Top 10 Ways to NOT Be a White Asshole by a Former Professional White Asshole
I was born a White Asshole and I didn’t even know it. In fact, I was so good at it that I actually became a professional White Asshole on TV. At this moment in American history, many of my white friends are asking, What do I do? How can I help? So I thought I’d put together this easy-to-follow list of things that we can do to stop being White Assholes. We made this mess, white people. It’s our job to fix it.
10) Don’t say, “I don’t see color.” Instead, see how color makes it harder to walk, drive, work, find a place to live, barbecue, jog, go to school and BREATHE.
9) When you see or hear a White Asshole do something hurtful or harmful to a black person, DO and SAY something.
8) Empathize up. Imagine what it’s like to be afraid every time you, your mom, dad, daughter, son, BFF, bowling buddy, girlfriend or boyfriend walk out of your house. Hell, you don’t even have to walk out of your house. You can be lounging on your couch when TROUBLE takes a battering ram to your door.
7) Use your white body to shield a black body. Put your white body between a White Asshole cop and a black person.
6) Make personal reparations. Use your dollars, resources and skills to atone for centuries of lynching, beating, raping, name-calling, bullying, Jim-Crowing, suspicion, harassment, vilification and humiliation suffered by black people at the hands of White Assholes.
5) Watch your words. Don’t say in an amazed tone how “articulate” or “well-spoken” a black person is. Know that words like thug, sketchy, inner-city, urban, minority are actually microaggressions that are coded words of hate. Put your dog whistle back in your pocket and call people out when you see them using theirs.
4) Vote White Assholes out of office. Insist on changing racist laws, policies and their enforcement. Insist on proper training for law enforcement. Insist that everyone, most especially cops, be held accountable for their racist words and actions.
3) Support black businesses and artists. Seek out local black-owned businesses. Buy black books. Watch black movies. Read HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST and WHITE FRAGILITY (since this book is by a white author, buy it at a black-owned bookstore!).
2) Don’t go into a black space and be the White Knight. Shut your mouth. Open your ears. Listen. Learn. Make yourself useful. Don’t make it a black person’s obligation to educate, comfort, or make you feel better. Don’t ask them to be your seeing-eye dog as you climb up Mount Wokeness.
1) If someone calls you out for being a White Asshole, don’t argue, lash out, cry, defend or shut down. Take a Deep Cleansing Breath. Listen. Open up your heart, mind, and soul.
David Henry Sterry is an author, performer and activist. In his 30s, he was cast as the entitled, annoying, obnoxious, clueless Caucasian douchebag on shows like Roc, Sister Sister, and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. After a while, he began to wonder, since he kept getting hired to be that guy, whether he actually was a White Asshole. So he did a lot of soul-searching. Then he decided it was his mission to stop being a White Asshole, and to help his fellow Caucasians to join him.