You accepted the mission.
You are one of us.
You are proud.
You are also very tired.
Your mission is to prevent racial misunderstandings and to provide finesse and actual, real life counter-arguments to the worst arguments. Do not laugh, we are out there putting in work. This is how we can almost have nice things, thanks to us. We The Oil and you are THE BLACK FRIEND. For real.
Only you can do it. It's a 24/7 shift 365 days a year and tonight, you are going to this fundraiser organized by the city to get kids off them sweets.
Let's face it, it is important as fuck.
[[You Uber up|In the Uber]]
[[You call a Cab|Cab]]
[[Your white friend insists in dropping you off|Whitefriend]]
Fuck this? Fuck this.
<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/homer.gif">
[[BACK|This is you]]
You: "Thanks for picking me up Roberto!" That's your line. You know, trying to make sure that the driver knows that you recognize his effort to pick up a black man south the I-10. As Desmond Tutu said once, it's the little things.
Him: "No problem, Desmond!"
You, to yourself: "How does he... Nevermind."
Driving commences, small talk begins. He looks in his rear view mirror multiple times and you know the question is about to pop anytime now:
Him: "So where you from?"
[There you go]<cli|
(click: ?cli)[Yes it's happening. Again. Forever.
<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/gurl.gif">
[[You take a deep breath|Blacksplaining]]]
[You open the door]<doo|
(click: ?doo)[You fall on the road right before the freeway entrance.
<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/surprise.gif">
Him: "What up big DAAAWG!" he says, as you already had the tape playing in your head a few seconds before getting in his Prius V.
You: "Wassup man? How was your trip?"
Him: "OH man you won't believe this shit!"
(click: ?clicka)[under breath:
[[As he starts telling you Another Hammered Story, he takes you to your destination|Embassy]]
You: "I'm from Spain." You say, looking outside.
[Hoe don't do it]<cli1|
(click: ?cli1)["Where you from?"
<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/whatsthat.gif">
[[He's feeling bad|UberBad]]]
[Play it cool]<cli2|
(click: ?cli2)["Yup, grew up in Madrid. How about you?" <img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/sup.gif">
[[He's feeling interested|UberInterested]]]
[Malcom X mode]<cli3|
(click: ?cli3)["Yes you see, black folks are... The roots." <img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/nasty.gif">
[[He's feeling attacked|UberAttacked]]]
[Jesse Williams mode]<cli4|
(click: ?cli4)["Absolutely, very beautiful country, almost as good as here."<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/whatspoppin.gif">
[[He's feeling chatty|UberChatty]]]
It's dark over here. Pretty calm considering how many cars are running around.
[[You clean yourself up a bit and start walking|KeepWalking]]
Him: "No, I was just wondering... I'm from Brazil."
[You:]<tarajee|(click: ?tarajee)[[[ "Cool"|Blacksplaining]]
You, underbreath: <img src="http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/tarajee.gif">]
Him: "I'm from Brazil. But where are you from I mean, your... Family, you know?"
[Keep It REAL]<cli5|
(click: ?cli5)[<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/wannafight.gif">
"There are black people living in Europe, what do you mean??!"
[[He's feeling threatened|UberThreatened]]]
[Explain as you are slightly annoyed]<cli6|
(click: ?cli6)[<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/explainannoyed.gif">
"Oh my family, we go a few generations back over there."
Him: "Right, right."
You just fucked up son.
The highest authority got word of your misbehavior.
You cannot do that. Yes, it feels great and it is the truth. But there's a mission going on. You understand what I'm saying?
[Chill for a minute]<chill|
(click: ?chill)[I know brother, I know.
<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/youcantsaythat.gif">]
Him: "Really? I like it here. It can be rough though. Thank God I have some family. It's just that sometimes people are rude you know? the other day I had this black guy with his girl friend and they were drunk and she wasn't really wearing much guess what happened?"
Him: "They made me drop them off two blocks away, on the other side of the street!!"
You reajust your hat while awkward silence does its job.
Him: " I mean I know there are black people over there, it's just that..."
[Stare at him]<cli8|
(click: ?cli8)["Right." <img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/talkinshit.gif">
[[He keeps his mouth shut until arrival|Embassy]]]
[Black Friend Achievement]<cli9|
(click: ?cli9)["Yes there are black people living over there, I can tell!" <img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/BFA.gif">
[[He's feeling bad and looks at his GPS now|Embassy]]]
Him: "Ha, nice!"
