racism

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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Born That Way

We all have super power (so say the Marketing kids down at Virgin Atlantic). Some of us will use those powers to have high-level jobs. Some of us will use our powers to serve the cool. Guess who gets to do what. (Also thanks to Sociological Images for their write-up on this commercial.)

You’d think they’d at least employ the girl with psychic powers to at least work in the control tower to prevent crashes or some such. Or maybe make the precog with outstanding reflexes at least an Air Marshall. But no, much better to keep those two serving drinks and handing out tissues (which you don’t need to have Dr. Xavier style powers to do).

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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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Oreo Road Trip! 3 More Places to Feel Really Awkward About Being Black

Being an Oreo (or supporting a friend in their Oreo journey) requires regular visits to places that make you pretty bummed out about not being white.

We talk about how going to the movies can achieve this.  Spending time with the right friends and co-workers can, too.

But if you feel like doing a bit of driving (in your Oreo-approved Mini Cooper–the originals, not the new ones that obliterate the purpose of being mini by being the size of a totally regular car– or on your Vespa) here are three places to check out on your journey away from your ethnicity.

DAVE AND CHANTAL’S HOUSE

What Will You See There?  Pictures of their recent South African wedding (awwwww!)…where they chose a “colonial”  theme (awwww—okaaaaay) and to round out the effect, and made sure that all the all-white crowd was attended to by a fleet of all black servants–just like in the good ol’ colonial days!!! (awwwwwkward!!!)

The smiles were as genuine as the nostalgia

*Bonus points if you hang out with the wedding coordinator who, upon hearing this idea seconded it and unembarrasedly put out an employment notice requesting the specialized staff.

PLANTATION CHAPELS

What Will You See There?  Beautiful homes (awwwwww!) that were home to wealthy wealthy slave-owners (awww–kaaaay) and where slave quarters are kept in preserved, working conditions (awwwwwkward!!)

Well, black families did do really well on plantations, right Bachmann?

*Bonus points if you don’t skip the Confederate flag as a commentator who was mentioned in this article on the trend suggested.

THE PINKBERRY NEAR MY HOUSE

What Will You See There? I mentioned recently that a very helpful employee at my local Pinkberry suggested that out of all the flavors available, I might like watermelon the best. I decline and went with my staple mango and original tart.

I thought this was a one time thing, but no! I went back and the conversation went very similarly:

Pinkberry Worker: What can I get for you?

OreoExperience: Mango and original tart, please.

Pinkberry Worker: Watermelon?

OreoExperience: Mango and original tart, please.

Pinkberry Worker: Oh, okay. Oh.. are you with them?

I turned around and saw another black family at the back of the store. They entered about 3 minutes after I did. We hadn’t spoken to each other and our body language was in no way open towards each other (thanks for following the rules, btw, Other Black People!). Surely he couldn’t’ have meant them.

OreoExperience: Who?

Pinkberry Worker: Them.

He did.

OreoExperience: No.

Pinkberry Worker: Okay…. I’m sorry, did you say wa–

OreoExperience: Mango

For toppings, I'll take yogurt chips, kiwi slices and just a spoonful of embarassment

*Bonus Points if you keep going back to this Pinkberry….like I do.

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Where are your favorite places to road-trip, awkward or otherwise? Let us know in the comments!

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Prison: 3 Reasons To Visit The New Day Spa for Black Dudes

Everyone needs a place to get away from the routine

Hey black guys! Want a break from that dangerous, deadly life you lead? Do you need a place to lower your blood pressure while communing in a community of your peers?

Try prison!

This headline came out last week which surely didn’t bother anyone in the blogosphere at all:

Black men are half as likely to die at any given time if they’re in prison than if they aren’t, suggests a new study of North Carolina inmates.

The short story is that a new study shows that black men live longer in prison than outside of it. And of course they do! With such comfy quarters and sense of camaraderie, it only makes sense. Here are three reasons why you should book your weekend away today!

(PS…Did Bachmann and Santorum get this memo?)

1. Sober living!

The black prisoners seemed to be especially protected against alcohol and drug-related deaths…

Few things are more sobering than living in a studio apartment (Los Angelinos, am I right!!) and in prison, you don’t even get that much. But it’s all part of simplifying your life.

You're so cute IKEA, but even this adorable Splornjabarn won't fit between the cot, the toilet, the shiv stand and the shame. Bummer!

2. Clean pipes!

White prisoners died of cardiovascular diseases as often as expected and died of cancer slightly more often than non-prisoners.

Black inmates, by contrast, were between 30 and 40 percent less likely to die of those causes than those who weren’t incarcerated

Some might say that it’s depressing that food available to undeserved communities is less healthy than food  that’s served in prison.

Hey! A cucumber! See - spa-like!

But hey, all of us can be lazy cooks at home. You always expect something nicer when you step out.

3. Not murder!

They were also less likely to die of … suicide and murder than black men not in prison.

We talked last week about how awesome it is to live in a gated community. It’s safe in there!  And it doesn’t get much more gated than your average state lock up.

Some folks have said that things like unequal sentence for crack and cocaine violations, Three Strikes laws and  long jail sentences for casual marijuana are just conspiracies. And I think they are conspiring….to help black dudes relax for once!  It’s like they’re trying to throw a fun surprise party getaway!

How do you feel about day spas? Either the kind you elect to go to or the kind you’re forced to when you can’t afford decent legal counsel? 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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