Gawker Book Club: Patrice Evans' Negropedia
Break out your reading glasses and racial animosity: it's time for a very special alumni edition of Gawker Book Club! Patrice Evans is a current staff writer for Grantland and a generally accomplished writer online and off—you may know him by his alter ego, The Assimilated Negro. You may know him by his many pieces published on this very site!
If you don't know him, it's your lucky day, because Patrice will be answering any and all questions in the comments of this very post. Ask him about the book, or anything else embarrassing or provocative!
The following excerpt, "A 9-Step Assimilation Program (for Black People)" is taken from Negropedia, which is available for you to buy, right now.
A 9-Step Assimilation Program
Ever feel trapped by the perception of others, black man? Is the constant purse clutching by old ladies getting you down? Are your arms tired from trying to hail a cab for the last forty-eight hours? In this section we're going to go over the primary reasons why any Negro should want to "Get Assimilated." Like Clark Kent to Superman or Stefani Germanotta to Lady Gaga, you can go from mild-mannered, disadvantaged statistic to uberprivileged superstar with big sunglasses.
Here are some of the advantages gained from going through our Nine-Step Nouveau Negro Assimilation Program (NoNap).
ADVANTAGE 1-WHITE GIRLS, ASSIMILATED NEGRESSES, AND ASIANISTAS
That's right, homey. Start living life as an Assimilated Negro and have access to girls you've only dreamed about. You know those fly light-skin mamacitas strutting around looking flawless, like they've been airbrushed by God? The ones you only see in the hood when they're looking straight down, walking with a steady, determined pace toward the nearest exit out the ghetto?
Those days could be gone, Negro. Or at least be gone part of the time. Live life as an Assimilated Negro, and soon those girls will have you escorting them to the nearest train station or hailing them a cab.
They will have to do the actual hailing, of course, but it's still better than a Jimmy Choo studded Ugg boot in your ass or Donna Karan pepper-spray in your face.
ADVANTAGE 2-WARDROBE EXPANSION PROGRAM
Even the realest of Negroes gets tired of the same white-T-or- jersey dilemma day after day. Become an Assimilated Negro and you'll be able to pull off those blue plaid shorts, or the dark corduroy blazer, or, dare I say, a cardigan or cashmere sweater knotted around your shoulders or waist. (And you thought cashmere was only found in vaginas! Holla!) Think how refreshing it will be to not have to wear those Antarctica edition Timberland platinum alloy boots on a sweltering 97-degree summer day. Upon official assimilation, you will receive a complimentary pair of tan leather flip-flops to enhance your enjoyment of the summer months. Your toes will thank you.
ADVANTAGE 3-GET A JOB. A WHAT??!!? A JOB, NI$$A, A JOB!!
Trust me, Negro, you don't know the joy of salaried employment until you experience it. Having a j-o-b is the hotness! There's insurance! Paid leave, err, lunch breaks! It's like smoking the fattest blunt, but you get Legal Tender after you're done! In fact, both acts turn you into a brain-dead zombie until the only thing you're fit for is sitting around staring at the clock. And who doesn't want that?
ADVANTAGE 4-NO MORE GHETTO LIVING
This advantage is largely a function of Advantage 3, but it's a compelling advantage nonetheless. Close your eyes, Negro, dream a little dream with me . . . Imagine yourself getting off the train before the stops in the ghetto. Go ahead, go outside, bask in the sunshine. Look around at the clean stores, and fancy buildings, and trash that's all picked up. Look at the white chicks, Assimilated Negrettes, and Asianistas walking around in their boy shorts, shooting flirty eyes at every Assimilated Negro that walks by. Look at the children playing in the park with grass in it. Look at the little one over there, drinking from the working water fountain, tossing his body hither and thither with no fear of ending up in the hospital without insurance. Now open your eyes. Now look at me. That dream can be yours, Negro.
ADVANTAGE 5-EAT HEALTHY!
