Dear White People,
As many of you like to say, “I have Black friends”, to erase any possibility of you being accused of racist or discriminatory behavior; I too want you to be clear that I have White friends (White best friends and family members even), so please take this note as it was intended—to help.
Trump’s win, regardless if you were for or against him, has ushered your race into a new day. Some of you may be slow to realize it; but life is going to be a bit different now. Many of you are understandably ill-equipped to handle this new era, so I’d like to offer you a bit of advice.
- You will have to accept the sad fact that folks no longer see you as an individual. Rather you will first be seen by many as a possible Trump supporter, who is most likely a bigot; and then you will have to prove yourself otherwise. This is not fair, I know from experience. Black men are constantly and oftentimes unsuccessfully trying to establish that they aren’t “thugs”. We women, as Gabrielle Union recently said, struggle to balance “When do you stand up and point out every micro-aggression, and when do you stand down so you’re not the angry black person all the time?” You have a person who is your representative (whether you chose him or not) to the rest of the world. He is a representative of you, just as Al Sharpton (when he was fat) and Jesse Jackson (before he was busted as a deadbeat baby daddy) were to us, Black folks. Understand that when Black folks, Asian folks, Hispanic folks from all around the country look at Trump they are associating him with Whiteness. It will now be more difficult for to be viewed individually, and you will now – like minorities before you – be classified and stereotyped as a group.
- As a result, you will have to give extra effort toward showing that you are “different” and are not a bigot. It’s not enough to simply say it. Here is a list of things that you can do to prove your coolness:
- Attend an “ethnic” event and take lots of pictures.
- Ensure that you have a diverse set of friends and let people know about them.
- Give to the NAACP or any organization that shows your support of other ethnicities. As a bonus, wear a pin or something as evidence of your support.
- Bumper stickers are a great idea.
- Applaud non-White artists.
- Be aware of what’s happening in a broader community. When someone brings up that they went to a Wiz Kalifa concert, you should have the comfort talking about them as a Black person would Taylor Swift.
- You must accept that “your people” will embarrass you (because now what they do reflects on you) and begin to quietly pray they do nothing to embarrass you day-to-day. As you guys have always been in charge of the media, you’ve shown more unflattering portrayals of Black folks and highlighted the beauty of White folks (perhaps unconsciously). To that end, the stereotype has been that Black folks are loud, ghetto, uncouth, criminals, etc. and that White people are proper, quiet, and always well-behaved. But since Trump has won, private citizens and social media have taken to doing what the popular media hasn’t—recorded you guys acting ignorant as hell. Here are some ways to deal with that.
- As White people do NOT ever share one of the videos of your people acting poorly. Try to keep that ish as underground as possible – no matter how juicy the video is.
- Prepare to pray a lot—Black folks think that it helps. So when the newscaster presents a lead to the story such as , “Woman goes on a crazy tirade in Macy’s and must be escorted out by 5 police officers”, begin silently praying immediately that she is NOT White.
- If the nut turns out to be White, begin separating yourself from this person as much as possible. We Black people have found creative ways to disassociate ourselves from our foolish acting brethren. See that girl is from the East side—they crazy. Well you know she never went to church. Did you see what she had on—all those Raider fans are crazy. So start coming up with your “separators”: hair color, eye color, job, religion, etc.
- It is IMPERATIVE that you guys have “the talk” with your loved ones. 90% of Black kids have had “the talk” with our kids on how to best avoid conflict, deal with police, and things that should only be said “inside the house,” etc. We know we attract trouble (cause we are being watched and judged more closely) like a pig to slop so we attempt to help our community avoid it as much as possible. Here is the advice you should share with your loved ones:
- Trump is an inside conversation. Black people talk about Black politics and issues amongst Black people for the most part. Think about it, how many of your Black friends have talked to you about police brutality, or Colin Kapernick, or institutionalized racism. Trust me, we talk about it ALL the time, but not with you. You must follow suit. Explain to your kids and loved ones that Trump is something you discuss at home.
- This policy extends to bumper stickers, t-shirts, Facebook posts, etc. How many Black Power bumper stickers have you seen; how many Black Panther or Angela Davis t-shirts are your co-workers wearing to the company softball game? Probably only 10% of your Black FB friends’ posts about controversial issues. You too must now go underground to avoid conflict. Just decide that it ain’t worth the trouble and judgment that being open and public will bring.
- Don’t act da fool. You may get your ass kicked. This tenant is most important in Black America. We typically say, “Don’t write a check yo ass can’t cash.” We tell our kids to remain calm, regardless in the situation. Their objective is to come home alive, unharmed, with a job, etc. Some White folks have been talking mad trash like they just won the Super Bowl and they are about to board a private plane to Disneyland; whereas their mouths are gonna cause them to be on a public gurney to the hospital. Tell your folks like we tell our loved ones:
- All you need is one crazy or pissed-off person to make you regret saying what you said. Cheering for Trump ain’t worth the ass-kicking you may get. It just ain’t worth it.
- Life ain’t fair. It may seem unfair not to be able to say what you want to say, but it is the truth for everyone living in America. If you do decide to say what you want, you must also be prepared for those consequences.
- Understand that a million dollars a day is being spent to protect Trump. How much is being spent to protect you?
- The “Freedom of Speech” isn’t what most of folks think it is. Our constitutional right protects all speech from governmental censorship or restriction – it DOES NOT mean that you cannot get your ass kicked or be fired for what you say!
I wish you all the best in your period of transition. Living like this can be tough, trust me (we’ve been doing it for a couple hundred years), but before long, it will become a part of your unconscious being.
Sending You Love & Luck,
P.S. This note may make you uncomfortable; but that’s another thing that you will now need to adapt to: we can no longer pretend that we don’t live in a racist society just to make you more comfortable.
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more