3:00pm April 11, 2012

Eight Things White Parents Should Teach About Black People


Yesterday, I talked about how John Derbyshire’s “advice” to White parents on what to say to their kids about black people was the right idea with the wrong messenger. You can see my column here.

And while Derbyshire’s racist suggestions got him fired from the National Review it doesn’t mean that most White parents out there are doing a particularly good job to talking to thier kids about race.

So, I know you’ve all been waiting patiently to see … drum roll please:

The Talk for White Parents to their White Kids about Black People

In this day and age of Black presidents, a Black First Lady that still makes a White man’s head explode and George Zimmerman killing a defenseless Trayvon Martin in cold blood, you’ll need it.  It will come in handy White people, so read carefully. Don’t just open for emergencies, depending on what’s an emergency to you.  But, this should work for:

1) The first time your kid asks why there’s a Black history month

2) The first time they come to you asking about the word “nigger;” and

3) Just about any other time you’re stumped by a Black/White race issue and don’t know what to say.


Dear White son or daughter [INSERT NAME HERE], here’s what you need to know:

1) Black People and White people are different but that doesn’t mean one is better than the other. Black people look different, often eat different foods, communicate and socialize in ways that may seem strange or odd for you. But just because something is different doesn’t mean it’s bad, or that the way you do things is better. Always remember that.

2) If you don’t know something about Black people ask a lot of them. Your Black friends don’t speak for all Black people. It’s perfectly okay to not know something, because honestly unless you ask every Black person in America you really don’t know. Do you?

3) White People as a group have done terrible things to Blacks in this country – and just because they are black (not to mention Asians, Latinos and American Indians). This is a fact. You may not be personally responsible but you benefit from this fact and therefore have some responsibility. No: you never enslaved anybody, neither did your mother or I, but lots of White people did. Once slavery was over, White people spent about 100 years mistreating Blacks because they couldn’t figure out how to send them all home after that whole nation-building thing. This means that Black people used to get killed just for trying to vote, weren’t allowed to live where they wanted to, and even today some White people refuse to hire Blacks just because they are black. And while those types of things are illegal, people still do it. You benefit from this. So before you ever judge a Black person remember that other White people worked for centuries to make sure you’d be okay and Black people would stay poor.

4) Saying “nigger” is the same thing as saying “bitch.” Even though you may hear it in music, or with your friends at school you know perfectly well that you shouldn’t use that word regardless of who is in earshot. And really, why is it so important to use it anyway?

5) Always remember there is a difference between a Black neighborhood, a bad neighborhood and a poor neighborhood. Just because an area has lots of Black people doesn’t mean they’re poor or that there’s lots of crime. There are plenty of places where black people live that are nicer than our neighborhood. You should avoid any group of people that seem dangerous because of their behavior or activities, whether that’s in a trailer park or an inner city ghetto. You can get robbed by anybody.

6) No matter who your sister/brother has dated, or what your friends have told you, or how many episodes of Chappelle Show you’ve watched you do not KNOW Black people. Who or what you listen to, read, or sleep with does not make you Black. Acting like you know everything about Black people because you have some Black friends or enjoy rap music is ignorant.

7) Black people are not pets, so don’t touch them without permission, or change your voice when you’re around them, or worse: automatically try to set them up with any Black person you know. This never works out. If you’re curious about their hair just ask, you’d be amazed at some of the stuff Black folks hear all day.

8) And finally: the best way to get along with Black people is to not be oblivious. Nothing annoys Black people more than White people who pretend racism doesn’t exist and then proclaim ignorance in the face of overwhelming evidence. Just because you don’t see it, or don’t want to see it, doesn’t mean Black people are paranoid or making things up. If you think about lesson 3 you should be good on this.

I know this talk has made you uncomfortable, but your mother/father and I believe that it’s better for you to hear this at home than learning about it on the streets or from your friends. Now go out to the park and make some Black friends! But just promise me you won’t cut through those trailer parks. I heard those people are all single moms and sell crystal meth.

DR. JASON JOHNSONPolitic365 Chief Political Correspondent, is a professor of Political Science at Hiram College in Ohio and author of the book Political Consultants and Campaigns: One Day to Sell. You can read more at www.drjasonjohnson.com or follow him on Twitter @Drjasonjohnson

About the Author

Jason Johnson
Jason Johnson



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  1. Disclaimer: I am not a racist by any means. I love almost all of the human race. What I do hate are these people:

    Someone who wears their pants low enough to expose their underwear. Listens to loud music and doesn’t give a fuck if anyone likes it or not. Often looking for reasons to be violent for no reason. Every other word they say is a curse word. Believe in God and Jesus because their dumbass parents tell them to, but have never read the Bible or knew one detail about what they believe. They hardly understand or can pronounce any word bigger than 7 letters. They fail and disagree with math and science. They destroy everything around them “just for fun”. They blame all their problems on another race that they think is “racist” towards them. They think carrying a gun and acting like a thug is cool. Too stupid for school so they travel in groups selling drugs.

