A Long-Time White Reader of VSB Needs Some Help. Let’s Help Him. » VSB

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A Long-Time White Reader of VSB Needs Some Help. Let’s Help Him.

Here at VSB HQ, we get a lot of emails per day. Like a lot a lot. I italicized that first “a lot” to let you know two things: 1) like,it’s really a lot, and 2) to let you know it’s real. Like, real real. Using the same word twice – and italicizing to boot – let’s you know just how real it is.

We don’t read them all. In fact, typically, I go in each day and skim all of the subject lines in attempts to avoid emails that will either piss me off (which has happened) or are a waste of time (way more than you know). Sometimes they’re emails with business opportunities that look promising (one such email that we received recently is a pretty big damn deal that’s askedĀ us to be apart of something that, at this point, I’m sure almost every Black person is aware of), and a lot of times they’re emails looking to submit material to VSB. I promise, y’all, I try to get through them.

And sometimes, they’re reader emails, quite often from white people. A few days ago, I came across a reader email and said, this white guy needs help. He needs an education and he’s asking for it from VSB. What better place to let that happen than in the VSB comments section. He said in his email that it was okay to post his question, so that’s exactly what’s about to go down.

Dear Brothas,

I’ve been following your site for a few years, laughing and diligently taking notes on how not to act at the cookout. I know you and your readers are thoughtful, generous people so I come to you in search of guidance:

I am a white male, early 30s. I recently took a job at a majority black radio station. This is my first time working with black folks in a specifically professional setting. Do you or your readers have any good tips for me? I’ll take my comments off air. THANKS!

Honestly, my first through tenth reply is: Don’t Be Racist. Oh, and treat people like you want to be treated. Seems like that would cover it all, but that’s probably not that helpful. I’ve personally never worked in a majority Black environment. Is there some sort of difference between the two? So let’s say you do work in such an environment and a white dude starts working there, maybe there are things you HOPE he doesn’t ever do or say, etc. Maybe this is the opportunity to create the Working With Black Folks Manual. If that’s the case, what would YOU put in there?

Let’s Friday this bitch.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • theaythmonth

    Ummm…lets see here: Don’t try too hard.

  • Val

    Some White folks act as though we are another species. Smh. Just go to work and do your damn job. The end.

    • Kim
    • Hadassah

      EXACTLY. Like it’s a super doopa DUMB question.

      • cyanic

        They do live in a bubble of systematic protection and a single dominate narrative–theirs.

        • Hadassah

          I care less.

          • cyanic

            I know love. But I have to explain their alien perspective when they ask these questions.

            • Hadassah

              Don’t. When I say I care less, I literally do.

              But wasgood doe? Who we crushing on?

              • cyanic

                Every day is not a new someone. But I understand why you think that.

                • Hadassah

                  Explain to me your understanding, because….

                  • cyanic

                    Because I promote crushes and declare appreciation for new pretty faces–although, pretty isn’t the right word since many think my boos are ashy.

                    • Hadassah

                      Yap.

                      There’s one who was super ashy and fugly. But other than that….

                    • cyanic

                      Fug? Who?

                    • Hadassah

                      Means over ugly.

                    • cyanic

                      I know what it means. But I never big up no fug person.

                    • Hadassah

                      Beauty is subjective dear.

                    • cyanic

                      But you’re dragging one of my babies.

            • Mary Burrell

              That’s a good point.

            • I’ve always been leery of believing that framework, because it assumes the normal human condition is oppression and suffering. Is that a Good Thing?

              • cyanic

                Being alive has conflict. Uninvited conflict. For every state and condition one’s in physical or mental-emotional we are taking or giving up something. For people not having your experience due to the structure of rewarding the superficial (whiteness) — it is alien to them to empathize with something completely foreign for comprehension. Your average person would never comprehend the mental-emotional space of a trans person. I’m gay and their experience is Martian equivalent to me.

      • assman35

        So you spend countless hours criticizing white people and how they treat black people. And finally when one of them asks: well how should I treat you. The answer is: “Its a dumb question and I care less”

        Yep that makes a lot of fucking sense. If I were white and I were reading this…I would just go join the KKK. Its easier than trying to figure you fools out. Now I fully understand why people vote for Trump.

        • Hadassah

          Bye.

    • What White people you know that do that? Okay, there are some but they are few and far between.

    • miss t-lee

      Grand opening, grand closing.

      • Kayhtripp


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      • Danieldcoger


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    • NomadaNare

      Val you and I both know wypipo gon wypipo

      Doing your job aint always part of that

      • Aye Bee

        Doing their job is hardly a part of that…

    • jtreynol

      Just go to work bruh…oh and don’t sing along out loud with the rap songs you’re listening to in the headphones.

      • Mary Burrell

        Especially the ones with the n-word peppered through it. That person needs to watch that last episode of Netflix Dear White People.

      • Michael

        THIS! you know what really burns my biscuit? When a white dude is listening to rap music and then looks at me for approval….. I don’t like rap like that… what makes you think I enjoy rap? Like I have no idea who you’re listening to (save for maybe a handful). I just got annoyed.

    • TheUnsungStoryteller

      That’s true. Just treat us how you would want to be treated. It’s the Golden Rule and it’s never failed.

    • Jas

      This comment!! I’ve been saying the same thing for years. I feel like another species at times with the questions they ask. Like an alien from outer space. It’s like all common sense, logical reasoning leaves their body when they come in contact with Black people or POC.

    • kniambi

      Girl! Ain’t that it?

    • Asking_Questions

      Tell us how you consider yourself half black because you once dated a black girl, or you went to a black elementary school and your best friend’s name was Tyrone.

      • Mary Burrell

        I think you covered all the bases that was great.

