The “Shit ____ say to ____” meme has exploded after the “Shit White Girls Say” video went viral on YouTube. It spawned some really good ones – like the “Shit Nobody Says” and “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls” – and of course, some really horrible ones (which I won’t even mention). I was curious to see if anyone had made one about what white guys say to black guys. Growing up as a black kid in a white WASP family in a WASPy, Eastern European-dominated city I consider myself something of an expert in this subject matter. If I had a decent video camera and the time, I’d have made a video myself, but no matter. I assumed there was bound to be something out there in YouTube-land. To my disappointment there are a couple videos so far but they are not of the same caliber of the really good ones out there. I am hoping better ones are in the making and will be up shortly. In the meantime, I’ve created a list of shit white guys say to black guys, based on my own past history. I expect many of these will appear in any new videos on this subject.
Some of the offensive ones like “shine my shoes” were standard gags done in jest by my white friends who were not racists, and I never once believed these jokes were mean-spirited. However, the nature of the jokes was always the same, and they were repeated frequently; a poking fun at common or historical stereotypes that existed about blacks. They were also a lightening of historical wrongs perpetrated by their ancestors against black people – at least those in the US who could easily trace their roots to slavery.
Certainly I found some of them funny, but wished there was more, I don’t know, contrition perhaps, to go alongside the tom foolery they’d make out of the fact their great-grandfathers (or at least their ggf’s cousins) were historical persecutors of my paternal forebears. I used to try to implore them that these jokes would be like me saying “Hey Jeeves, let’s massacre some Indians so we can take their land. Ha Ha Ha.” or “Hey Karl, let’s go gas some Jews like the old days. Ha Ha Ha”. In any case, they were gags directed at me constantly throughout my life.
You’ll notice the things white guys say to black guys centre around a few themes. The first, thanks to Eddie Murphy’s self-serving gags in the 80s, is that we all have massively large penises. This then ostensibly spawned a plethora of curious white women with “jungle fever” hankering to get their alabaster hands on our tree-trunk-like ebony shafts.
The second centres around our hair. It’s wiry, tightly curled and capable of uniform, infinite expansion – commonly referred to as the afro. Since I am half white, my hair was wavy curled and not coarse – no matter, I still had wiry afro-hair, apparently. Even today, people still implore me to grow an afro. That would be like me suggesting to my 40-something office colleagues that they sport a mullet, or other hairstyle associated with a particular white sub-culture that no longer exists, like a Mohawk or a Victorian wig.
Another stereotype has to do with the natural athleticism and strength allegedly possessed by the black man. It is this innate set of physical traits that the white man believes has led us to dominate most professional sports in North America – save for hockey, a Canadian sport not consisting of black players because there were, in the 70s, about fifty of us in the country. In this and the remarks it sparked from my white friends, I detected an unmistakeable glow of envy.
It didn’t strike any of my white friends that the reason black men were so exceptional at sports was because, as children, they harboured no expectations of regular mainstream careers, and their socio-economic circumstances – absentee fathers, broken homes, urban disenfranchisement – meant that they didn’t have parents or others pushing them into other pursuits like the cello or academics. If they didn’t get caught up in gangs or crime they spent their time playing sports and this was for many, seen as one of very few avenues out of their grim upbringing. They were good at sports for the same reason white kids in Canada are good at hockey: they’d spent thousands of hours at it. But I digress. We were all born to be linebackers for the Green Bay Packers.
The last set of assumptions stems from the white person’s idea of the ghetto where the life of the black man is seen to consist of gangs, crack-selling, pimping, rapping, basketball, bitches, and ‘bling’. Black people speak in urban ghetto lexicon. The fact that I grew up in the Canadian prairies in the same upper middle-class suburban neighborhood as my peers (most who also knew my white brother), in a white establishment family didn’t stop funny insinuations that, in spite of this, I had some kind of “black gene” that made it easy for me to be ‘ghetto-like’ on command. Funny that.
