By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf
July 12, 2006
Ryan: Man, you don’t know what it’s like to be black.
Nathan: Sure I do. I’m black.
Ryan: Nate, you whiter than my teeth.
Nathan: Now, you’re just making shit up.
I’ve been trying to hide it for years, but well, y’all deserve to know the truth: I am Caucasian. Recently, fellow PIC columnist E. Mike Tuckerson pointed out to me that not only am I a white man, but both of my parents are white as well.
I’m just shocked that no one ever told me.
Anyway, because I am still coming to terms with my Dutch heritage, I decided to write a list of rules (because, as I’m sure you know by now, you gotta have rules) that all white men should keep in mind when dealing with black men. In fact, I’m positive the following list of rules will help further black/white relations.
“Everyone, black or white, gets to rip on Michael Jackson. We’re all people on this planet, except Michael.”
Hey, I was put here on this planet to help people (common knowledge to you by now I’m sure). Seriously, it’s true. Mom told me so.
So let’s have ourselves a look at the rules, white boys.
1. Unless you really know the black man in question (and I mean you are best of friends, good teammates or army buddies) do not use the following terms: “nigga” or “brother.” The black man will let you know when you’re his brother. You do not let him know. It’s his word. Usually, you can call him your brother if he starts calling you his brother, his cracker or his white boy. You can’t call him nigga unless you’re Eminem.
2. You want to know how to talk to a black man, ask his white, female friends. Women are more intuitive and emotional and typically less judgmental as to issues of skin color. Unfortunately, when it comes to the color green, most women see all too discriminately, but that’s another tale for another day.
3. Don’t be a wigger. They hate that shit. Be confident in your culture. They are confident in theirs.
4. Do not be afraid to talk about issues of race. They’re thinking about it, too. But if you do talk about issues of race, do not generalize. Stick to the issue or issues in question.
5. Everyone, black or white, gets to rip on Michael Jackson. We’re all people on this planet, except Michael. They know that, too.
6. There is such a thing as black rage. It stems from years of the dominate culture questioning their behavior and motivation. Do not be afraid of black rage. It is a necessary part of their culture.
7. Do not call them African Americans to their faces. (Exception: If the African American has incredibly light skin or is albino, then feel free to use that term. If they confront you about it, just say, “Sorry man, but I got relatives blacker than you.” It’s good for a laugh.)
8. Fuck at least one black chick. Trust me on this. All men talk shit about their women. Know a black woman intimately, and you’re in that conversation.
9. Don’t think that black people should like you because you’re into rap, blues or jazz music. White people have been into their music since the first black spiritual was sung in a cotton field. It’s not impressive.
10. You have just as good odds of being accepted by a group of black people as you have odds of being accepted by a group of lawyers. Groups form based on common bonds. Don’t ever expect anyone (black, white or other) to give two fucks about you, especially in a group. What do you care, anyway? What? Are you hyper-sensitive? People suck. Blacks are people. It ain’t a tricky equation.
11. Recognize this fact and take it to heart: the man who invented artificial plasma (which keeps people alive long enough to get blood transfusions) bled to death on the steps of a white hospital (that wouldn’t admit him). Not that you need to know it, but his name was Charles Brooks. (Editor’s note: The doctor’s actual name was Charles Drew. This is what happens when Nate does all his research in bars.)
12. Don’t blame your white friends for having racist tendencies. Black folks have them too. Everyone wants their kids to look like they do. This goes back to the beginning of time. I’m sorry, but it’s true.
13. OJ Simpson was guilty. Most black people believe this. He was, however, the first example of a black man getting away with murdering a white person after a trial by jury. The list of white people who have gotten away with murdering black people is so long I couldn’t list it if I tried. That’s why they’re happy for him. He’s the Jackie Robinson of murderers.
So why did I write this list? Because it’s two thousand and fucking six, and people still don’t know this shit. That bothers me. This list was not written by some holier-than-thou, liberal champion of lost causes who grew up in the ghetto; it was written by a middle-class capitalist who grew up in a four-bedroom house in the suburbs. And if I know the stuff on this list, then you should, too.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and write another column that demeans women.