black people

Rejected Paula Deen Party Ideas

I just caught up with the Paula Deen story this weekend. Seems like the n-word is just the tip of that buttery iceberg.

Deen not only wanted an all black staff at her brother’s wedding, she didn’t let them use the same bathroom or entrances or exits, she kinda wanted them to “tap dance around,”  and a bunch of other racist whatnots including recently apologizing and saying she’s not racist by using the punchline from a racist joke as said apology.

But, the woman should be given some credit. The wedding could have been a lot worse. Turns out,  the plantation-style, all-black-servants shindig was maybe the best of the other ideas on the table. Here are a few more themes Deen had on the back burner that she hasn’t been able to do…yet

Beads and Blankets Bonanza” – Guests will have the chance to purchase jewelry and couch throws at great prices! Hors d’oeuvres passed by the Chickasaw Nation.

Turquoise and tears.  A perfect combo!

Turquoise and tears. A perfect part pair!

Model Train Mayhem” – Guests will sip turn of the century cocktails while watching interns an elaborate miniature locomotive track around the seating area. Special thanks to interns Deng Shu Chan and Zhang Wei Huang.

Bonus! The interns double as footrests!

Bonus! The interns double as footrests!

Rosie the Riveter Rocks!!” – Guests will don 1940s costumes and build their own metal works…including windows bars and a new lock for front doors that will be fitted on the graciously donated home of Mr. and Mrs. Nakamura. Don’t worry that they’re still inside and the guests have the key. That’s all part of the fun!

You CAN do it...for about 10 years before your staff finally wises up and reports you to the proper authorities.

You CAN do it…for about 10 years before your staff finally wises up and reports you to the proper authorities.

They all sound like good ol’ fashioned grand times to me!

Deen’s not the only one who likes to party with blackface. Check out these  how-tos for getting down with the browns and let us know what you think!

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

Cheerios Girl and The Art of the Awkward Interview

Once upon a couple of weeks ago, Cheerios released an adorable commercial where an adorable little girl uses adorable kid logic and adorably pours Cheerios all over her sleeping father to help him stay healthy.

Cute, right?  Haha! Wrong! At least to a good chunk of the online community, anyway.

Cheerios had to close the comments section under this video due to racism. And this week, the little girl at the center of the blended family controversy spoke out…ish.

While young Grace is not an Oreo Oreo (she’s mixed race, not in denial), she’s made of enough cutes to get an honorary mention. Plus, during her interview with NBC, she shows us some great ways to handle the awkwardness that comes when people see that you’re the one thing that’s not like the others.

So the next time you find yourself at the wrong end of an inquiry, remember what Grace would do and try the following:

Wear a jaunty cardigan. No one wants to trouble someone in a delicate sweater. So not only do the long sleeves hide the evidence of your melanin, you get bonus points because the warm fuzzy fabric makes everyone around feel warmer and fuzzier themselves.

Smile and stare in lieu of answering. Making someone ask the same question more than 2 times in a row usually draws attention to the how weird/unnecessary/obvious/rude the question in the first place. So instead of answering, allow yourself a little time delay. You’ll find you won’t have to say very much and maybe not even answer the question at all. If

Look as cute as possible. Delivering a blank stare instead of a canned answer might come across as rude in some circles. But not if you’re super adorbs about it! So rose up those cheeks (yes, guys, you can do this, too), dig in those dimples, shine up that twinkle in your eye and get ready to deflect.

Bring back up. When possible, surround yourself with at least two other people with more patience than you have. It helps if they’re taller and if maybe one of them is white. (What am I saying, Oreos? Haha ‘maybe one of them.’ Obvi, both will be!) You can always use a head-tossing giggle to throw the question to them, ask them to translate or just stand a bit behind them and blend into the background.

Start talking to yourself. When all else fails, just start having a conversation with yourself instead of whoever bugging you. They’ll leave you alone.

Watch the interview here and see these tips in action!