Now I like four wings and French fries from the Ghetto Chicken Spot as much as the next overweight boy or girl. But there comes a time when your heart, arteries, and everything else in the circulatory system are going to yell, "Damn son, can't you have a couple pieces of lettuce. . . at least once?? Some carrot shreds, corn kernels, some of the bristles from the top of broccoli, or . . . something??!!?" No one will be more delighted with your assimilation conversion than the doctor you never had before.
ADVANTAGE 6-DIE A LITTLE LATER
Even billionaire Caucasians don't know when they're going to die. But if presented with a choice, most of us would like the opportunity to enjoy those years after thirty-five. Back in the 1990s the New England Journal of Medicine reported black men were less likely to reach the age of sixty-five than men in Bangladesh. Perhaps you're thinking that's not so bad-living longer can hardly be worth it if you just become old and decrepit, right? But since that report came out, they've come up with Viagra and the iPad and Beyoncé, so who knows what they'll have in another twenty years. Become an Assimilated Negro and you will add not just years but decades to your life. You'll be able to order more rounds of vodka-cranberries, cheat on your girl some more, and get held down by the man again, and again, and again. Don't let anyone tell you life isn't worth living-it is (. . . unless you're an unassimilated Negro)!
ADVANTAGE 7-AVOID HASSLES AND INTERROGATIONS
The combination of your new colorful wardrobe, open-toed footwear, and glossy light-skinned lover by your side, along with a full-time job, will miraculously lead to fewer hassles. Now don't get me wrong, Negro, no one can guarantee a 100 percent hassle-free lifestyle for someone who is still at least partially Negro. But you'll definitely get below that five- times-per-week standard you're accustomed to. You might even be able to carry marijuana on occasion (if you're just taking it on a short trip across the street to your friend's house).
ADVANTAGE 8-FRIENDS WHO CAN ACTUALLY HELP YOU
Don't go to your Negro friends when you need a little help making rent this month or if you have to get bailed out be- cause you were caught carrying a joint across the street to your friend's house. They're not going to be able to help- they have their hands full with trying to stay out of jail and alive past thirty-five. But when you become an Assimilated Negro, you get a whole new world of friends and associates. Help with rent, bail, even buy you a lamp on your birth- day: Little did you know, Negro, that's what friends are for. Assimilated friends are like Bingo, Yahtzee, and "Domino, motherfucker!," all in one!
ADVANTAGE 9-ACTUALLY ARTICULATE WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO SAY
Wouldn't it be great to say what you mean and not have to rely on your friends to interpret your ambiguous slang when telling a story about your latest sexual conquest or that John-blaze Purple, knahmean? Speak your mind? Mo' money, mo' problems!
Look, Negro, I could go on for days telling you reasons to convert to being an Assimilated Negro. Ultimately the choice is yours. And while the reasons I listed above are compelling, I'm not going to lie to you: There are some drawbacks. It can't be all seersucker shorts and cashmere hoodies. Some potentially harmful side effects are:
General feeling of anxiety, a constant awkward malaise.
Credit cards maxed out on sneakers and fitted hats are nothing. Wait until you get a load of the bill for your MBA. That's debt, son! A crib for under $1,500? Not in this assimilated neighborhood, dog. And that bottle of water you cop for a $1 in the hood is gonna run you $5 downtown, plus tax. Don't even think about cigarettes-you're going to have to quit that.
With the new company you keep as an Assimilated Negro, you will find yourself forced to listen to a lot of whiny emo indie rock. Just absorb the culture shock and move on. Also, wearing flip-flops in urban environments will leave your feet disgusting. Just learn to love it!
But these drawbacks fall well short of the incredible benefits of becoming an Assimilated Negro. And get this: If you act soon, you can retain the right to use words like "holla," "wack," and "my niggy" (though we're actually still conducting surveys on "my niggy").
To enter a NoNap near you, our recommendation is to start from the beginning. Studies show that most Negroes are best assimilated before the age of eighteen in a boarding prep school environment, so you're going to need to go back to high school. No matter your current age. It will be well worth it in the long run.
Good luck, Negro. We hope to see you on the other side.
Buy Negropedia now, and put your questions for Patrice in the comments immediately afterwards. Do it!