Tuesday, May 29, 2007

With Friends Like These...

Hat tip to Jack & Jill Politics.

Here's a hysterical, satirical website that offers wincingly funny example of how not to treat your African-American friends: BLACK PEOPLE LOVE US!


haze said...

When I initially checked out this website I howled with laughter. But then I was rather disturbed by some of the viewer mail in the Letters section. I am amazed & saddened by the number of people who didn't realize that this is satire. And then I started looking at the whole thing as a great social experiment and a study in race relations. I wonder if some of the irate readers don't have friends of different ethnicities than their own so they think this is really how people act? Mind you, some of the Testimonials (comparing skin tone, thinking I can comment for EVERY black person in the world or that I would WANT to in the first place) are things I have to deal with all the time - and oy, summer tans are coming ;-P

I don't think of those things as racist at all, but geez, when you have to deal with it EVERY BLINKING DAY! Black people don't walk around doing these things to people of other races. Get over it people and just deal already!

I am also saddened by the responses because, and I hate to say it, it seems to be Americans getting so angry. I don't think Canadians would react to this so negatively. Maybe I'm wrong. IMHO, there is much more anger in the US than else where - from both the black and the white communities. Non-US blacks have the same disgust and rage about black history as the US black community but I don't hear as much confrontation about it. And yes, obviously there is a smaller black population in Canada and most of the slavery horrors of the past took place in the states, but when it comes to experiencing racism firsthand or being confronted with disturbing images of slavery, etc, it's not the quantity that matters - the rage and sorrow is exactly the same wherever you live. Well, that's my personal experience as a black woman living in Canada. Am I totally naive?

Sorry for blabbing for so long. I'm sure I will continue to consider this website for quite some time - it's a great thought-provoking work. Thanks for sharing the link with us, Swerl.

Swerl said...


Thanks so much for your long, thoughtful comment. Canadians are cool.

Actually your comment was heartening, as many posts explicitly about race tend to go uncommented upon, yet I think, besides figuring out how first families factor into our lives, this is the MOST IMPORTANT and, probably, most difficult issue of Ethiopian adoption, especially due to the weight of history.

The kids will shortly become "African-Americans", rather than ex-pat Africans, and rather ignorant white people such as myself will need to figure out how to help them "own" that identity.

The thing I thought was interesting about the comments is how even people "sensitive" to racial issues have so little understanding or awareness of black's frustration with white people.

It reminds me of that scene in MALCOLM X where the white college liberal asked Malcolm what she can do to help black people, and Malcolm said, "Nothing." It shocked her.

I know from interviews and the like that that's how Spike Lee feels, mostly out of frustration of trying to get whites to LISTEN and not just assume they know best.

African-Americans are CONSTANTLY required to know about, consider and even identify with the issues of white America, but whites rarely consent to returning the favor.

When I told my family, for example, that TV 1 was rerunning ROOTS, they didn't know the channel existed. Few know that BET is owned by the very white, very old, very rich Sumner Redstone. To find Tavis Smiley you need breadcrumbs (he did do a great thing about New Orleans yesterday, and will continue it today. Wonder how many millions of whites tuned in for that?)

I think I rambled more than you!

Although, in all seriousness, I think, thanks to my tanned "driver's arm", my left elbow is actually as dark as your skin!

(before I get hate mail, that was also a joke!)

haze said...


I had noticed that your race posts seem to be avoided which is one reason I wanted to ensure I responded to you.

I checked out the Jack and Jill Politics site further and really enjoyed reading the "Ask the White Guy" feature. It was very interesting and also very informative.

Swerl, I have much respect for you and your blog. Keep up the great work!

Beverly said...

This link (site) took me off guard. It was extremely funny and I have heard maybe even wrongly said a few things myself in my less than wiser years. I hope I am much more aware now. Some of the comments were very sad to me.


Anonymous said...

When I found this link in 2006 I thought it was hilarious. My husband just shook his head. I guess it just depends on the individual.


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