Some of these white men and women stand with us in solidarity, and the others do when it's convenient. Either way, this list is full of black allies and black imitators, as well as those who relish the title but are also really happy to go to sleep at night knowing that it's not actually true.
Kim Zolziak From The Real Housewives of Atlanta
She can't dance. She can't sing. She doesn't date black men (from what we know). But she does — or used to — have a bevy of black girlfriends. And what really qualifies her is that her affinity for wigs rivals that of a hat-wearing church elder. Plus, she stole a page from the black C-list celebrity book and came out with her own wig line.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
We're still not convinced that she's zero percent black. Just take a look at those curls. It's clear that she recently went natural and visits her hair salon for biweekly twist-outs. There's that, and the Florida Democrat's proclivity for calling out the GOP for its racist dog whistling.
He has a penchant for offing history's most grotesque oppressors in his films, and it appears that he doesn't plan on stopping (he told us he plans to create a black-soldier revenge flick to link Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds). But more tellingly, he employs the n-word in his art with the frequency (and ownership?) of a platinum-selling rapper. Just saying.
She sounds like your favorite Baptist-choir soloist on a Sunday morning, and the blue-eyed Brit is also on pace for the kind of stellar career that legends Aretha Franklin and Roberta Flack had before her. She's also really good at paying homage to all the soul singers who influenced her style. Need more convincing? She was nominated for two NAACP Image Awards. She didn't win, but still.
The MSNBC anchor is sort of like the loud, sharp-tongued uncle who both embarrasses you and enlightens you at the family barbecue, and you love him for it. He must have learned a thing or two from his 2008 "I forgot Obama was black" faux pas, because since then, he's ditched the coded language and has been blunt and accurate about the GOP's covert racism. He even lost his cool with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus during the 2012 election season. Calm down, Uncle Chris, calm down.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel
The Chicago mayor's older brother recently wrote a book, Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family. In it, he shared a moment from their childhood when the three Emanuel siblings fought off racist bullies who mistook Rahm — with his olive skin and coiled hair — for an African American. And in the Chi, black folks loved him, until just recently. Family breaks up and makes up all the time, right?
When his film Red Tails tanked, he righteously ranted about Hollywood's rejection of black films with the ferocity of, well, a black filmmaker. And then there's Mellody Hobson, his gorgeous and whip-smart fiancee.
We wonder if Wise was black in his past life, because as an author and anti-racism activist, he understands white privilege like nobody's business. His brilliant critiques of subtle racism, classism, sexism and current events make us all wish that he would offer his services to the GOP. If Republicans listened, they might have a shot at actually winning a national election.
Much like Tim Wise, comedian Louis C.K. just gets it. He earned his black card when he wrote and directed the 2001 cult classic Pootie Tang. But beyond that, we love how he owns his white privilege and how he makes sure his kids own it, too. We also love his decision to cast a black actress as his ex-wife and mother of his daughters in the third season of his hit TV show, Louie. Our favorite C.K. line comes from his 2010 appearance on The Tonight Show. "I'm not trying to say that if you're white you can't complain," C.K. said. "I'm just saying that if you're black you get to complain more."
He raps well and offers up some incisive social commentary on discrimination while he's at it. He also managed to channel Jerome from Martin in his wildly popular "Thrift Shop" video. Did he throw black people under the bus with his "Same Love" song and blame blacks for homophobia in hip-hop? It's still unclear, but other signs say he's down for the cause.
Patricia 'Tan Mom' Krentcil
Krentcil makes the list because she is actually the blackest white person we know. Like, literally. She's as tan as our ancestors. Never have we known someone who's gone to such great lengths to be down.
Wait, There's More!
Make sure to check out the first edition of Blackest White Folks We Know.