One truism in life, my brother, is that white people do not believe in personal space. Another, my brother, is that white people love to speak to black people (not sure how the other colored communities fare) about lots of random shit that we probably don’t feel like talking about ’PACIFICALLY when we don’t feel like talking about random shit. White people seem to have a “NOT RIGHT NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME” homing beacon. I used to think it was random, but it turns out there are specific things that many of us are doing that entice inquiry into our lives and shit. Here are seven.
1. Wearing a Premier League or Any Other Football-League Jersey or Hoodie or Sweatshirt or Paraphernalia
You’ve probably been led to believe that the good ol’ U.S. of A. doesn’t give two fucks about soccer. You’ve been lied to. No matter where I am, if I have on one of my Chelsea F.C. items, some dude is going to stop me to talk about the roster and the tables and blah, blah, blah. I could have on headphones (as I did today) and I will still get somebody who will come and force me into a convo. Lemme ’lone, white man.
Go out to a place where white people are. Dance. Have fun. Smile. Dancing and smiling is the universal white sign for “make a colored friend.” I recognize that our rhythmic capabilities are astounding and somewhat perplexing to many folks whose bodies just cannot mimic motions (some black folks are afflicted with this inability as well—bigly sad), but I’ll be John Brown if I haven’t been sidled up to by a bunch of white-dude bros like, “Man, you sure do dance good.” I know, Todd. I know. Lemme ’lone. Can’t you see I’m trying to jam on the one over here?
3. Wearing Any Major League Baseball Anything
As a black man, 99 percent of my hat purchases were made less because of the team on the hat and more because of how many outfits I could coordinate with it. Now, some logos are awesome, just as some hat colorways and styles are. But buddy, we’re in Washington, D.C. I don’t give a damn about the Colorado Rockies; can’t you see this hat just matches my plum Foams? I don’t want to talk about no damn baseball. I’m over minding my color-coordinated business; mind yours. Lemme ’lone.
It doesn’t matter if you’re walking a dog, petting a dog, looking at pictures of dogs or just thinking about dogs; if there’s a dog present, even mentally, white folks are (largely) going to talk to you about your dog. If you want to meet a new white person, in fact, I recommend renting a dog and taking it for a walk. Guaranteed. Extra discussion if the dog is something like a labradoodle or some other breed that shouldn’t exist. Lemme ’lone. I don’t know what breed my dog is. It’s dog.
5. Talking Politics
White folks take politics so personally, but I promise that for nearly every single conversation I’ve had about politics within earshot of a white person, they’ve managed to get at least ONE comment in. If I wanted your opinion, I’d ask you for it. Lemme ’lone.
6. Standing There Minding Your Own Business While Drunk White People Are Present
Drunk white folks are a talkative bunch. I don’t know why the black folks in the room always seem like the people to talk to when drunk—especially considering that I try to avoid drunk white people at all costs—but it never fails. If they’re drinking heavily and you’re close enough to talk to, you gon’ catch some conversation.
7. Looking Cool (or Being Black) in Public
I think black folks are imbued with the spirit of cool by God’s divine order. So when you just stand there, no matter how many people did or didn’t like you in high school, to white people who have never seen you, you are the de facto cool person in the room. And if that’s the case, white people like cool people.
This means that you will catch questions about your cool and what cool new thing you’re into. I shit you not—I was standing at an exhibit in a museum once when a white mother literally walked up to me and said, “You look like somebody who is hip ... ” I was offended. She was right, but she ain’t got the right to make that assumption. So after I told her about Snoop’s latest album ...