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The Talk: Nonwhite Version

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As a response to how black parents have had "the talk" with their children following the recent murder of Trayvon Martin, noted racist and modern-day Latin-afficionado John Derbyshire recently penned a reflective, presumably tongue-in-cheek advice piece for fellow fearful, racist white parents who may be concerned about their children interacting too much with black Americans.

As a white myself, I appreciate Mr. Derbyshire's efforts, and would like to pay for it by providing non-whites with some advice on the talk you may wish to have with your children about us. You're welcome.

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(1) Among your fellow citizens are over 220 million who identify themselves as white, and whom I shall refer to as white. The confusing (and Dave Matthews non-compliant-he's South African) term "European-American" seems to be in decline, thank heavens! "Cracker" and "Honky" are archaisms. What you must call the 'W' word (I mean "Whitey", but I'm just too much of a coward to actually write what I mean) is used freely among us whites, but is a no-no to nonwhites.

(2) American whites are descended from European populations, with some Viking ad-mixture. Probably.

(3) Your own ancestry is (insert here), but whites will take you to be nonwhite, and will probably ask you where you grew up ("No, but like...where did your parents grow up?").

(4) Whites are just like anybody else (see below for how we totally aren't), and we are entitled to the same courtesies as you would extend any nonwhite (although we may not understand your handshakes). In return, we will do our best to ignore you and look back down at our copies of the latest E.L. James novel.

(5) As with any population of such size, there are many variations among whites of any human trait you can think of. Fat, skinny, annoying, goofy, entitled, creative, likes long walks on the beach, doesn't like commitment, likes wearing shorts, doesn't like wearing shorts, and patronizing. There are white car salesmen and white suit salesmen. You get the idea. We really are just like other human beings! Except no white people have ever won a "Vibe" award. Except maybe Eminem. Anyway, most people live and die without ever meeting (or wanting to meet) a Vibe-award winner.

(6) As you go through life, you will encounter a great number of white Americans. We are literally everywhere. Assuming your encounters are random -- just off the top of my head, let's say not restricted to white pedophiles or Presidents of America -- you will start to notice that many traits are very different for white and black Americans, as has been confirmed by countless stand-up comedy routines.

(7) Of utmost important to your personal safety are the very (italics mine -- for emphasis) different means for antisocial behavior, which you will see reflected in, for instance, a love of adult contemporary music, passive-aggressive behaviour and an inability to handle really spicy food without getting really red in the face.

(8) These differences are magnified by the ignorance we whites have towards other races. So not only do we not know much about other white people, we don't know anything about the rest of the world. Remember Ms. Teen South Carolina? Even A.C. Slater was like, "Come on!"

(9) I'm just going to go ahead and make up some percentages here, and say that around 50 per cent of white people feel really uncomfortable around nonwhite people, and the other 50 per cent of us white people try super-hard to act like we aren't racist by having at least one non-white friend. I personally have several. Some whites really hate non-whites, or are racist and try to couch their racism in academic language and fancy words. I can't really say why they do this, but I would probably avoid them at dinner parties.

(10) Thus, as you can see by my airtight argument here, just be careful around whites and use common sense:

(10a) Avoid concentrations of whites not known to you personally. If they are known to you through MTV (i.e. the band "The Fray") or if you recognize them from a dream that you had, they are probably ok.

(10b) Stay out of heavily white neighborhoods, unless you are really into sipping lattes and listening to Michael Buble while wearing yoga pants.

(10c) If planning a trip to a museum or a park or whatever at some random time or something (I'm just phoning this one in, to be honest), find out whether there will be a lot of whites around. Seriously. I am suggesting that you pick up the phone, call the city, and find out if a lot of white people will be at the park. Do it. See what happens.

(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of whites. Avoid St. Patrick's Day like the plague. That's just good advice in general.

(10e) If you are hanging out at some event, like Caribana, and suddenly you see a ton of white people show up, get the hell out of there. They will just ruin the whole vibe. Same goes for your favourite Chinese food restaurant.

(10f) Don't live anywhere run by white politicians. In other words, move to Jacksonville, Florida. Or...not America.

(10g) Before voting for a white politician, scrutinize their character more than you would...oh, who am I kidding, you just vote randomly anyway, don't you, just like everybody else?

(10h) Don't help anybody ever. They will axe murder you!

(10i) If accosted by a strange white in the street, smile but keep moving. They are either trying to sell you religion or get you to become a monthly donor to Greenpeace. Either way, that's at least 15 minutes of your life you will never get back.

(11) White people do pretty well on IQ tests. In a totally unrelated note, white people created the IQ test. I'm going to use some italics here: nine in 10 whites. Five in 14 blacks. Seven in six dolphins. You do the math. In conclusion, "any argument is more compelling when you use statistics."

(12) Many white people hate affirmative action. Here is why. Let's say you give your white toddler a whole bunch of toys. You love the little guy, and you want him to have everything. Then you adopt a new baby. Let's say that she is black. Your first toddler is way ahead of the game here, and has all the toys. Now what happens when you ask the first toddler to share their toys with their new black sister? And when you start to give her more attention? The toddler gets upset, and starts screaming and throwing a tantrum. Then he grows up and writes a letter to Congress about affirmative action taking away his speedboat.

(13) There are many Whites who are Able, Social, Capable, Independent, Smart, and Talented (I will use WACIST as an ad hoc abbreviation.) You should go out of your way to pretend to be friends with WACISTs. Not only do you get a well-mannered new friends to impress with your (insert ethnicity here) cooking, but nobody will fire you for "not fitting in."

(14) Be aware, however, that there are not too many WACISTs about, and they are in high demand. Most white people are the worst.

(15) Unfortunately, the demand is greater than the supply, so WACISTs are somewhat like the elusive chupacabra, or Bigfoot: boasted of by monster hunters, coveted by people who watch TLC. Just look at the smile on the face of a non-white in the company of a WACIST! Wipe that drool off your face and try not to be too envious, it will be taken as prejudice. Not that I'm bitter (I'M TOTALLY BITTER).

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You don't have to, and really shouldn't, listen to anything I just wrote. If you don't know how to raise your own children to be open-minded and thoughtful young people, then there is not much I or anybody else can do for you. We live in a society that is still climbing out of the muck of many years of slavery and colonialism and general discrimination. Our kids need to learn how to recognize and call out racism (and prejudice); not to reinforce it.