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Family Time

One of the most basic tenants of being an Oreo is that you do not spend time en masse with other browns and blacks. If you do things like go to Renaissance Faires, oboe conventions, regattas and while collar office spaces, this is fairly easily accomplished. The one time it’s a real bugger to work around is when you’re guilted into  you decide to go visit people you’re related to…and they live in the South.

However, like most of the jams that Oreos find themselves in, there are ways to mitigate the damaging proximity to melanin that one must experience during obligatory small talk fests with people who share your genetic code.

It should be noted that Oreos prefer getting marmalade and not jam. (source)

It should be noted that Oreos prefer getting stuck in marmalades and not jams.
(source)

I just got back from such a trip and wanted to share with you my tips and tricks for not seeming quite so black when you’re in the company of a whole buncha black folks.

Pack Appropriate Reading Material

Hundreds of people will walk past you on the plane, so make sure you aren’t holding something hella ethnic like Oprah’s magazine or those Beatz headphones. Instead, try a copy of The Harvard Business Review or Epitaph for a Peach. Why relax when you can use journalism to fend of judgement and remind yourself of how poetically you’re not thinking about all that you’re not achieving.

Pass Through Airport Security Without Unloading All Liquids

The airport is a place where it is defs not okay to be brown. One the last three flights I’ve taken, my boyfriend has managed to get through security with razors in his bag while I’ve been accused of having too many toiletries bags and had my hair inspected as though I just got back from a missionary trip in the barrio and they wanted to make sure I didn’t have lice.

But this time was different. Maybe it was because they figure no one on their way to Raleigh Durham would be up to trouble. Maybe it was the fact that it was a red-eye and we were all tired. Or maybe it’s because the fact that I just totally forgot to take a couple of bottles out of my bag looked like such a boss move to them that they couldn’t bring themselves to do anything but let me go.

Stay At A House Where Slaves Used To Work

If you’re gonna go to the South on a trip, you might as well go to The South. Instead of staying in an RBP-tastic place like La Quinta or The Hampton Inn and Suites, I chose a delightful little B&B. That was built in 1847. In the Confederacy. That was owned by a rich legacy family. Which means that once upon a time, it’s very likely that a house girl made the bed that I refused to while I was there. (Well, not the same bed. This bed was too comfortable to be 166 years old.)

I'm in there somewhere. And always will be

I’m in there somewhere. And always will be

Identify Favorite  Patterns

There was another bonus to the ex slave resort. And I’m not talking about the awesome wainscoting or the gladiolas or the awesome sitting room where yes, I claimed that I had the ‘vaypas’ so I could sit in the awesome chair. This place also had the same toile pattern that appears on an ottoman I just bought. It was like the house was calling to me from afar. I wouldn’t have been surprised if at the end of the trip, my vision rack focused on a photo from 1864 where I stood grinning with the rest of the house staff while a voice over reminded that I was a guest and I’d always been a guest…

Spend An Hour Or So Discussing the Pros and Cons of the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Local Philharmonic

In case you were concerned that I didn’t come by my Oreoness honestly, you only need to meet my uncle and aunt. I hadn’t seen these people in a decade. But instead of catching up about ourselves (boring), we threw on a classical hits CD, talked about each movement and shot the shit about who brought out the best in what movements (totally not boring!)

Make Small Talk re: Who Has Better Summers, Scotland or Switzerland

Trick questions. It’s Basque, obvs.

And just as soon as I finish paying off student loans, I hope to always be here.

And just as soon as I finish paying off student loans, I hope to always be here.

Stuff Emotions So Deeply That You Feel Full Enough to Refuse the Fried Chicken

RBP are known for their clever comebacks, snappy repartee and their delightful disses and dozens. So when a parent decides for the 10,000th  time to describe not just you looked like at birth, but your afterbirth at birth, many RBP would have something to say that would stop that conversation in its tracks. But where’s the challenge in that. Anyone can walk out of a room, set some boundaries and decide not to engage in inappropriate conversation topics. But it takes real skill to sit and endure. To smile and nod. And to not get all up in someone’s business about it. And that is a skill I’m proud of. In large part because it really does turn your appetite enough that you can honestly say that no thank you, you’re fine with just the roll and you don’t need the okra, greens or pecan pie. … okay, maybe a little pecan pie.