    These are the people I could do without. It just so happens that 99% of people I have described here happen to have dark skin.

    • K.D.

      This is a comment for the one who calls himself TRUTH.

      Whether you know it or not Mr. TRUTH, you seem either racist ( but you deny this)or truly blind to the world around you. We have our issues sure but a 99% rating is just ridiculously far fetched.

      I’m not a thug, I’ve never been to jail, I don’t do drugs, and I don’t care to much for rap music.
      I also can’t stand seeing white or black people with their pants around their waste( and I have seen white people do it).
      I know of a young black friend of mine who loves math and science. In fact, I know more blacks who love math and are very good at it then any other subject.

      My family and I can pronounce words bigger than three letters and even spell them.
      I don’t care for breaking and destroying things, I prefer to build and create.

      If you open your eyes and look past the lies you convinced yourself is the truth, you will see that our race is know different from your race.

      If you ask me the biggest difference between our races is the spot light aimed at us.
      Stop and frisk was proof of that.

      So by your assessment of things, I am a member of the 1 percent.

      • Experience

        You are taking this explanation out of context. Those are his experiences. I have witnessed the same things for close to 10 years. The ones that make those experiences possible make the rest of the people have little hope for black people. Slavery and making excuses are the only good things that came out of black people. I am not saying that might be you but the people I have seen for the most part are nothing but waste of resources weather be for their own, for their culture, or for larger society. I have lived with them, i have read about them, I saw movies dedicated to them, and I have tried to understand them for many years. There is nothing to discover that’s not new from the negligent and impulsive behavior which has bad outcomes for them. i hope that helps you understand why truth’s response is so strong.

      • JD

        TRUTH, you’re racist bud. Sorry, but your opinion of an entire demographic based on a sample size. Thats what racism is.

        I chose not to generalize and stereotype, I have to. J.D., come out to beaumont Tx, or Houston, or any city. If you see for yourself and put as much effort into understanding a white man’s angst, as you do seeing a black mans, you might learn somthing. It’s not race that separates us. Scientifically we are all the same human beings. It is class, upbringing, culture, and attitude. It is true that there are a whole lot of whites that are not informed and very much racist. But there are also a whole lot of blacls stuck on the cycle of self destruction.

        Dont generalize my opinions as racist, and I wont generalize yours as stereotypical.

  2. Rodney Griffin

    You are both the most racist people I’ve obsreved in recent memory

    • Barrack Islam Muslim Fuck

      No, this is the most racist comment. They put it nicely compared to how I would. Niggers don’t do shit for good and equate for more negative than anything else. Blame everyone else for your problems and take no responsibility for your own sold ass actions and you could be black too. Go back to africa niggers, slavey is over you don’t have a reason to be here anymore. I’ve paid enough taxes and ways enough of my time on niggers…

  3. Shucky

    Kids will find avoidance and indifference much easier. They will learn what to say and what not to, but they will resent any individuals who blame them for things they didn’t do.

    You will never win over individuals whom you blame for things they didn’t do themselves.

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  5. EC

    HOW could any human hate or dislike anyone, but loves their own kids or family.That in which you hate you will become.People wonder why their own children rebel to the highest extinct, its because their parents are wrong,! I love everyone and always will :-) .I am highly embarassed at a nation that claims to be one nation under .Hatred invites sickness, such as disease and frustration along with death eventually.What a burden to carry!###

    • sally

      I am white and I do my best to follow the Bible and love everyone. All this hate will only hurt everyone. I think some politicians are trying to divide us as a country and we shouldn’t allow this to happen. I love you white, black, yellow, etc. We need to teach love to our children also.

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  9. Jock Ularity

    The most racist and provocative statement in this whole piece is the opening paragraph of the ‘letter’ by the author:

    “1) Black People and White people are different but that doesn’t mean one is better than the other. Black people look different, often eat different foods, communicate and socialize in ways that may seem strange or odd for you. But just because something is different doesn’t mean it’s bad, or that the way you do things is better. Always remember that.”

    That an educated (black) person thinks that’s what ‘white folks’ might or should say to their children is frankly unbelievable and insulting to both races. This paragraph MUST reflect YOUR prejudices, because the only mind it gives us a glimpse into is yours. You have no idea what other people think, however much you’d like to think that you do.

    How are black and white people different? Seriously, how?
    “Black people look different” Different from what, a polar bear? A pangolin?
    “Often eat different food” Yes that’s called a varied diet.

    By emphasizing difference you simply underline and promulgate the racist attitudes you rail against. And, not happy with that bit of nonsense, in your parting shot you seem to think it acceptable to impugn people who live in trailer parks with the cheap jibe at single mothers and crystal meth.

    I get ‘irony’ and I get humour, I recognise both and understand them. I see none of it here. I see simply a poorly written, poorly thought out rant dripping with ill-concealed prejudices – and that does your argument no favours at all. I’d have expected something better from an academic.

    What happened?

    And just for perspective (as you seem to have very little) forget your black v white rant, people have done terrible things to people across the world. And the reality is that religion has had more dire consequences for global citizens than any other single factor.

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