February 2, 2003

This afternoon I overheard the following conversation on the subway:

BLACK GUY (to WHITE GIRL dressed in faux Black Girl Outfit): “You know, because of the state of the country, the way things are and stuff, your parents owe my parents some shit. Like 40 acres and a mule. But you can make up for it by buying me a drink.”

WHITE GIRL: “That doesn’t make any sense. I’m a first-generation American. My parents are immigrants.”

SECOND BLACK GUY (to WHITE GIRL): “Your parents immigrated from South Africa.”

WHITE GIRL: “So? That’s like saying all Germans are Nazis. That’s hating.”

FIRST BLACK GUY: “I should just walk around Wall Street giving people invoices. ‘Here, I’m from the Corporation of the Freedmen’s Bureau, and you owe me 40 acres and a mule.’ I should go to NBC and give them an invoice. ‘You owe me 40 acres and a mule, or equal value. I’ll take a sitcom deal.’ I’d sure as shit be funnier than David Alan Grier.”


It’s times like this that I wish I supported capital punishment.

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6 Responses to This afternoon I overheard the

  1. LEE says:

    I read your blog and love it, but please tell me what a ‘faux Black Girl Outfit’ looks like.

  2. Convivia says:

    I’ve had bowel movements funnier than David Alan Grier, so that man’s aspirations weren’t particularly high…

    Nonetheless, I doubt he’ll make it.

  3. sam says:

    I’m worried that I’ve not had enough coffee to get your precise point.

  4. Faustus, MD says:

    A faux Black Girl Outfit is an outfit worn by a non-black girl that a) screams “I am cool enough to be black!” and b) I have never seen an actual black girl wear. In this case it involved a bandana, a messy hair knot, and some sort of skirt-type thing with patches.

    I’m not sure I had a precise point other than that there was enough condescension and misappropriation of history and smugness and mental muddiness going on here to make my head spin.

  5. Todd says:

    Isn’t “emigrated” what you meant, rather than “immigrated”? I know how important grammar is to you.

  6. If I had been speaking, I would have said “emigrated.” In this post, I was, alas, quoting.


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