You're also not going to want to eat ham salad again. Not after that story.  (source)

You’re also not going to want to eat ham salad again. Not after that story.
(source)

When was your last trip home? How did it go? Any advice for next time?

How to Meet Someone

(source)

Con’t be afraid to crop out dark spots in your photos.
(source)

With the end of the year comes a host of potentially awkward situations for an Oreo: office holiday parties, obligatory shindigs thrown by vague acquaintances, family dinners, the lack of new Shark Tank and Kitchen Nightmares episodes.

Not only is the Oreo forced to make make-believe merry with people who also don’t want to be there, but she or he might get stuck talking to another of color, or worse, an RBP. In some cases, an Oreo might find herself in the extra sticky situation of having to introduce another melanin-rich individual to someone else. Or worse, they might be introduced to a black person by a malicious member of their blanchetourage.

In either case, it is imperative to make it clear that the Oreo a) does not know this person well b) does not wish to know this person well and c) hopes no one gets to know this person well. Too much familiarity and an onlooker is certain to fear a gang-fight.

Here are some steps you can take at your next party to make sure that everyone knows you’re only shaking this person’s hand to be polite.

Mispronounce their name. Nothing says that you just don’t give a shit like the mispronunciation of a name you just heard learned. If you’re meeting a Michael, try calling them Michelle, La-Michael or Quantas to make sure no one thinks you’re friends. Adding an “accidental”  “La-” a “D'” or a “-eesha” to the beginning or end of most names will make them sound super black and thus allow everyone to recognize how little you think of this person. It will also draw attention to their darkness and keep people from looking at yours.

Look Away. Whether you look just above their heads, to the left or right of their ears or bury your face in yours or your neighbor’s purse, keep yourself from locking eyes with the Other. You don’t want them thinking that they can engage you in further conversation or steal your soul–which they will do.

Accentuate the negative. This will highlight your own accomplishments as well as ensure that mutual friends will try to keep their distance, which in turn, will help you keep yours. Try saying something like:

  • “Hi Marcie, this is LaJennifer-eessha, her divorce should be just about final by now.”
  • “Nice to meet you.. D’Steven, was it? Didn’t I see you in the parking lot just before that busload of children was shot… Huh. Must have been your twin, then!”
  • “This is LaD’EeshaJohnFootballPlayer. His sentencing hearing is next week. What’s that? You’ve never been convicted of anything? Huh, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. I mean… look at you!”

With phrases like these, you’ll ensure that the conversation will be brief and your humiliation bearable.

No touch. While you may not be able to get away with avoiding a handshake, do not under any circumstances hug, kiss, tickle or sleep with this person. You’re dark enough. You don’t want that shit rubbing off on you.

For more tips and tricks for social situations, see below.

Click here for an additional Holiday Party Survival Guide

Click here for info on how to deal with someone who looks Mixed Race

Click here to see how to deal with a white person who surprises you by suddenly sounding all black out of nowhere.

Celebrate carefully, my friends.

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Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
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Watch fun Oreo videos on youtube!

Nine Sports That Are Weirder Than Dressage

I’ll be honest. Even with the New England snobbery, the affinity for Brooks Brothers and his disdain for the brown, I’ve yet to find much use for Mitt Romney.

But then he was outed…as a dressage enthusiast!!

Yes, there may be some sticky issues with the fact that he was able to write off upwards of $70,000 on his taxes for his pretty ponies while many of us will never ever make upwards of $70,000 in a whole year, but…but…but… DRESSAGE PONIES! One of the hallmarks of Oreodom and animals which I truly love and adore.

The Atlantic Wire wrote this week that it was Perfectly OK to Make Fun of Ann Romney’s Weird Horse Sport.