So here it is, the Shit White Guys Say to Black Guys, or at least, what they’ve said to me (PS in Canada, the grape soda thing does not exist):
- So, I bet the chicks love your huge … you know … your huge … [gesturing with hands three feet apart, as if describing the length of a small shark caught in Mexico]
- [Lining up at the golf tee] Get ‘em Tiger!
- So how do you feel about that whole Tiger Woods thing?
- Hey, must be nice to not have to wash your hair cuz it doesn’t get wet, huh?
- So, would you be offended if I called you ‘nigga’? It’s not nig-GER. Nig-GA. Nig-GA.
- Hey brutha, wussup?
- My nigga!
- Yo, homie!
11. Would you be offended if I went as Al Jolson in blackface for Halloween?
12. Hey, why don’t you be my slave for Halloween. It would be a riot!
13. Pick some cotton for me! Ha Ha Ha!
14. Shine my shoes, boy! Ha Ha Ha!
15. You don’t sound like you’re from the ghetto.
16. You talk so … white. [spoken with a tone of dejection/amazement]
17. You don’t look like a black guy.
18. You look like Denzel Washington. [I look nothing like him, other than being black]
19. You look like Blair Underwood. [ditto, above comment]
20. You look like Eddie Murphy. [ditto, above comment]
21. [Standing among a crowd of white guys] Hey, we’re an Oreo Cookie Dairy Queen blizzard over here!
22. [On the Basketball court, when I was twelve] Show me how to slam dunk, kay?
23. Youre the one black guy I know who can’t jump. [Typically, I was the only black guy any of my white friends knew. So far as I knew, none made regular trips to Atlanta or Detroit.]
24. Do some rap for me.
25. Hey, show me some dance moves.
26. Hey, how come you can’t dance very well?
27. [In grade-school, watching an educational film, when a black boy emerges on scene] Hey, it’s Edmund!!
28. [Walking past a poster, with a black guy in it] Hey, how’d you get in that ad!? Ha Ha Ha!
29. Hey, how come you don’t wear your hair in dreds?
30. Must be nice to not have to comb your brillo pad hair in the morning.
31. Hey, we need some steel wool here. Get that head of hair over here! Ha Ha Ha!
32. Hey, you should grow a ‘fro man.
33. So you must be super stoked Obama got elected hey?
34. What position did you play when you played football?
35. Your dad was a football player hey?
36. At least you don’t have to worry about being smart, cuz you can play sports.
37. What’s with all the weird names black people have like Shaniqua, Uniqua, Locquatia, Dakwan? What the fuck is up with THAT?! [my name is Edmund, my brother is white, and his name is Robert]
38. You must be so happy about the popularity of the Cosby Show, hey?
39. I wouldn’t mess with you, cuz black guys are fuckin’ crazy!
40. You must hate fuckin’ white people hey?
41.My sister realy likes you, but don’t bother cuz my dad hates black people. Sorry, man.
42. Does your family treat you different cuz you’re black?
43. Let’s not go to that night club, cuz that’s where the black guys go. Oh. No offense.
44. I hate rap. No offense.
45. My dad loves Charlie Pride [the lone black country music star for a loooooooong time in the 70s]
46. Not to be racist but all the crack dealers and gangsters are black, so you know, like, what do you expect if people are suspicious?
47. We should pimp your ride.
48. Hey, let’s go back to your crib.
49. Don’t you hate it when people clutch their wallets when you walk by?
50. [At the bar, your white buddy noticing a woman checking you out] Oh yeah, she’s got jungle fever!
51. It must be so easy for you with all those chicks out there with jungle fever, hey?
52. [On hearing that my mother and family are white] Somebody’s mother had JUNGLE FEVER! Ha Ha!
53. Don’t bother asking him what he wants to order: fried chicken and watermelon, right? Ha Ha Ha!
54. What are chitlins?
55. So, what are collared greens anyway?
56. What’s a grit?
57. A white guy ended slavery, so we’re cool right?