Sunday, July 26, 2009

A few things never to ask Black People (especially bougie ones)

I'm equal opportunity. Bouge knows no color. So I welcome all to join BougieLand. Welcome!

As when you are in Rome, you do as Romans do; when you are in BlacknBougie world, please refrain from asking the following:

  1. Anything about our hair: A black person's head of hair (male or female) is a mysterious and fragile being. It can be tamed or set free. It often requires chemicals and serums and oils (not hydrators… oils). Some of us wash it every day, some once a month, it's a matter of style, texture, moisture and scalp pH balance. When we get a perm, no – it doesn't turn out curly. Lookie here, just don't ask us. Oh, and don't touch it either. We mean it, you might draw back a nub.

  2. Any question that starts Why do Black People Always: We don't know why Black People Always. We are not ALL Black People and WE don't ALWAYS do something. In the same way that moon-shining tobacco-growing white folks from Kentucky don't relate to blue-blooded Fifth Avenue-shopping Central Park West white folks, bougie black folk don't know from ghetto. A-ight?

  3. If we voted for Barack Obama: Probably but we don't want to talk about it. And if we didn't vote him, we are not admitting it to you. No offense.

  4. If we voted for George W Bush: Probably not but we don't want to talk about it. And if we did vote him, we are not admitting it to you. No offense.

  5. What we think about (insert Black Pop Cultural Item here): Yeah, we don't want to tell you what we thought about "the OJ" or Mike Vick or Steve McNair. We will talk about Michael Jackson. As a matter of fact, he's always a safe topic… bring him up anytime.

  6. If we want to get hooked up with your one other black friend: No, we don't. We do not want to be your experiment for the year. And chances are, the person you want to hook us up with is not feeling it either. As a matter of fact, no matchmaking at all. When we're out together and some halfway decent person of color strolls by, do not ask me, "What about him? He's cute!" No he's not. He's a troll but he's black and black people should like each other right? Wrong!

  7. If we love this (hip-hop/R&B/soul) song: Maybe, maybe not. Do you love every pop/metal/alternative rock song you hear? I probably have more Metallica and Puddle of Mudd on my iPod than you do. Just sayin'.

  8. To be your urban culture guide: We may not know what "off the heezy" means and we probably don't know how to do the "Stanky Leg." Please stop turning to us in a room full of other Caucasians to ask us. You will force us to cut you with our witty and well-prepared, "I don't speak for all Negroes" speech accompanied by the universal "Ask me again and see what happens" staredown.

  9. If we know some other random black person: Not all black people know each other, nor are we related. Just because I once lived in L.A. and worked at a media company does not mean that I know every other black person in the entertainment industry.

  10. Why I speak/talk/dress/walk/write like I do: What? I'm supposed to pimp walk, talk like Mike Tyson, dress like JLo (during her Diddy stage), walk like I'm on the stroll and write at the first grade level? Not. Gonna. Happen.

  11. Last but not Least: Don't ever, EVER ask a black person anything about watermelon or fried chicken. You know what? Don't bring up chicken at all. I don't care if it's sautéed with a Pinot Grigio lemon zest reduction topped with chanterelle mushrooms and vidalia onion chutney. Don't talk about chicken and expect to keep your black friends. Just go with me on this one.

Any other "Please don't ask cuz we're not gonna tell" questions for my list?


Mrs. Gill said...

Great post! I laughed out loud! :-)

Okay, here's one: Never ask us if we got our Ivy League education, job, or anything else due to affirmative action. And don't try to ask on the sly either: "Do people always ask you if you got into this school due to Affirmative Action?" Just don't mention Affirmative Action to us at all.

LadyLuck said...

@Mrs. Gill - agreed! No Affirmative Action or new buzzwords like "Diversity Initiative", we know what that means...

Park Avenue said...

I'm sitting here trying to think of another "Please don't ask cuz we're not gonna tell" question, but I think you've covered it all. Love the list & super-love the blog!

Tori D. said...

