballs out at my desk at work. The meeting I’m about to go is gonna be totes awks now with mascara streaming down my face.

As an Oreo, I also know that I should stick to my WASPy roots and not display so much schmaltz and sincerity like I have over these dogs. So here’s me buttoning up my collar before I head off to the courts (that’s tennis courts, not courts of law, in case my black was still showing). After that I’ll swing by the club (yacht, not night) and see if I can’t get some little guy on a leash (no awkward innuendos in that last bit, right?)

-OreoExperience

 

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Got a pittie? Tell us about ’em!

Got something that makes you cry at your desk? Tell us about that, too!

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Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

What’s up, My Wenches!

Gramercy for stopping by m’lord and m’ladies! It is with great delight and pleasure that I announce my recent arrival at ye olde Renaissance and Pleasure Faire. Huzzah!

This horse wishes he belonged to a better union.

Okay, my spell and grammar check is going crazy, so back to contemporary English.

I was so excited this weekend to have gone to the So Cal Renaissance and Pleasure Faire. Even more excited to have gone with a Ren Fest n00b so I got to see it for the first time all over again.

I remember my first Ren Fest. Mom and Dad took me to the big one in Texas when I was maybe 11. I think I could hear my mom’s heart scream out “Noooo! You were supposed to be an engineer!!” as my eyes got wide with the realization that I had found my people and finally come home. (Cut to years later, when I took this photo. Mom was still crying.)

I also realized that as I was traipsing around with my RF cohort, all the things that I took for granted about ye olde Faires that he was experiencing for the first time. So here’s a little primer for enjoying the faire and getting your wench on (before you get her off!)

1. Just go ahead and look at the boobs. Tight bodices, corsets and low slung chemises, oh my! It is 98% likely that the first thing that you’ll see when you look up from your program are a pair of boobs. Like way more boobs that you’re used to. Don’t be alarmed. Go ahead. Look at ‘em. Chances are that sassy lass has her coin purse, a show schedule, her cell phone or self-esteem stuck in there. So enjoy it. No touching, though!

2. Don’t worry about facts. Yes, the period of history known as The Renaissance technically happened between the 1300s and the 1600s. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t see costumes from The Crusades, The Classical Period, Star Trek or Jack Sparrow. Ren Faires are in part an excuse to just enjoy dressing up. So greet your Bridge Captain with a tip of your feathered cap and make way for The Queen.

Sure, that's close enough.

3. You will get picked and probably kissed. Don’t fight back. Struggling only makes it harder. Apart from the jousts where they use actual horses and swords, the shows at Ren Faires are notoriously interactive. Generally between 1 and 5 “volunteers” will be chosen for any given show. If you’re chosen, this is not the time to be coy. The audiences like to see you be silly and since Ren Faires are a bastion for good natured debauchery, you’ll probably get felt up a little.

If you play your cards right, you'll get picked and kissed by my friends The Magnificent Humble Boys! If you're in So Cal, they're at the Faire. Go see them!

4. Food! Eat the turkey legs, drink the mead, smell the incense! It’s not just sexual gluttony that’s celebrated at these things. There is tons. And tons. Of food. Eat it. Don’t hold back. It’s good. And it’s on a stick!

5. If you’re of color, for the love of God, wear sunscreen! You’ll be outdoors. The sun will be out. Your shoulders will be exposed. You’re doing so well by being at a Ren Fest in the first place, don’t muck it up by getting all dark. Like I’ve said when summer comes, Always Use Protection.

What are your best Ren Fest tips or memories? Let us know and share your pictures in the comments below or at @oreoexperience on Twitter!