Business and Career

Multicultural Living

Make that new Black family feel right at home on your block
By Eric Talbet

So you're not leaving town just because one Black family moved into the old Wilson place at the end of the block. That's good. It's a proven myth that when one moves in, others soon follow like cockroaches. In reality, it takes a decade or so until they crowd you out. And you shouldn't be fearful of the falling property values, rising crime rates, and influx of illegal drugs and prostitution that will flow into your neighborhood as a result; these effects usually take years if not decades to develop to maturity. You could have long ago been killed in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting or knifed as part of a thirteen-year-old's gang initiation by then. So relax, and in the mean time, divisiontwo will tell you everything you need to know in order to build a positive multicultural relationship with your new neighbors.

When you go to meet the new neighbors, don't bring apple pie or fruit cake; they don't like it. Instead, bring a bucket of fried chicken or some watermelon slices. And don't forget your pepper spray in case of attack. Do not go after sundown; they're invisible at night. When they answer the door, stand back; Black people's front doors open out, not in, so as to make it harder for the police to bust them down during a crack raid. Say hello, but do not look them in the eye right away, instead look down and the floor and compliment them on their new basketball sneakers. Hold out your right hand, palm up, and let them sniff it for a few seconds. Don't show fear, and by all means don't show your teeth if you smile; it will be interpreted as a challenge. Say your name clearly, spell it out slowly, then say it again. They will repeat it. If they don't get it right, say it once more. Once they've gotten your name, help them write it down. At the end of the encounter, hand them their offerings, bow or curtsy politely, and turn and walk away. DO NOT RUN; they will give chase. Once home, wash your hands immediately and wash all clothing with a harsh chlorine bleach. Shower with an antibacterial soap and check your body closely for ticks before going to bed.

Kids are curious. They will want to know why little Lakiesha is a fourteen-year-old grandmother of six. They will wonder what their classmate Tyrone is smoking in the parking lot during recess. They will want to know why gunshot noises are constantly interrupting their sleep. They will have many questions. It is best for you to answer them in a frank and honest manner, but to phrase it in a way they will understand. Remind them of that time their hamster Mittens had eight babies at once. Tell them little Tyrone has asthma and that the joint he smokes is his inhaler. Tell them the gunshot noises they hear are in celebration of "Black New Years" or something like that. Be creative, don't be afraid to use your imagination.

If there's one thing Black people do well, it's breed. Don't be surprised if you see the new neighbors at the local cineplex, talking on their cell-phones and ignoring three crying babies during the movie. In Black culture, it is polite to be rude. Ignore it.
Don't leave the house after dark. If you see a car coming and there's more than one black person inside, duck into the nearest bushes until it passes. If there are no bushes nearby, simply remain perfectly still. Their vision is motion-based; they can't see you if you don't move.
Keep curtains drawn and shades pulled down; they can't shoot what they can't see.
Don't let your wife or daughters out of the house unsupervised. They may come home with more babies than they left with.
If one of them asks you what you watched on TV last night, your options are: Anything on UPN, Ricki Lake, Springer, or Montel Williams. DO NOT admit to watching any sitcom that features a White actor. In Black culture, it is considered racist to be White.

If you live long enough, it'll happen eventually. When it's time for you to go, just go. Let a real estate agency handle the sale of your house. Don't do it yourself, and don't expect more than 10% of what you originally paid for the place. Go during daylight hours. Black people don't have jobs, so they usually sleep till 4 or 5 pm. Don't leave a forwarding address, or else they'll be able to find you. Where you move will probably be farther out from the city than you'd like to be, but you'll probably be safe there for a few years. Black people spread out very slowly.

We at divisiontwo hope this article helps. Send us some feedback! We want to hear from you. Do you have any suggestions you'd like to add? Any experiences you'd like to share? Drop me a line at


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