What is “the talk”?
The talk is literally a talk many black parents have with their children to inform them of the dangers of “existing while black” and the myriad things out there actively trying to kill us.
You mean like cancer, global warming and hypertension?
Well, those. And racism. And the police. And America. And Darth Beckys, Darth Susans and Darth Chads. And mysterious casseroles left on tables at company potlucks. And really shitty barbers. And Ray Lewis.
Ah, I see. Did your parents ever have the talk with you?
No. They just made me watch Do the Right Thing and read the Farmers’ Almanac. (It had the desired effect.)
So, the talk might not actually be a singular talk but a series of lessons teaching a young black person how to navigate America?
I guess you can say that. Think of the talk as a “How to Survive Whiteness” syllabus, with extensive lessons ranging from “racial profiling” to “awkward seasoning.” Sometimes it’s spread over a semester. And sometimes it’s an accelerated weekend course.
Got it! So, how exactly is Procter & Gamble involved with this?
Last week the company debuted “The Talk”—a 70-second-long video consisting of various respectable black folk having versions of the talk with their offspring.
Respectable black folk?
Oh yeah. Not in a bad way, though. You just watch this video and know that the casting call asked three questions: 1) Can you be convincingly solemn? 2) Can you enunciate the fuck out of an adjective? 3) Can you enunciate while solemn? Basically, “Can you be Courtney B. Vance?”
Anyway, this is part of P&G’s My Black Is Beautiful campaign, which:
[C]elebrates the diverse collective beauty of black women and encourages black women to define and promote our own beauty standard—one that is an authentic reflection of our indomitable spirit.
Which, although it reads like it was written by a #BlackGirlMagic autobot, is very necessary.
So why are we talking about the talk today?
Because of the responses on P&G’s Facebook page. It was a tornado of white tears. A white-tears tsunami. A white-tears turducken. A white-tears event horizon, where the white tears were spaghettified by anti-gravity. I haven’t seen that many white people mad since the Lost series finale. It was truly a riot of whiteness.
Why were they so upset?
Don’t ask me! Take it from Facebook user Brian Hill, who replied, “I am a proud parent of 2 African American kiddos and I’m a cop. I will no longer buy any P & G products. Your divisive and biased ads will not create more customers. More will stop buying your products.”
A similar sentiment was echoed by Michele Yerdon Syvertsen, who shared a link to the Wikipedia page listing all of the P&G products, and called for a boycott.
A boycott? Of P&G?
Are they aware that P&G makes, well ... everything? Like, if you plan to boycott P&G, you’re basically saying, “Hey, everyone. I’m gonna be naked as fuck for the rest of my life. Just bare-assed every damn where. Also, I’m never going to shower again. Or shit. Or eat.”
Perhaps. But judging by their comments—both of which received hundreds of likes—and the hundreds of similar comments on P&G’s Facebook page, a naked, foodless, showerless and shitless life is worth standing up to P&G.
But for what??? What the hell happened in the video that made them so mad? Did they film Michael Vick walking a dog? What the fuck?
Apparently they were triggered by an extremely tepid acknowledgment that the world might be a bit harder for black people than it is for them. The articulation of racism is racism. And not just racism, but racism-racism. That real, uncut and raw racism. Not that stepped-on shit with baking soda and milk.
From Kevin Ferrara:
THIS is EXACTLY why racism exists in America! EVERYONE has EQUAL opportunities to be something, do something, achieve greatness...CULTURE is what holds individuals back from achieving their dreams and highest potential, not white folk and their so called privilege. I can assure you that I or anyone in my family will NO LONGER purchase anything from P&G...EVER!
Wanda Traver even used a special understanding of things like “time” and “space” and “history” and “fact” to shoehorn President Obama:
Unbelievable!! You are stirring Hate from 45 to 50 years ago!! Why? Children today weren’t children then and had not lived that era. You and Obama are a disgrace to mankind.
So, P&G said, “Hey, black people have to deal with race stuff sometimes,” and that was enough to replicate the response to the O.J. verdict?
Basically. Fortunately, I’ve grown to appreciate white tears as delicious.
They must be an acquired taste.
They are! They go really great with pancakes. And you don’t even need bacon because they already have all the salt.