For Black People Who Have to Work With White People in the Age of Trump

To preserve your sanity and protect you from incarceration, Michael Harriot would like to offer a few suggestions on how to make it through the next week around the people who selected Donald Trump as commander in chief.

Then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the University of South Florida in Tampa on Feb. 12, 2016. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Listen, I know this has been a tough few days. The morning after election night, you probably went to work shocked, stunned and disappointed in America, like when George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing Trayvon Martin, or the first time you heard of the Luther Burger. Such is life for black people in America. It’s a perpetual, escalating state of what-the-f–kness wrapped in disgust around the increasingly hostile shenanigans of white people.

But this time it feels like they went too far. I know the words “white people” and “too far” are seemingly incongruous, like “great” and “depression,” or “American” and “justice,” but electing a festering pile of ego and sexual assault as leader of the free world is beyond the pale.

For the next few days, you are going to have to work, live and mingle among the people who voted for the combed-over douche bag we now call President-elect Donald Trump. I know it will be hard for you not to explode in a furious barrage of cusswords and pimp slaps at the very sight of someone sporting a “Deplorables” T-shirt, driving a car with a Trump-Pence bumper sticker or still wearing flip-flops to Wal-Mart in November.

To preserve your sanity and protect you from incarceration, I’d like to offer a few suggestions on how to make it through the next week around the people who selected Trump as commander in chief (pronounced “wyt pee-pull”).

1. Let them know that you know.

Sixty-two percent of all white people voted for Donald Trump, so unless you’re living in New York or California, there is a statistical likelihood that any white person you encounter voted for the Trump ticket. Every time you come across a Caucasian, you should stop, stare deep into his or her eyes and just shake your head “no.”

Keep it up for all four years of the Trump administration. If you’re in line at the grocery store and hear a stranger complaining about the price of organic honeydew melons, blurt out, “That’s what you get for voting for Trump!”

When our failure to address climate change bites us in the butt, as you’re cleaning up from the tsunami-hurricanado, suck your teeth and say, “Damn Trump supporters.” During the impending zombie apocalypse that will happen when Obamacare is repealed and all we are left with is medical professionals from the Trump University School of Germs and Stuff, as you encounter someone having his brains eaten by an undead zombie, bend over the animated corpse and remind it that this wouldn’t have happened under a Hillary Clinton administration.

Even if you know someone didn’t vote for Trump, still voice your disapproval, because he or she allowed friends and family to vote for him. Or did something else unsavory to a black person.

Like I said—statistics.

2. Use the guilt to your advantage.

Trust me, white people know what they did. Many of them don’t care, but there are a few of them who cast a ballot for the Cheetos-colored dullard and woke up asking themselves, “What the hell did I do to the country?” Nope, white people, there is no reset button for America.

So now they feel guilty and are going to try to make it up by being nice to you. At the first sign of any white person being a little too nice to you, address the elephant in the room. If Gary from accounting offers to buy you lunch, pause for a second and ask him, “You voted for Trump, didn’t you, G?” I guarantee you, Gary did.

Once you have identified the guilty person, use it. Ask Gary if he can cover your workload for the rest of the day. Tell him you want to go home early to make sure your neighbors haven’t been deported because he voted for Trump.

Keep milking it, and do not feel bad about capitalizing off of Gary’s guilt. If you start feeling bad, remind yourself that the next president had a catchphrase on a reality show and briefly appeared in a porno.

That should do it.

3. Think, “WWTD?” (“What would Trump do?”)

Whenever you are around people who voted for Trump, let them know how egregious their crime was by adopting Trumpian rules. If someone in their family passes away, insult them like Trump did the Khans (preferably on national TV). If you know a woman who voted for him, rate her on the Trumpian scale from 1 to 10. Steal Trump voters’ speeches and act as if they’re yours. Say “p–sy” a lot.

If they object, have them thrown out by security.

4. Smile.

Smiling doesn’t just make the person you’re addressing feel better; studies show that the physical act of forcing the muscles in your face to smile can ward off depression. Plus, white people are oblivious to the side eye anyway. You can hate the woman in the cubicle next to you for 12 years and Gladys will still stop by every day and show you pictures of her cat and her old-man-looking grandchildren. (It is a medical fact that 93 percent of white babies are born looking like the Monopoly man.) They can cast a ballot for your demise and not even bat an eye.

Plus, we have always been masters of disguise. We have grown accustomed to unflinchingly taking the blunt impact of American displeasure. You must understand, they are not built like us. We are made of stronger stuff. We permanently painted the bowels of slave ships with our blood while humming hymns to the ancestors the entire time. We picked cotton in the hot Alabama sun and sang songs while we did it. We danced though water hoses ripping our skin away from our bones.

We are unbreakable. A quadruple century of slavery couldn’t do it. One hundred years of Jim Crow couldn’t do it. Whips couldn’t break us. Chains couldn’t. Hate can’t. And if there is anything you should be sure of, it’s that a dim-witted totalitarian with hair like a rooster and an anuslike mouth damn sure won’t break our spirits or our souls.

Nice try, though.

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