trump

Great Heroes of Black History Month

As longtime readers of this space will know, an Oreo is not likely to celebrate Black History Month. Summer Solstice, is fine. Nothing wrong with a Labor Day picnic. And I’m already happily planning the photo shoot for this year’s Boxing Day cards.

But Black History Month is not something we traditionally make space for. When black people go on and on about other black people…and especially when they go on and on about the historical treatment of black people, it makes other people very uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if what said black person is saying is “true,” or “correct,” or “a helpful bit of conversation to help understand current events,” history and truth will always be around, so no need to harp on them. Comfort, however, is fleeting and should be cherished. Like a shooting star or the finish on a nice Southern French Negrette.

Yesterday, however, Vice President Pence gave us a lovely gift! He showed us that we can celebrate Black History Month by talking about White People!

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That’s way more comfortable than being all snowflakey/SJW/RBP about it. It’s perfect! We get a few more days to throw a lovely bash (who’s gonna pass up an excuse to pass the flutes!) and we can do it without upsetting the social order.

I hear what you’re saying, though. You’ve been indoctrinated to focus on black heroes during BHM. Effectively, unsung white champions have been Affirmative Actioned right out of the conversation. So they’ve been all but forgotten. What white heroes would we even talk about? We’ve got you covered. Below are a handful of white folks to lift up along with talking points about their contributions to Black America.

Ellen Clapsaddle

Look at this darling little white girl.

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She was illustrated by another darling white girl. Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s and was the most prolific greeting card illustrator of her day. Black people, after being freed from slavery, developing economic communities of their own, standing up to the nation when those communities were torn down, and then building themselves up again would eventually mail postcards to each other. Thanks for the support, Ellen!

 

Hubert Cecil Booth

This is Hubert!

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Back in the day when everyone went by all three of their names, he was busy being three-named and inventing the vacuum cleaner. Most homes in the US have a vacuum cleaner and some of those homes have black people in them. Plus, earlier last century when black people could only get work as preachers or maids, some of those ladies used vacuum cleaners instead of having to break their fingers combing carpet by hand. Where would they be without this great man? Thanks, Hube!

 

This Guy

Look at this guy!

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Who is he and what did he do? Does that matter? I think what’s important to see here is that he looks like someone you could just have a conversation with. He probably keeps a level head and gently guides you to make decisions that don’t get everyone all riled up. Thanks, This Guy!

This couple!

Look at the love!

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These two are just starting on their lives together, but they’ve totally had conversations about adopting a kid one day. And they’re not totally opposed to the idea of adopting inter-racially. So there’s like a solid 70-30 chance that they’ll help reduce the inner city by one. Thanks, This couple!

Happy Black History Month, everyone!

For more BHM survival tips:

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What heroes are you celebrating this February? Let us know in the comments! 

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For Mor-eo Oreo:

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How to Free Speech

How to handle speaking out on line is one of the biggest issues of this era.

Because let’s be honest. Sometimes a joke or a meme or a picture is super funny.

But sometimes, it’s super racist or sexist, too.

BuuuuuuUUUuuut, that doesn’t mean it’s not funny and it definitely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t just go ahead and post whatever you want wherever you want.

I mean, it’s basically nothing but a complete abortion of your Constitutionally protected right to free speech not to post that shit. Sure, there are a lot of difficult topics of national importance to talk about right now, and the best way to do that is with a funny-as-heck-jokey-joke. And bonus, a joke is much quicker than a whole conversation and allows you to get back to watching Dr. Thorne on Amazon. (That’s what I’m doing with my time, anyway, I can only assume we’re all following the latest from Julian Fellowes).

Now when it comes to people setting great examples for posting offensive shit and just not giving a flip about it, there are a lot of examples to choose from, but let’s focus on a couplefew that made news this week. Just like these folks (one of which is a physician, two of which are elected state senators), you shouldn’t be afraid to share your controversial opinion. You worked hard on those barbs, now’s the time to just let them out.

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Now, some people might call these joke “tasteless,” or “offensive” or “completely fucking tone deaf and awful” or “definitely not part of the job duties of being a g*ddamned senator.” But these guys were probably super proud of what they came up with and so posting it was just self-care. Something I think we can all agree that we need these days.

But even thought these proud Americans were just being good and expressive citizens, the Internet’s response was quick and harsh. Heather’s work was contacted and the senator’s facebook pages filled up with vitriol and news media were contacted. Yikes!