Sigh. If you want to ridicule Ann Romney for something animal-related, It’s Perfectly OK to Make Fun of Ann Romney’s Weird Bird Shirt instead.

If you’re saying yourself, “That bird shirt is so not worth $900,” then you clearly don’t know fashion

Dressage, while a very specific exercise that involves using nearly invisible movements of your hands, calves, ankles and thighs to make your horse cycle through a variety of gaits in time to lovely music that you’ve chosen, is definitely not the weirdest of sports. Plus you get to wear an awesome hat.

If you’re saying to yourself, “That hat is so not worth $300,” you clearly hate animals.

There are plenty of sports dumber than dressage. Like these!

Football – wherein a bunch of men are encouraged to be obese so that they can fall down on top of other men top stop them from stopping some other guys from running away with a relatively small object called a ball that is in a completely different shape than every other ball ever.

Hockey – wherein ice skaters make each other bleed.

Golf – wherein they should bring back the old-style breeches because those pants at least make sense while it makes no sense to use a thin stick to try and hit a tiny ball into a hole that you can’t even see.

Basketball – wherein giants make squeaky noises with their feet while sharing ownership of a bright orange ball as they try to put it into a web of netting with the bottom missing. No baskets are involved in the sport. Also, points rack up quickly and very high – suggesting this is too easy of an exercise.

Figure Skating – wherein ice skaters make each other anorexic.

Soccer – wherein extraordinarily attractive bodies pretend to be injured  so they can stop the incessant running and get a moment or two of peace during a game that goes on for hours and hours with the very real possibility of having no points scored–suggesting this is too difficult of an exercise.

Table Tennis – wherein people pretend to play tennis.

MMA – wherein men wear very few clothes and are allowed to beat, punch and kick each other until they nearly die. But are not allowed to beat, punch and kick each other the one area that would ensure a win in the fight and prevent brain damage.

Beach Volleyball – wherein people use competition as an excuse to take off many of their clothes. Show-offs.

Now compare those silly pursuits to the fine art of dressage! In dressage, you and your mount keep time with music. Plus it’s perfectly okay to use the word “mount” to refer to the thing between your legs and no one can say you’re just being gratuitous. You obsess about your extensions are correct and you get to braid your horse’s hair into pretty shapes…

…Wait a minute… Dancing? Extensions?! Cornrows?!? Maybe dressage isn’t the safe haven I thought it was.

Ah well, at least there’s still the hat.

…and the hot.
(source)

Do you play any of the ridiculous sports listed above? What do you like about said sort? Let us know in the comments!

Not sure what sport is right for you? Click here to find out!

Team sports are actually a struggle for this Oreo. Find out why here!

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

Things I Didn’t Say: Zumba

I’ll never tell….you what I’m really thinking. I’m nice like that.

Part of being a Oreo in working order is perfecting the time-honored tradition of not speaking up when you want to. No need to get confused for RBP who shout in movie theaters and are too loud on buses.

The truth is though,that whether you’re an RBP, trying desperately not to look like an RBP or are just someone who is alive, no one wants to hear what you have to say anyway. Generally, in life, when people say things to you, they are not looking for your thoughts on their quip in return. They merely want to exercise their ego and have their opinion go unchallenged. Most interactions are just there to prevent silence from killing us all.

For example, imagine two people in an elevator, then consider the following three scenarios and their anticipated outcomes:

Scenario 1:

Person 1: How are you?
Person 2: I’m just okay. Got some troubling news from home and am really unprepared for this meeting–just not sure if this is the right field for me anymore, but don’t know that I can incur the risks of a career change.
Person 1: (set self on fire)

See how awkward it was when person 1 told the truth. Tsk, tsk.

Scenario 2:

Person 1: (says nothing)
Person 2: (says nothing)
Person 1 and 2: (set selves on fire)

Ugh. Spending a whole minute next to a human being without admitting that you can both see each other even though neither of you really has anything to say and you’re both hoping to just get off this lift and to the meeting that you spent all weekend preparing for…awkward. Painfully awkward.

