14 Things You Should Not Say To Black People


1. Can I Touch Your Hair?

When I had my Senegalese twists, which I worked for like two years, I can’t tell you how many people approached me being all, “Oh my that is so beautiful! Can I touch it?” Um, no. I don’t think I have ever in life asked to touch anybody’s hair. I know black hair is a source of wonder. It doesn’t always grow straight and there are thousands of things you can do to style it. But as the great NYC drag philosopher Demanda Darling says, “Honey. It’s called a look not a touch.”

2. Is That Your Real Hair?

Really? This is your top concern, your top curiosity, whether or not our hair is real? Come on. Can we get a little bit more creative with our questions of cultural exchange please? But see that’s why I like to call all hair weave, on boys or girls, whether it’s actually weave or not. This way no one is safe.

3. I’m Not Trying To Be Racist But…

I mean once you’ve invoked this mighty phrase you might as well just stop talking or say whatever it is you are about to say. It’s like how people are like “it’s not racist.” Look, if you ever have to preface whatever you are about to say with “it’s not racist,” then whatever you are about to do is probably racist! Case closed.


4. Wow, You Speak So Well! Where Did You Go To School?

This literally happened to me at a grocery store in Virginia. I was doing something at the customer service desk and the guy was like, “Where did you go to school? You speak so clearly.” I couldn’t tell if it was a compliment OR an insult.

5. I Bet It’s Big

Maybe! Especially since all gay men have eight inch thick cut dicks, if you believe the self-reporting online. But maybe it’s really small! There are small dicked guys in all the races. So can we please stop mandingo-ing black guys? Thx, all.

6. There You Go Bringing Out The Race Card.


7. People Should Be Judged By Their Character And Not By Their Skin



8. The Trayvon Martin Killing Wasn’t About Race.

9. I Don’t Normally Date Black Guys/Girls

I will never forget one of my first long term boyfriends in college told me that his best friend back in Ohio was disgusted he was dating me. “You’re dating a black guy? Gross.” That’s what my then boyfriend told me his friend said. I just…I can’t.

10. Now Should I Refer To You As African American Or Black?

I mean they are both the same thing? I know “African American” sounds much more elegant because it is like two words. But I have also never seen a person demand to be referred to as one or the other. There’s not like some kind of special cultural bonus for being African American over black.

11. Why Do You Get To Say The N Word But I Can’t?

Can you NOT.

12. I’ve Never Dated/Had Sex With A Black Person Before

Oh really? Is this something you say to every new black person you sleep with?


13. Wow! You Are So Unlike All The Other Black People I Know From My Hometown.

Well I’m glad that makes you feel better about yourself and your life choices!

14. Ugh, Slavery Ended A Long Time Ago. Can We Please Stop Talking About It!

Actually, if you want to get schooled Miss Honey, technically slavery didn’t end all THAT long ago. Plus, the effects of racism and racial bigotry percolate nearly every level of American cultural, political, and social life. So that’s why we’re still talking about it! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Shutterstock

Author of How To Be A Pop Star.

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