Oh God, #8 made me frash back to training I had for work a few months ago. During one of our little breaks, the instructor -middle aged white woman- came over to my table where I sat with another young black lady if we would show everyone how to do the stanky leg. I'd never even seen it and had to google it later that night. Fast forward about two weeks later, and at the end of an agency-wide meeting my boss (another middle-aged white woman) makes the same request. I simply replied, "I don't know how to do it, but I'm sure your tween daughter does."

Anyway... Great post, and I love your blog!

SpkTRUTH2Pwr said...

haha that was on point and number 11 definitely had me rolling because if anyone didn't know this was a bougie blog, the way you described that chicken sealed it!

One that I get a lot:

Did you play (basketball/football) in college? Or more generally, do you "ball?" Was it required for me to go to a private, mostly white, conservative university in the south and pick up a ball? I remember the day before graduation, I was showing my parents around campus and wanted to show them this plaque in the Chancellor's Office that had my name on it for receiving an award for campus leadership and service. Anyways, after viewing the plaque, the secretary in the office starts talking to me about how disappointing losing to Georgetown in the Sweet 16 must have been...too bad I wasn't on the basketball team. When I told her such, she said "Oh! Well that is a lot of wasted talent!" Ummmm ma'am what are you basing my talent off of? The way I walked into the office? Because I was a darker skinned student and thus automatically more athletic?

Oli said...

Well, someone needed to say it! =D

Anonymous said...

Speak for yourself on #6. I want to at least see a picture, first, before I start declining hook-up offers from 3rd parties.

A.Smith said...

Just don't ask me nothing. How about that? LOL.

Seriously, I hate it when my co-workers ask me how I feel about [enter new racial issue here]. Eff man, I'm not gonna sit here and give you a feel good explanation so you don't feel like a racist anymore.

OneChele said...

@bougieland - I made up the Pinot Chicken, quit emailing for the recipe ;-)

Karen said...

Hey! I work for your sister and we love your new blog. We went over this post during a lull in your staff meeting yesterday.

Okay, I admitted I was guilty of number 1 (although I never touched the hair...that's like touching a strange pregnant woman's belly). Yes, I was naive young grad and truly puzzled when a coworker with short hair came in with long locks the next day. So I asked. She was more than happy to tell me all about it and I was fascinated - I had no ideal I was being offensive. Please accept my apologies. As far as I can recall, #1 is the only rule I have broken.

Anywho...I believe you MUST begin a memoir. The kind of funny memoir by young, hip people which have you laughing out loud. These usually consist of unrelated chapter stories - such as your eHarmony series.

I am convinced you could be the next David Sedaris/Chelsea Handler/Jen Lancaster. You would tap into new market.

Love your blog. Keep up the good work!


OneChele said...

Thanks Karen! BougieSis has relaxed her staff meeting standards over the years apparently ;-) I am unfortunately not allowed to write my memoirs for another few years... made a pact with some of the guilty parties but thank you for the kind words!

natural nubian said...

very very nicely writtened bouge. i get the hair questions/perplexed looks constantly 'cause my hair's natural: i.e. can be straight on day then in a 'fro the next.

let me add do not try us by asking if we can get darker. OBVIOUSLY every other ethnicity can so why can't we? i returned from FL all nice-n-chocolatey and i could see some coworkers tried so hard to find a way to ask. just don't.

BougieSis said...

Bougie Sis here, just had to say we don't always talk about the blog in our staff meeting ;o) This was a special case --- really!

Chloe said...

The hair issue is a big one! My stepdaughter likes to wear her hair out. While attending Dance Camp over the summer, I obliged and let her hair do it's thing. Low and behold I walk in to pick her up and the dance teacher states., " Her hair is so beautiful and curly, all of their hair doesn't do that does it"? I'm like WTH? All I could do is shake my head and tell a simple, "Her hair looks nice", would have sufficed.

Glenn Beck. said...

But why do they eat fried chicken with watermelon and grape soda?


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