by Dr. Jet Stonecrest
1. If they are new to your social circle or office, tell a joke to lighten the mood and make them feel welcome. “How many black people does it take to change a light bulb?” Wait for comedic timing. “I don’t know, the lights weren’t on!” As everyone laughs together and they join in, give them a few hearty slaps on the back and let them know they are in for a lot of fun in their new social circle.
2. Compliment their success. If you have a black friend who dresses well, has a great job, nice home and speaks with great articulation, compliment him, “Wow, Marvin, you’re so white. No one would ever think you’re black.” If your friend is Asian or Mexican-American with no accent, they love to hear, ‘Wow, you literally have no accent. Great job.”
3. When topics like ‘how to make fried chicken’ or ‘basketball’ come up at work, make sure to yield the floor to your black co-worker and yield to their expertise. “Oh, fried chicken, Jamal I bet your wife has the perfect recipe. Tell us the perfect recipe.”
4. If your kid gets invited to their kid’s birthday party, do not get upset if the Kool-aid tastes really sweet and then spit it out. It’s a cultural thing. Instead, make sure to say, ‘Wow, your red/grape Kool-aid is just so perfectly sweet’. Make sure to bring a gift like a Black Panther action figure.
5. Let them know that Wayne Brady is one of your favorite entertainers. Even if you haven’t seen a Madea movie, tell them that Tyler Perry is just the best.
6. Play with their fluffy hair. Black people love it when you walk up to them and play with their crazy, cute fluffy hair. Don’t be shy at all, black people take great pride and especially if they have taken time to put in extension braids from the local Asian hair shop.
7. If a tragic cop shooting video becomes the topic of water cooler talk, remind them that most cops are good people and they should not be so down or start venting over that one incident. There is no reason to bring all the negativity to their day or the office. Things are actually not so bad and reminding them will make them appreciate your expertise and providing perspective on Civil Rights.
8. Walk up to them (especially in the winter) and hold your arms next to theirs and say, ‘Wow, I hope I cannot wait to get as tan as you this summer’. Black people and Mexican people will think, “Wow, this gal really isn’t so bad at all. She wants skin just like ours during the summer.”
9. If you have a black person marry into your family, tell all your friends ‘he/she is black, but not ‘really’ black if you know what I mean’. That shows everyone that the person who married into your family meets standards and they will appreciate you vouching for them.
10. Invite them to your church! Remind them that your church starts promptly at 10 a.m. so please be on time and that loud shouting/dancing is not really allowed since it is not a nightclub. Remind them to be ready for brunch at 11 a.m. since church service will not take half the day.