As you look outside, the discussion stops and Roberto goes back to driving his 2011 Toyota Prius.
You finally are there.
Red carpet. Beautiful people around. A good cause. Absolutely, you look outstanding.
[[You decide to go for a stroll around in the main room|MainRoom]]
[[You clap your hands two times and join this group over there|GroupOverThere]]
[You take that stroll like]<stroll|(click: ?stroll)[
As you go around between couches, tables and purses, you notice the security guy having you in his visor. Pointing at you from time to time, he doesn't even care.
You pay no mind to the annoyance. Just notice it. After all, it might save your ass to run AWAY from him if things go south.
You nod to the brother security guy and he nods back.
[[You look around|WatchingAround]]
[[You go back to that group over there|GroupOverThere]]
One of the woman is visibly confused that you are not bringing a plate full of appetizers, she thinks you might and/or should be a maid.
Just the usual wilderness.
Dude: "hey man, did you grow up in a food desert hooked on candy before you even knew how to walk?"
[[You are immediately about to lose it|Lose]]
[[You clap the fuck back|ClapBack]]
[[You firmly carlton up|CarltonUp]]
The room is pretty packed with a pretty nice variety of facescape.
Is that Arlan over there? <a href="http://backstagecapital.com/" target_blank>ARLAN WAS THERE</a>. This woman is everything. Anyway.
[[Back to that group|GroupOverThere]] (yes it's always the same one the fuck?)
You, under breath: <img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/leonard.gif">
You, in your best Will Smith voice: ["No but I know what your mom was hooked up on and it was uhh, some kind of candy. A chocolate. Bar. I think?" HAHAHAHAHA]<momattack|
(click: ?momattack)[<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/cutitout.gif">
[[You now introduce yourself|IntroduceYourself]]]
[You go physical]<completelylosingit|
(click: ?completelylosingit)[<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/dontsaythat.gif">
[[You just pushed the ambassador of Ecuador who was fucking with you in a fire pit|YouInThePitNow]]]
You: <img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/carlton.gif">
"Not at all, actually..."
[They look at you like]<badlook|
(click: ?badlook)[<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/riribad.gif">
[[Carltoning super hard|CarltoningSuperHard]]]
After exchanging names and the classic small talk about how chilly the night is, the woman who thought you were bringing amuse-bouches asks: "so what do you do?"
You: "Oh, I am a mid-century modern real estate curator."
Her: [[*loses her shit*|LoseHerShit]]
<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/carlton.gif"><img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/carlton.gif"><img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/carlton.gif"><img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/carlton.gif">
So you go on explaining with the utmost diplomacy that you in fact grew up in an extremely rich in flavor culture, a blend of a multitude of influences.
*mild laughs and whoas*
[[You smile and you are definitely "in"|IntroduceYourself]]
<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/carlton.gif"><img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/carlton.gif">
So you explain quickly that you've been lucky to have a pretty healthy childhood and that this sugar issue is a real disaster.
*fake laughs and whoas*
[[You smile and you are definitely "in"|IntroduceYourself]]
<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/bitch.gif">
The incident goes far and prompts a war between South America and North America. Perù loses its shit, Colombia decides to go ham on the US West Coast, Mexico stomps Texas, it's a fucking mess. Thank you for playing! Also you lost!
Her:<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/shock.gif">
You: "what do you do?"
Her: "I am an interior designer."
The tension is palpable. She'd looove to know more but doesn't know how to ask you questions without feeling strangely supaweird. People are still simply not used to associate black skin and high-level thinking like design demands it. It is more of a concept that going to Mars for a lot of them.
You stay cool, smiling and appreciating that wine. [[Next|MovinOn]]
You: "Did you know that sugar comes from South Asia and that all soft drinks are using HFCS? Also I was reading, they say "by the 19th century, sugar came to be considered a necessity" like it was fine to get hooked on sweetness like that, ha!"
She's scrolling on her phone already. You know she checked out.
[[Let's go talk to that dude over there|DudeOverThere]]
[[What about those people|ThosePeople]]
You: "what's up man?"
He's the brother from another mother. You know the type. He's finishing his beer nodding at you.
Him: "wassup bro how you doin?"
You: "this is a great event, man. I'm glad we're raising some money to encourage kids to drink tap water."
Him: *dies in laughter*
Him: "that won't stop them to eat churros! Goddamn I love donuts."