Scenario 3

Person 1: How are you?
Person 2: Fine, you?
Person 1: I’m good, thanks.
Person 2: (waits for Person 1 to leave the elevator, then sets self on fire…because of circumstances related to an unclear conversation that was had with the spouse over the weekend…but definitely not because of a crap elevator ride…aaaaand, Person 1 didn’t have to get involved in any of that sticky personal business)

See how easy it is to avoid having to deal with someone’s issues.

And it was with that spirit that I held my tongue after Zumba class this week when someone thought it apropos to say to me:

“Love this class! You sisters are so lucky, though! I look ridiculous, but you with those hips–you look like you actually know what you’re doing out there!”

What did I say to her? Something along the lines of: “Hahah..yeah….” as I grabbed my towel and water bottle and headed to the bathroom before the tears started to fall.

What didn’t I say to her? While any number of things would have been perfectly reasonable responses, Oreos do not speak up and make a fuss. Here’s a smattering of what the tiny sassy lady inside of me might have said were she not being squished into oblivion:

  • “Sisters? I’m an only child.”
  • “Yes, we are lucky. We just flip the switch and the machine in our rears does all the work.”
  • “You realize that I am at a gym and a typical ‘problem area’ for women is their bottom, so your attempt at a compliment might actually be reinforcing my own body dysmporphia.”
  • “I noticed you were terrible. But don’t worry, it’s not because you’re white. You’re just bad. Very very bad at this.”
  • “Thank you so much! By reducing my ability to dance to the amount of melanin I have in my skin, you’re completely ignoring the hours and hours I have spent in dance classes, working with teachers, studying movement, practicing in front of the mirror, consulting with professionals, watching footage of myself and others and working on the self confidence necessary to remove the mental blocks to free physical movement….I figured that stuff was a waste of time!!”
  • “Ummm… if you’re so bad at this, maybe you should keep your eyes on your own reflection, creeper.”
  • (sets self on fire)

Just think what a ruckus would have been made if I blurted out any of the things I was “actually” “thinking” or “feeling.” More than one relationship has been ruined this way and even though you may be choking back words, as an Oreo, you at least get to choke them down with some lovely creme fraiche.

What’s the last dubious compliment you got? What did or didn’t you say? Let us know in the comments!

For more awkward artsy (non)conversations, click here!

For more awkward conversations where people clearly didn’t notice I was…um…black (shudder).. click here!

For the awkward result of a poorly worded engagement party invitation, click here!

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

How to Write About Current Events

Remember these?
(source)

So it’s been almost two weeks since my last post. This is due in part to the fact that a pile of freelance (yay!) has fallen into my lap and is happily nibbling away at my writing time.

It’s also due in part to the fact that this has been the conversation between myself and my inner writer self over the last coupla weeks:

TheOreoExperience: Wow! This Kony video is nuts! It’s got White People to the Rescue written all over it! It would totally make a good Trailer Trashing post.

InnerWriterSelf: You’re right. Way to be on top of things. I can’t wait to see what we come up with!

TOE: Just let me finish this work. I’m sure I’ll get that post out by the end of the week

IWS: You’re amazing. I’m so glad we’re working together.

A FEW DAYS LATER

TOE: Holy crap, that dude just had a nervous breakdown!

IWS: Wellllll…. true. But you make fun of people all the time. And the Kony 2012 video is still weird.

TOE: Yeah, but dude is messed up. Even if I did have a post up, I’d probably want to take it down. Poor thing.

IWS: Actually…yeah…

TOE: I mean, child soldiers are pretty much 100% a bad thing…even if the guy bringing them to our attention is oddly narcissistic…he meant well.

IWS: Don’t worry, we’ll find something else to write about!

TOE: Is it weird that I talk to myself this way?

IWS: Of course not!

TOE: Woah! I can’t believe that woman said that to me after class. Ugh! I just want to come in here, Zumba a bit and leave without someone saying something like “So jealous of you sisters! You’ve got such great hips!”

