Pick a week that ends in “Saturday,” and you’ll find one that has found some well-known White person who has made a fool of themselves with some sort of racial/racist comment or action. From Paula Deen’s dreams of plantation weddings, to Richie Incognito’s possibly homoerotic playground bullying of a former teammate, we know the drill by now: first comes racism, then comes caught, then comes a pandering apology.
Since there seems to be a standard set of points made by celebs when defending themselves against charges of racism—I don’t see color! I don’t have a racist bone in my body! I have Black friends, my shoeshine boy is Black!—I think we should have a standard reply ready to go. I took a crack at it, let me know what you think:
Dear Allegedly Racist White Person:
It has come to our attention that you have been accused of (insert racist act here), something that we here in The Black Community find to be reprehensible. Though you have stated your innocence, due to the (tape/eyewitness account/other glaring evidence/the fact that you are White), we are not inclined to believe you.
Rather than getting on (60 Minutes/ESPN/Today) and making an apology, we have come up with a list of things that you can do both make amends with Us and work to purify your soul of the cancer of racism.
- Go see 12 Years a Slave, the entire Roots series (including The Next Generation AND Queen) and Spike Lee’s X. Seeing D’Jango Unchained does not count; in fact, you are not allowed to see it ever again. You, of all people, do not get to laugh at anything slavery-related.
- Attend at least two semesters of Black studies classes at the HBCU nearest two you (Note: in the case of Richie Incognito, one might recommend that he started with a semester of high school coursework first.)
- Write a $10,000 check to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and a $50,000 check to the Dream Defenders.
- Remove all Lil’ Wayne, Young Jeezy and Jay Z from your iTunes and Spotify collections. You can’t listen to this sort of rap music, you take it the wrong way (or the right way, but that’s a conversation for after you finish those Black studies classes). Replace them with Public Enemy, X Clan and Mos Def. We will not be held responsible for any sort of identity crisis that finds you changing your name to White Chocolate and, no, you can’t sit with us.
- Spend 24 hours on the corner of the nearest Martin Luther King Boulevard/Drive with a sign around your neck that says “I like to (use the N-word/plan plantation themed weddings/whatever infraction got you here)”
Then and only then will we consider hearing your apology. And even if you do all of these things, we will still side-eye you for the next 5 years, give or take. Maybe forever. That’s what you get.