So what do you do if you find yourself in this kind of situation? Harassed online because your funny joke just happened to also be quite racist/sexist/horrible?

It’s simple: Just follow these steps to keep your klout score up and your employers from being flooded with calls and emails asking for your head and resignation.

  • Claim you were hacked. If it’s good enough for the US election, it’s good enough for you. Do what Dr. Wick did and say that you lost control of your account for a while and unkind forces put words (funny ones) into your tweet mouth. People won’t believe you because you will be lying, but at least you’re making an effort.
  • Apologize, the right way. Say something Kellyanne Conwayish like “Well, I’m sorry if anyone got their feelings hurt.” This kind of statement lets you get credit for saying the word “sorry” without the pesky burden of taking responsibility for your actions or releasing any amount of your narcissism. Don’t apologize the way the SNL writer Katie Rich did–with sincerity and humility. All that will do is make you a “good person” and get you another, equally cool, job. But you won’t look nearly as awesome.
  • Lash out/double down. Lean in to what you said in the first place. If folks aren’t on board with it, that’s their problem.
This is one of the senators speaking.

This is one of the senators speaking.

  • Make like one black or female friendNot to give you a pass and absolve you of guilt. But to maybe stop you from doing this stupid thing in the first place.

Heather, Senators, I am available for consultations and coaching. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

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What was the last worst thing you said online? How did you recover? Let us know in the comments!

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For Mor-eo Oreo:

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

 

How to Say Uncomfortable Things

Look, we all have to say or hear things that are uncomfortable sometimes.

A doctor might have to look someone in the eye and say that there’s nothing to be done.

A supervisor might have to look someone in the eye and tell them that they’ve been made redundant.

A partner might need to look their lover in the eye and say “I love you.”

The point is,  life can get real awkward real fast.

And right now, people are saying uncomfortable things all over the place.

Whether it’s refugees saying “please remember that we’re human beings,” or college students saying “please let us be treated fairly,” or liberals saying “please, let’s not bring back the ideals that the Nazi party espoused,” conversations are getting weird.

Now sure, it’s important that people be able to look someone in the eye and say “Hey, I think what you’re saying is going to lead to a lot of people being treated unfairly.” But ohmygod, no need to embarrass yourself and everyone around you by just being all weird and honest about it.

So the following is a handy guide to help you figure out how to say all those icky truths in a way that’s more palatable to your peers. If you’re having a hard time saying what you want without forcing everyone to get defensive defending their indefensible positions, try getting it off your chest:

Through Interpretive Dance

You remember that Chandelier video. What on earth was happening? Maybe that nude tween was saying: “Hello and I hope you’re having a good time.” Or maybe she was saying “In the event of an emergency, all minorities will be moved to the back of the aircraft.” Who knows? That’s the beauty of unclear artistic expression. You can say whatever you want and no one can really get upset because they have no idea what’s going on. You get some exercise and stretching in and they get to walk away assuming that you’re on the same page…or that you’re weird enough that they don’t really want to continue talking to you anyway. Win win!

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Over Drinks

Everything’s easier to take after your third Manhattan. So just get in there.

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Via Haiku

Hard to write these things
Finally figured it out
But everyone is dead now

With a relaxing meter and few word to work with, you run little risk of upsetting someone with a politically charged short poem. Plus, you’ll spend more time trying to craft this thing than you do trying to find new abbreviations to make your latest Tweet fit into 140 characters. By the time you’ve figured out how to say what you want to say, everyone will have forgotten what you’re talking about and will be on to new issues anyway.

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With The Help of a Carrier Pigeon

After you’ve tied your message to its cute little legs, you’ll be so caught up thinking about how you can turn this little gal’s adventures into a charming Pixar film that you’ll forget all about your very salient point.

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To the Tune of $80+/hr

As much as we all love TED talks, there are some boring ones, but poll those audiences and they’ll say it changed their lives! All these rallies where political candidates say crazy things? People pay big bucks to get a seat at one of those tables and then they clap politely and pretend like everything’s cool. So just start charging top dollar for your opinion and you’ll find you have a lot more fans.

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How do you like to express yourself for minimum impact? Let us know in the comments!

And for more help saying awkward things, check out:

Because, what’s more important, really? Self expression or self preservation. Remember, that which does not kill us gets us invited to better parties.

 

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For Mor-eo Oreo:

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