IWS: Doesn’t she know how long it took us to be okay with those hips?!?

Whether they're on the mantle or your body, you come to appreciate hourglasses much more after high school.
(source)

TOE: Ugh. She has no idea. I’m exhausted tonight, though, and have like 3 scripts to get through. I’ll bang that post out in a few days.

IWS: Haha. You said “bang.”

TOE: Haha! Oh, get this…I totally made my coworker blush. He asked me if I had any food at my desk…

IWS: And you said “no, but I do have something you can eat!”

TOE: You know me so well!

A FEW DAYS LATER

IWS: Did you see this Trayvon Martin story?!?!

TOE: I can’t even think about it!!

IWS: C’mon, you HAVE to write about this. I mean, this is like your whole thing.

TOE: I can’t even read a story about it without bursting into tears. And I’m pretty sure there’s nothing funny about it.

IWS: The Daily Show managed to make it funny.

And sexy!
(source)

TOE: The Daily Show also has a staff of like two-dozen writers who out-earn me by a factor of probably 20!

IWS: Are we fighting right now?

TOE: No, it’s fine. Everything’s fine.

IWS: I don’t believe you. You seem upset.

TOE: I just feel like sometimes you aren’t hearing what I’m saying. I DO want to write about this story, but it’s fucking sad as balls.

IWS: Haha, you said–

TOE: Not the time.

IWS: You’re right.

TOE: Let’s just move on. What are you doing this weekend?

IWS: I dunno. Wanna check out Hunger games?

Kinda worried that there are going to be way too many Mockingjay tattoos showing up in the next few years.
(source)

TOE: You know what, I still have a ton of work to get  through, maybe next week?

IWS: I liked the book!

TOE: Me, too! Kinda bummed that even with so much going on in the book and such a great story, they still felt the need to inject some semblance of a love story into the end.

IWS: Yeah, I hear that. So…we’re cool?

TOE: Yeah, totally. Talk tomorrow.

IWS: Wake up! Wake up! Did you see this?? Racist Hunger Games tweets, we HAVE to get on that!

TOE: Holy god, it’s so early! Don’t you sleep.

IWS: I’m a disembodied manifestation of your sense of self, of course I don’t sleep.

TOE: Fair enough. Oh geez! These tweets are nuts! And what the eff? Rue is totally described as being black in the book. Did they just miss that?

IWS: Dude! Why are you not writing like crazy right now?

TOE: I don’t even know what to say!

IWS: C’mooooooon! Do it!!

TOE: Wait, let me get this straight… You want me to make an hilarious observation about how teens can’t read and how they don’t seem to know how the Internet works and that we’ve lost the basic sense of etiquette that we’re taught when we’re kids to not say horrible mean things out loud…and maybe draw an equally knee-slapping parallel between the fact that people didn’t like Rue because she was black and the fact that a good chunk of the country is totally unsympathetic to the needless death of an unarmed kid? That’s what you want me to pull out of my ass right now?? I’m a writer, not a magician!

IWS: It was just a suggestion.

TOE: Oooh, there might be something in this Geraldo non-pology, though. Yeah, between that and the Belvedere ad and Lee Arohnson… I think I might have something.

IWS: I knew you could do it.

TOE: Also, I’m kinda getting tired of the “let me tell annoying politicians about my vagina” meme. Does that make me a bad feminist?

IWS: That’s a whole other part of your subconscious you’ve got to deal with for that one.

TOE’sInnerFeminist: Did someone call?

TOE: Coffee first, then self-analysis.

TOEIF: That’s fair. Btw… I have a story that would make a GREAT screenplay! Can I tell you about it??

IWS: Yikes!… Um… coffee first.

******

Talking to yourself doesn’t make you crazy, right? Right?? I blame the habit on the fact that I was an only child.

Fingers crossed, I’ll get to this Geraldo/Belvedere/2.5 Men thing this week

What internal struggles do you find yourself chatting with you about on the regular? Let us know in the comments.

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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!