There’s a lot of serious discussion surrounding the elections, which is all fine and dandy, but yesterday, I came across this article from The Root. Christopher Beam (from Slate) and Chris Wilson would like to remind us of the things that white folk should not do just because Obama has been elected president:
1. Don’t personally congratulate all your black friends.
Black people are not a sports team, and Obama did not win the Super Bowl.
2. Don’t declare that you “never thought you’d see the day.”
You never thought you’d see the day?
3. Don’t start crossing the street in order to walk next to a black person.
President Obama is glad you support racial reconciliation, but he takes a hard line against jaywalking.
4. Don’t name drop “Dr. King.”
If you absolutely must make some comment about how this is a victory for civil rights, pick a marginally less obvious figurehead.
5. Don’t use the phrase “white people” in any way that suggests it doesn’t include you.
Contrary to popular belief, having voted for Obama does not make you even “semi-down.” Sorry if there was any confusion there.
To be fair, The Root also has a companion piece on what black people shouldn’t do. But seriously, it also hosts Henry Louis Gates’s article on what it feels to have Obama elected, and an open letter to our president-elect from Alice Walker.