Being somewhat of a news junkie, I read a lot of comments on online news magazines, blogs and Facebook, and also watch many political pundit debates and discussions. My experience has taught me that the same tactics are used repeatedly when people are debating with a Black person about a racially sensitive subject. I thought it would be handy to have a simple guide of the best practices for arguing with Black folks.
Tactic 1 Tell them that they are looking for trouble or problems
Black people like to find problems. They watch TV, read, go to work, walk the streets, drive, eat out, etc. constantly looking for something to complain about. They enjoy accusing others of treating them unfairly. It has become almost a sport to them. So, it’s best to let them know early that you know that there is no real problem and that they need to stop looking for one.
Tactic 2 Tell Them that They Are Being Too Sensitive or Are Just Angry
Something about the nature of Black people makes them overly sensitive. Sometimes they will get upset over a simple joke. You will be surprised at how upset one or two little words can make them. While we may know that “sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you,” Black people don’t understand that rule. You must remind them of it and let them know that if something is hurting them it really is a reflection of their sensitivity or anger, not your behavior.
Tactic 3 Let Them Know Your Knowledge About Being Black
Sometimes Black people do not respect your Black experience. They act as if they are the only ones who know what it is like to be Black. You should let them know that you can speak intelligently on race issues because you either dated a Black person, or maybe you even have a couple of Black friends. And what about the Drake concert you attended last year? Some of you have even volunteered in Africa. It is wise to let Black people know about your Black IQ, so they will understand that they don’t own the Black experience.
Tactic 4 Beware of Them Pulling Out “The Card”
Black people have a special privilege of carrying the “Black Card.” You must be careful because if they feel stressed about anything — I mean ANYTHING — they will whip it out of their wallets and use it. This Black Card is very similar to the UNO DRAW 4 Card in that it can change the entire game. If they pull this card out on you, let them know immediately that you realize that they are taking advantage of your weakness for not having one. Sometimes, because many Blacks are sensitive about being too sensitive (as we have done a mighty fine job of training them to be) they will put the card away. No matter what, always be on the look out for that “card” and call it out when they present it.
Tactic 5 Under No Uncertain Terms Do You Allow Them to Bring Up Slavery
Look, that slavery crap happened in the past. I did not own slaves. You did not own slaves. Why do they keep bringing it up? They use it as an excuse. Everybody has an equal chance to make it in America. Look at Donald Trump, a self-made man who made it on his own (after getting a small, million-dollar loan from his father).
Tactic 6 Remind Black People that there is just One Race, the Human Race
Let’s be honest, Black people think about race too much. I go months without even thinking about being White. Why must they focus so much on being Black? At the end of the day, there is just one race; the human race. Let’s just love each other. Black people will try to bring up stats like: what Blacks earn as compared to us, inferior public education, arrests and incarceration rates, hiring rates, and institutionalized racism; but that’s because they are negative. You must try to get them to stop being so negative and to focus on the love. After all, most of us don’t even see race. We are colorblind (except for traffic lights, and clothes, and the world around us—but we can’t see the differences in people).
Tactic 7 Cite to What One of the More “Logical” Blacks Said
There are several Blacks: Ben Carson, Clarence Thomas and Ward Connerly to name a few, that agree with the majority of us and what we feel wholeheartedly. Since they are Black and agree with you, it proves that the Black person you are arguing with is wrong. It is even better if you have a personal Black friend (though you may not know she is Black since you don’t see color), who agrees with you about most things. You can state mid-argument, “My friend, Sally, said that she doesn’t agree with affirmative action. And SHE’S BLACK.” Boom! I mean how can a Black person argue against a Black person? You’ve GOT them now. If you don’t have one of these Black friends, I encourage you to find one. Frequently, they don’t have other Black friends, so they are eager to meet new people.
Tactic 8 Flip the Script: Claim Reverse Racism / Accuse Them of Being Racist
This tactic is for the advanced arguer only. If you think about it; it is racist when a Black person brings up an issue dealing with race or accuses you, someone else, or an institution of being racist. The fact that they are talking about race, when you aren’t, means that they are the ones who have problems with race.
Also, think about how much Black people separate from us. Why do they need separate things? Consider the Black Lives Matter movement. Why only Black lives? Why BET—so what if shows like FRIENDS didn’t have any Black characters. It’s the acting we should all attend to. Do they need Black award shows and Black magazines? Do they not remember Halle Berry winning the Oscar?
Tactic 9 Obama. Obama. Obama!
How can Black people claim that there is still racism in America when a Black man was elected President of the United States? News flash Black people: we are living in a post-racial United States.
While there are other tools to use when debating with Black people, I have found that these tactics are the most effective and most frequently used. If for some reason, you find yourself in a human resource issue at work, facing scrutiny for something you said, or needing to let a Black person know why they are wrong – break out one (or more) of these approaches. Good luck!
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- The Road to Getting America Back
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more