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Diversified Holiday Guest List

I couldn't make this up if I wanted to.

According to Gawker, clients of a certain anonymous New York public relations firm have been ordering the firm to find "desirable" black people to attend their holiday parties this year, because they - the clients - are predicting that black folks will be the new, cool party accessory (as opposed to Scotty dog sweaters or mistletoe) thanks to...the election of Barack Obama.

Seriously, they're calling it the "Diversified Holiday Guest List."

I suppose there are worse ways to get invited to a party, like to cook, or serve drinks, or park cars.

But what I'd like to know is why I'm not on this list. I mean I'm not saying I should be top 10. But hell, there's a journalist on their top 10 list. I could fill that spot.

So if you're a highfalutin' New York company...perhaps with offices in Miami and you need a black person for your over-the-top holiday party, I'm for rent. And I'm an ideal choice for the following reasons:

  1. I'm pretty, waaaaay prettier than I'm given credit for usually.
  2. As long as the sun is up, white people don't fear me, except for that one time...
  3. I own at least two pairs of calf-skin cap-toed shoes that are fit for a banker.
  4. I have a collection of pocket squares that admirably compliments my collection of neckties. And I know how to knot a bow-tie - no clip-ons for me.
  5. I'm aware that those squat glasses in which Cognac and other throat-warming spirits are served are called snifters.
  6. I read the New Yorker, and I don't believe for a minute the allegation made on Family Guy that people who work at the New Yorker are missing an orifice.
  7. I wasn't raised in poverty or turmoil, but I can pretend I was for the sake of conversation.
  8. I've never been arrested, and I've never been ticketed for anything but parking violations.
  9. I've never appeared on a reality TV show, especially not one whose burning question was "Is he or isn't he the father?" or "Was he born a man?"
  10. And I do know the secret handshake, but I promise not to use it in your presence.

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Pamela

buRENTiquette?

James B.

Ha! Pamela, in this scenario, yes! BuRentiquette is open for free food and what not at holiday parties.

og

Me, I'd love to have you as a dinner guest, but it wouldn't be because you're more desireable as such because Obama got elected. It would be because you would probably be good company, likely to engage in interesting conversation, and fun to be around.

The pretty part, I'll leave for someone else.

As far as the rest is concerned, were I in your position, I would GLADLY take advantage of your situation as a "Clean, articulate black man" to assuage the white guilt in liberal party circles. At $1500 an hour. Plus expenses.

James B.

Og,you crack me up. $1,500 an hour? I can sell out for that much. Sign me up. I'll ask forgiveness later. But in theory this couldn't be the result of liberal guilt. These same people have been hosting over-the-top parties for years...and not inviting me for years. I doubt their political persuasions have recently changed.

James B.

And Og, you can admit I'm pretty. It won't make you less of a man, ha ha ha ha ha! Seriously, next time I'm in Chicagoland, we need to break bread. And no cheeseborgers. That place made me sick - literally - last time I was in town.

Okie Sister

11. Fantastic sense of humor.

Slash

OMG! James!! You're black???!!

og

I'm not saying you're not pretty, just that your prettiness is of no intrinsic value to me.

Your conversations would be, but you'd have to settle for my conversation in return.

As far as the white guilt, that is EXACTLY what this is about, and you were never invited before because they were still terrified of you. You might covet the good silver, or date their daughter. But now, they can say "Racism is dead. We have a black president! therefore you won't hurt us."

They hope.

I think it's all just dumb as a bag of hammers, but again, who could blame you for advertising. "Clean, articulate white dinner guest, $1500 hr. Have own transportation and nice suits. Impress your friends with your "Black Friend"." think of the money you could make just on referrals.

Maybe someday fat rednecks will be in demand. Therefore, do not undercut your rate, I want there still to be some cash left to be made when it's my turn.

og

That should read (of course) 'Black guest at a white dinner party"

James B.

Okie Sister, thank you very much. I try!

Slash, you should be a detective ;-)

Og, you made me spit out my coffee. OK, I'll keep the price as high as I can. BTW, I figured you meant "black guest." At least I hoped you did or I was gonna bolt for the mirror to see what had changed.

class factotum

Could the next step in "diversity" be inviting -- gasp! -- conservatives?

og

Class, fat chance. Conservatives will always be anathema to the intellectuial elite. Or the people who think they are, anyway.

James B.

CF and Og, you both know I enjoy our exchanges. But I think you're all wet on this one. There is no partisanship to this issue in my mind. Based on firsthand experience - meaning, in spite of my jokes I've attended plenty of elitist parties where my self-described blue collar status stood out more than my brown skin status - there are just as many conservative elitists in the circles we're talking about here as there are liberal elitists.

I think the flaw in your logic is thinking that politics play that prominent a role in why these people think the way they do. On the contrary, having stood in their living rooms and enjoyed their double malt scotch while not enjoying their conversation, the thing that sets them all apart is money, plain and simple. Above a certain level of scratch, their politics don't even matter. So I'd argue it's a huge stretch to assume the folks in NYC who suddenly want black folks at their parties are liberal elites. I'll bet if we could names of the companies in question we'd find as many Republicans as Democrats hosting those parties.

Ruth K.

Black is the new... black? Seems we've come full circle.

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