Black People Love Us
White men can't jump (to assumptions about race)
Ralph De La
December 12, 2002
Don't you just love how Jews are so thrifty
with their money?
Those fiery Cubans are absolutely adorable when they
lose their tempers.
Isn't it cute when white people try to
And gays. They have such natural talent for decorating.
course, I'm just mocking these insidious stereotypes.
Or rather, just
The Web site, blackpeopleloveus.com, makes you do that kind of
The home page tells surfers: "We are well-liked by Black
people so we're psyched (since lots of Black people don't like lots of White
people)!! We thought it'd be cool to honor our exceptional status with a ROCKIN'
domain name and a killer website!!"
Below that are photos of the site's
supposed proprietors, a white couple named Sally and Johnny. And then,
testimonials from black friends.
"Sally's always saying: 'You go girl!'
while 'raising the roof' to mainstream hip-hop tracks at cheesy bars," says one.
"That's fun! I relate to that."
Another reads, "Sally and Johnny give me
ample opportunities to translate rap lyrics, reggae songs, and/or street
At first, I found it rude and insulting, but remained
It wasn't until I clicked on the "Hanging Out" link that the
intent really became clear.
The page opens with a photo of Sally and
Johnny, goofy expressions on their faces, high-fiving each other. "Bam!! This is
how we do it!" the caption says.
That's followed with a picture of Sally
playing Pictionary. Her partner has drawn a picture of Africa, and Sally's
totally baffled. And then there's Johnny, playing hangman and, despite getting
the R, C, I, S, and M, not being able to figure out the solution to
It becomes more clear this is parody, not put-down.
Web site is the creation of a white, twentysomething sister and brother, Chelsea
and Jonah Peretti.
"Because this site is funny, we knew it would reach
people who might not ordinarily think about these issues," Jonah Peretti told
the New York Times. "We wanted to promote dialogue, to get people talking about
It works. I challenge anyone to visit the site and leave
without questioning the stereotypes each of us carries.
To understand the
difficult emotions that the Web site inspires, all you have to do is go to the
"Your Letters" section.
"After looking at your website, I at first was
appalled by the outlandish rhetoric that was used throughout it," wrote Keith RC
II, who identifies himself as a black student at the University of Virginia.
"However, the more I looked at the site the more I was conflicted in my views.
At first glance this seems like a mockery of the black culture and made by
ignorant people, however, it also seems like a mockery of white culture and its
ignorance and constant quest to be 'hip.'
"So as of now, I am leaning
towards the satire aspect of this website and the ignorance that it is
exploiting. I commend the creator for making this site, however it would have
been nice to know who actually are the creators, because I don't believe it is
just Sally and Johnny, rather a collaboration of them and some black people."
Sally and Johnny are indeed fictional characters portrayed by friends of
the Perettis. The two creators' father is Jewish and their mother Italian. When
they were mere tykes, their parents divorced. Their father married a black
woman, infusing the two with a totally new cultural awareness.
a mistake that people have made about the division of labor," Peretti says.
"It's like racism is something only people of color can think about. Feminism is
something only women can think about."
We all need to discuss bigotry and
stereotypes more openly. The Perettis' site succeeds in making it happen.
Ralph De La Cruz can be reached at email@example.com or
Copyright Ā 2002, South Florida
Copyright © 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel