HOW TO HANDLE
BLACK PEOPLE: A BEGINNER'S MANUAL
The main thing is.
Try as hard as you can to be
courteous and forthright
at all times.
No matter how insolently,
you ordinarily treat others,
Try to keep firmly in mind that
this is not the right tack to take
with black people.
Firmly resist any impulse you may feel
to be crude or insulting;
Try hard to control the temptation
to verbal abuse.
when they are being demeaned.
Also, try to state your purposes
Try not to lie or
Black people are quite alert to that kind of thing.
if, by some misfortune,
your purposes are such that
you find it impossible to be both
courteous and candid
at the same time;
If, by some unhappy accident,
you cannot find it within you to be both
honest and civil,
It would be better for you
not to deal with black people at all.
But if you should slip up;
If, despite your best efforts, you should
regress backwards to
in your dealings with black people
--and this is important--
Do your best not to pretend it didn't happen;
do not regress to make-believe.
Under no circumstances must you ever
act out this charade
in the presence of black people;
do not expect their complicity.
Under no circumstances must you ever insult their intelligence in this manner.
They won't like it
They won't cooperate
They won't respect you
They'll think you are ridiculous.
The authors of this manual
hope you will find it useful.
Good luck and have a good day!
Adrian Piper, How to Handle Black People: A
Beginner's Manual, Decide Who You Are, Adrian Piper, Paula Cooper Gallery,
New York, 1992, p. XXV.