Yes, a post that does not follow its own advice:
Since I am so bad at talking to White Americans I will, for the most part, simply list the opposite of what I do:
- Master small talk. I am terrible at this. Big time.
- Do not be yourself. You know, like what they seem to do.
- Keep your feelings to yourself. Mine make them uncomfortable.
- Do not point out the wrong in what they say – unless they will blame you for it later (“Why didn’t you tell me!?” )
- Never make it clear that you have more money or intelligence. They will hate you for it.
- Use the same kind of English as Ellen DeGeneres: accent, grammar, word choice, rhythm, volume, all of it, as close as you can get it. Because people who do not talk right have something wrong with them. Even Jane Austen words are bad: you might be suspected of having too much intelligence!
- Do not talk about books – unless they are Approved Reading Material: mysteries, romances, bestsellers and anything for work or school. Anything else hide and say nothing about it to them.
- Avoid saying much about yourself. Anything out of the ordinary, good or bad, will be used as an excuse to look down on you. Because different is bad.
- Do not bring up any subject they do not bring up. Most of them seem to have narrow interests.
- Follow sports.
- Avoid politics.
- Avoid race as much as you can. There is no way you can win. At best it will make them feel uncomfortable, at worst they will hate you for it or think you are being unreasonable since they, like, Control Reality.
- Shut out your own experience from your mind: imagine that you are in some cloud with them where the only thing that matters, the only thing that is true, is what comes out of their mouths.
- Do not express your ideas as your own – they will be instantly discounted. Instead say something general like, “I heard somewhere that…”
- They smile before they stab you in the back.
- If you are different they will make you feel like there is something wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with you – except the regular stuff, like not exercising enough.
- Do not take what they say to heart unless you know for a fact you screwed up (missed a deadline, broke a promise, robbed a bank, etc).
* This is not based on the latest studies because there are no latest studies. It is based utterly on my own experience – you know, Personal Anecdotes that are not Statistically Significant – most of it in or near New York.
Some of it applies to Americans of any race – like the thing about intelligence – but all of it applies best to those who grew up in White American middle-class suburbia. It does not seem to apply well to West Indians or South Asians.