      • ms. nylahou

        And after dating that amazing, attractive black woman for a year and making her think you’re going to propose, tell her that you just don’t know what it is but you just can’t. Then find the most basic of basic white girls with nothing going on in her life, and marry her. Then watch the black woman do amazing things in her life while not thinking about you again ever.

    • Diego Duarte

      Wait… we can say damn???? Well damn!

      • Val

        I just learned we could a few days ago.

    • HoneyRose

      BRUH. Exactly. Just live your life and let me live mine.

    • Mary Burrell

      So true Val.

    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      Exactly. It is not that complicated.

    • Mochasister

      “Just go to work and do your damn job. The end.”

      If only.

    • Brother Mouzone

      After college, I spent time in different parts of southeast Asia for work and even had an Asian roommate for a while. It never occurred to me that I needed to do anything in particular in order to coexist with him. How did we treat each other? Like decent humans beings. If there was something culturally that I needed help with, I asked him respectfully and he did the same. People know when you’re coming at them from a good place, and when you’re just being ignant.

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      True, but someof them can’t help it. At least let them ask for help.

  • cyanic

    When you’re the racial minority you tend to think about your otherness. Since you’re white you assume everything you’ll do socially awkward will be interpreted by the majority as a racist slight or racially sensitive white people ish. You want to avoid that. But thinking about your otherness is exactly what will manifest the worst case scenario becoming a reality. Look to be professional polite and listen when or if you’re ever in ear shot of black people sharing their grievances. Since you’ll never know what it means to be other than white — don’t interject your to the contrary commentary by suggesting your experience could ever be equivalent to theirs. You’re best bet is being the best at your job. Being polite — not overly polite and apologetic like you have reason to be sorry when you haven’t yet offended anyone. Also, black people like people of other groups will not always like you for no other reason than just because. Do not internalize a white victimization narrative for yourself. You want to be above and beyond typical white person fcukery.

    • fedup

      How’s the post coming along Cy?

      • cyanic

        Multiple different pieces of varying length.

  • eyactually

    Recognize how you feel qualms about going into an environment where you’re the minority and acknowledge that every black person there has felt that way the vast majority of their life. Every day. All the time. And then evangelize accordingly to your (white) friends and family.

  • Hadassah

    It’s a DUMB question. You know why? Black people are HUMAN BEINGS. Why would you write in to ask how to treat another human being?!

    Maybe I’m a hotep in the making too.

  • Don’t hit on the hottest Black woman there. The men will resent you if you succeed. The women will clown you when you fail.

    • Quirlygirly

      Are you telling him to only shoot his shot at the less attractive black women?

      • Exactly

      • Hadassah

        Wish it was the same for our men!

        • Solid advice for White women, too.

          • Quirlygirly

            You know they dont take this advice..The most unattractive, slovenly WW will shoot at the most attractive BM in the building..

    • Jennifer

      In that case, hit on her! If you do succeed, black women everywhere will exclaim, “We win!”

      • Brother Mouzone

        Win what?

        • Jennifer

          Nothing really. It’s the equivalent of the OJ prize.

    • AKA The Sauce

      Smh

    • Hadassah

      There is one white guy I’m crushing on doe. Help!

      • Do better. unless he’s rich.

        • Hadassah

          Funny thing is I seen him in a music video.

          • AKA The Sauce

            Still…no

            • Hadassah

              Wait, what?

              But I’m a -0.000001 in the looks department, why you care?

              • AKA The Sauce

                I’m not gone hotep today…do you

                • Hadassah

                  I am, bew.

      • AKA The Sauce

        No….

        • Hadassah

          Bye!

      • Quirlygirly

        I say keep crushing from afar..He is gonna do something stupid and only you will know that you once liked him.

    • TCB

      This happened at my last job and the white boy succeeded. Every single n*gga probably thought about merging themselves during lunch when they found out.

      • Hadassah

        Looool. So you guys too feel some type of way, but when we feel that kind of way y’all dismiss our feels. Good for her!!)

        • TCB

          I wasn’t mad at all. He did something no one else was willing to do. Talk to her like a regular person.

        • Brother Mouzone

          Actually, brothas go out of their way to not offend sistas when it comes to this. That’s what I have observed anyway. The other way around, however, there seems to be a “look what I got” weirdness to it with sistas.

      • Brother Mouzone

        None of those brothas had a chance anyway, they just didn’t realize it. She was waiting on the first wydude to show interest in her cause that’s what she wanted all along.

  • Don’t try to be cool and talk slang. Don’t be offensive and make broad generalizations about Black people. Be yourself – but if that’s an ignorant, white privilege, entitled self, think before you speak. Everything isn’t about race – Black people are people just like you (i.e. we have the same feelings but perhaps different circumstances). Be willing to sincerely apologize if you mess up. Don’t make everything about race. Treat people the way you wish to be treated while doing a good job.

  • Laugh at the “you got a little d ick” jokes. Because they’re probably true.

    • AKA The Sauce

      Again….sir

    • Glo

      Can’t with you today.

    • fedup

      It must be 5 wherever you are!

      • AKA The Sauce

        4:59 but who’s counting

    • La Bandita

      He’s not Asian. Ayi..I went there. I’ll show myself out.

  • Shower!!!!

    • AKA The Sauce

      Sir

    • Hadassah

      With soap.

      • Quirlygirly

        And a washcloth

        • Jennifer

          You’re asking a lot!

        • YourOpinionisNotAFact

          Use lotion after the shower

        • DG

          So wrong…lol

      • AKA The Sauce

        Ma’am

        • Hadassah

          Yes? I’m just finish cogito’s statement.

  • Alessandro De Medici

    The correct and more interesting question, the guy should ask, and maybe it’s worth discussing about, is whether workplace politics is different in majority black work environments, and how should a white guy successfully manage himself in such an spot?

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