Every few months for the past ... oh, let’s say 450-odd years, black people in America have endured a particularly brutal but seldom-discussed form of torture. We all know about the historical travesties of slavery, Jim Crow and systemic racism, but there is another hardship that Africans in America bravely withstand every day with very little mention:
Listening to white people explain how to fight racism.
This insufferable hardship is rarely acknowledged but is an accepted part of the black experience. To shed light on this epidemic, we thought we’d count down some of the funniest, side-eye-inducing and most frequently used methods that concerned Caucasians believe can end racism.
While Kylie Jenner and the PepsiCo recently resurrected this technique, it is not new. I don’t even understand the reason for Pepsi’s ad, considering that Coca-Cola solved racism in 1971 when it taught the world to sing, and clearly eliminated all anti-immigrant sentiment with the “It’s Beautiful” Super Bowl commercial in 2013.
A lot of people are upset about the commercial—but not me. I’m taking Jenner’s advice and keeping a Pepsi in my car at all times. That way, when I am pulled over by the cops, as they approach, I’ll reach under my seat and pull out a shiny, glistening Pepsi. I bet they’ll be so happy when they hear the “click” of me opening the can.
That should work, right?
9. Safety Pins
People who signal they are “allies” by wearing safety pins have never met a black grandmother. If they had, they’d know that safety pins can’t eliminate prejudice because—according to statistics—every black woman over the age of 50 has an average of 11.2 safety pins in her purse right now.
I’m sure that if Rosa Parks had pulled one out of her pocketbook, that Montgomery, Ala., bus driver would have said, “My bad.” History says that the legendary abolitionist John Rankin would signal safe harbor to Harriet Tubman’s escapees on the Underground Railroad with a lantern. I wonder if anyone ever told him that a safety pin would have been much easier? I can’t say for sure that no one suggested it to him, but I’ve read a lot of books on Tubman, and I can’t recall any historians quoting her as saying, “That’s such a stupid idea, you might be the first passenger I leave behind.”
Wypipo love petitions. Whether they’re trying to sell DirecTV, convince you to join the PTA or get you to save the endangered spotted tiger owl by pestering you in the parking lot of Whole Foods, they truly believe that a clipboard filled with fake names can change the world. Until Donald Trump interrupts the NCAA tournament with a presidential news conference declaring that he has seen my petition and so he’s going to drink a gallon of bleach on live TV, stop sending me links to Change.org! Petitions make me mad anyway because all I can think is, “If only Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X had gotten together and collected signatures to end voter discrimination and segregation, they might still be alive today!”
Damn, how I wish they had known!
I’m a poet, and I hate when social issues pop up in the news because I know I’m going to have to sit through 293 white people’s poems explaining how they understand the struggle so they want to apologize for cultural appropriation, support Black Lives Matter and trumpet any topic that makes them sound sympathetic. If white people really wanted to be allies, here’s something they could definitely do: Stop painting pictures of Emmett Till. Stop writing blog posts, songs and raps explaining white privilege.
Most of all, just stop Macklemore.
There are only two kinds of people on the internet:
- “Alt-right,” white supremacist, racist trolls who hide behind keyboards and use the anonymity of the internet to spread hate
- Social-justice warriors
You know the SJWs. They’re always tweeting about how something is “problematic,” or making a Facebook post “unpacking” the article they linked to. And they love statistics and studies. If you show them a graph on the statistical imbalance of education, that’s porn to an SJW. Ultimately, the SJWs are a lot like the “alt-right” trolls because they aren’t gonna do squat in real life. They don’t understand that “solidarity” is more than changing their profile pic to a hoodie or posting a quote about loving black women to their Instagram account. But they send their kids to private schools because—eewww, black people.
If you ask anyone who adheres to the great 18th-century philosopher and educator D. Wyatt Mann, he or she will tell you why education is the key. I can’t fully explain it here, except that it has something to do with bootstraps and making the most of your opportunities. If you’d like to learn more, you could ask them why a black college student is less likely to earn a job than a white high school dropout, or how many police-shooting videos they’ve seen where cops asked about the victim’s GPA before they murdered him or her in cold blood. Or just ask them how much they donated to HBCUs last year.
Sex is the great racism eliminator; ask Rachel Dolezal. Apparently, once you’ve shared your bed with someone of a different race, you can say and do anything you want because you can’t possibly be a racist if you have a mixed child or had a phase in college when you enjoyed black penis. Once you’ve done it, you are automatically grandfathered into an excuse for cultural appropriation or racist behavior. It’s called the “Kardashian rule,” because you know what they say:
Once you go black ...
You can use the n-word.
... or something like that.
I don’t actually know exactly what “resources” means. I just know it is a magical catchall for everything we call racist. Even when the tax base and incomes are the same, black schools receive less money than schools with predominantly white student bodies. While that may sound racist to you, a clear-eyed Caucasian could explain to you that black students struggle because of a “lack of resources.” It is also why African Americans who commit the same crimes as their white counterparts get longer prison sentences, and even why black neighborhoods have fewer grocery stores. It’s all because of a “lack of resources.”
Wait. Maybe “resources” simply means “people who aren’t willing to ignore the problems of racism.”
I know this one is real, because—like most black people—some of my best friends are racist. I just assume they are because every time I’ve heard a white person excuse his or her problematic behavior with “one of my best friends is ... ,” the black friend being referred to is never around, so I assume my melanin-less buddies do the same thing in my absence. Friendship is better than sex when it comes to white America’s belief that they’re not racist. Oblivious people will sometimes do or say something offensive and wipe their slate clean with “Jamaal knows I’m not racist.”
No, I talked to Jamaal. We both know that we all have one friend who’s a homophobe, one who’s a little sexist and one who’s a little bit racist. Jamaal told me you’re all three.
No. 1 on the list of wypipo racism-combat tools is conversation! Whenever a radio or television show is devoid of content or has run out of ideas, it will ask you to “join the conversation” on Twitter or email. America is like that, too.
As soon as a police officer shoots an unarmed black child, or a tangerine-colored dollop of Nazi feces wins the presidency by appealing to white nationalists, white America automatically goes into “conversation” autopilot. They’ll have town hall meetings and roundtables to discuss the relevant topics, but most of all, they’ll tell you how we need to have a “conversation about race.” If they had ever visited a black barber shop, beauty salon, dinner table or cookout, they’d know that black America has been having a conversation about race for the past ... oh, let’s say 450 years. We don’t need to have one—they do.
On second thought, it’ll probably just result in them coming up with more racism solutions. Never mind.
Besides, they’ll probably serve Pepsi.