White supremacy is like a wave at sea crashing into a beach—an unstoppable and transformative force, shifting sand, ferrying debris and constructing America’s topographical landscape. This is why, sometimes, you have to do what I used to do when at the wave pool as a kid, when I’d wait for the waves to come in, and then I’d punch the shit out of the waves. Sure, it never really made a huge difference, but sometimes when you see a wave, you gotta be like, “Hey, wave. Fuck you!” Same with white supremacy.
Maybe some of the things I do don’t move the needle much. But at least it’s my needle. (I know that didn’t make any sense, but stay with me.)
1. I root for everyone black.
Issa Rae’s comment during the Emmys has been my personal edict for the last three decades. I could be watching two squirrels race up a tree, but if one squirrel is darker than the other, you best believe I’m pulling for that nigga squirrel.
2. I tip black service people more.
I actually overtip as a general rule. If the service is just OK, you’re gonna get 20 percent from me. If good, 25 percent. With black service people, however, those numbers jump to 30 and 35. Because reparations.
3. If getting a slice of pizza and applying extra Parmesan cheese to it from a Parmesan-cheese shaker, I take the lid off the parm instead of just shaking the parm on the pizza with the lid still on.
White people already control the banks. They’re not going to control my Parmesan cheese consumption.
4. I turn right on red lights.
Because if traffic lights are in America, and America’s foundation is white supremacy, traffic lights are another form of subjugation and oppression. Fuck a “Don’t Turn on Red Before 7 p.m.” sign. I’ll turn right on red at 6:17, bitch.
5. I’m lactose intolerant, but I still drink a milkshake at least once a week.
I WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY VAGUELY WHITE LIQUID-ISH SUBSTANCES THAT DO NOT AGREE WITH MY DIGESTIVE SYSTEM!
6. I tattletale and snitch on douchey white people.
If I’m at Giant Eagle, and Darth Becky and Dustin DudeBro are in front of me in the 12-items-or-less line with, like, 17 items, I will definitely make eye contact with and gesture at the nearest black cashier, and that eye contact and gesturing will definitely communicate, “LOCK THEM UP!”
7. If flying first-class, I make sure to dress like I’m walking my dog at 8 a.m.
Unless I’m going directly from the airport to an event I need to be at, clothes comfortable enough for me to be able to sleep on the flight are the priority. Joggers, sneakers and an “I Love Bougie Black Girls” T-shirt or hoodie are my go-tos. Fortunately, if I happen to be flying first-class, this choice has an added benefit, since the looks on the other first-class passengers’ faces as they either 1) wonder to themselves who the fuck I am or 2) ponder telling a flight attendant that I don’t belong in first class are fucking delicious. Nothing punches the wave better than unbothered and unimpressed niggas showing up where niggas aren’t expected.
8. I say things that I know would be racist if a white person said them about black people—this entire list, for instance—and I feel absolutely, positively no guilt about it.
YEAH, CONNER, IT WOULD BE RACIST IF YOU SAID WHAT I JUST SAID ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE, BUT BLACK PEOPLE CAN’T BE RACIST, AND EVEN IF WE COULD, NAHNAH-NAHNAH-NAH I DON’T GIVE A FUCK. GO PEEL A GRAPEFRUIT WITH YOUR WHITE TEARS!
9. I eat mayo on sandwiches.
Because mayo, on certain sandwiches, is tasty and necessary. But also it fucks with white supremacy’s equilibrium to see a bearded black dude be asked if he wants hot sauce on his sandwich, and hear him reply, “No ... but I’ll take some mayo.” Because irony.
10. I don’t move on sidewalks.
If a group of white people are walking toward me and, in order for us not to run into each other, either I need to move to the side or they need to part like the White Sea so I can walk through them, guess who ain’t moving? I’m reverse-gentrifying their space. Because payback for colonization.