[[Go to that group over there|ThosePeople]]
Something awkward apparently just happened. Your Sixth Dimension Sense ringing? Nah it's just that [this Asian woman just gave that white woman the Can't Believe This Shit look]<stare|(click: ?stare)[
"How's it going?" you say, coming through.
White woman: "What do you think of The Last Samurai movie, kinda early 00s classic right?"
You: [["I mostly avoid those movies, I just need to look at a billboard featuring the star to understand that it's not for me."|BillboardFollow]]
[["I haven't seen that movie but how about The Last Nigga On Earth featuring Tom Hanks, have you seen that one?"|NiggaFollow]]
[["well you know it's just kind of wrong to have a white man in a movie about Asian culture as lead character. It would be as if it was totally fine to have James Franco starring as The Last Black Man On Earth. So to answer your question, not a classic."|BlackManFollow]]
You: "Right I like them except that it's like feeding my kidneys with ice picks."
Him, predictably: "Nigga what?"
[You:]<scream|(click: ?scream)[<img src="http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/screaming.gif">
You: *laughs* "it's probably because I'm European man we do have sugary stuff too but here it's like another world really."
As he's sipping on his shot of whatever he moans a "I hear ya"
[You know what you just did and it hurts a bit.]<udid|(click: ?udid)[<img src="http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/duck.gif">
[[This is the game though|Game]]]
Him: "speaking of food..."
As he points out the buffet and walks towards it, you raise your glass as if you were on the Titanic before some shit occurs.
You: "I'm sayin y'all are eating way too much sugar, it's everywhere. Look it up man."
[He looks at you kinda mad and starts looking it up while you're sipping on your wine like]<lookingitup|(click: ?lookingitup)[<img src="http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/shotsfired.gif"> [[Phone|Phone]]]
[You're like, not today son.]<notonmywatch|(click: ?notonmywatch)[<img src="http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/please.gif">
In-ear: "well done, agent."
You smile. You are on your way through the kitchen, on the left next to an outdated pay phone where you disappear.
Him: *not really looking up because he knows you're right* "yeah, right."
He continues: "I guess I should be careful too, don't wanna leave my wife deal with 2 kids and a dog!!"
You: "Maybe she'd rather do that? I'mjustfuckingwithu"
Him: *red as fuck, laughing* "why you even do me like that dawg??"
You: "haha, excuse me"
He nods away. You know [[it's time|Agent]]
As you slowly walk to get the FOH the music, the lights, people fade out in your mind. Even though you have the pragmatism of HAL-9000 and the experience of a thousand warriors, that micro agression simply cuts you deep. It's been a good ten billion times now. It stings.
The idea feels fantastic but stomping a motherfucker will never be the answer.
[[Press the button next to the dead payphone|Agent]]
In-ear: "are you done for tonight?"
You: "I think I am, B."
In-ear: "you almost blew it a bunch of times. So much for being "the best" you still ain't shit to me."
You: "I did what I could. It never stops. Almost 40 years like that. How's Europe?"
In-ear: "like you, deplorable."
Not easy to be an agent of the BIM. You finally reach outside. That little breeze makes you feel more alive than a bottle of Henessy.
[[You walk towards your car|Car]]
Time to get motivated and thus, it's time for a Shalamar song.
As you prepare yourself to sing *niiight to 'membeeer* walking back to a nearby corner for another ride, your phone receives a text message. You smile reading the notification. Still walking, you start putting your hands in position.
[[Start replying to Her|Phone2]]
You know what just happened. You had not seen the police car at the end of the street. That woman saw it and started filming.
[[Restart|This is you]]
<audio src="http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/BIM_SD.mp3" autoplay>
You: "It is my goal in life to someday, maybe not make you happy but make you smile. You have a great night, I'll see you soon B."
Her, smiling through her phone: ["See you soon, brother."]<uh|(click: ?uh)[
Also her:<img src="http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/nope.gif">
You: "she always does that."
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PLAYING
YEAH NO REAL GAMEPLAY WITH FANCY GAMEPAD INPUT BLABLA SHUT UP MICHAEL
THE BLACK FRIEND AGENT IS AN ORIGINAL IDEA FROM BARATUNDE THURSTON FROM HIS BOOK "HOW TO BE BLACK" WHICH IS TOTALLY GREAT I RECOMMEND IT
I WOULD LOVE TO MAKE A MUCH BETTER GAME OF THAT IDEA BECAUSE THE IDEA IS DOPE AND I LOVE DOING DOPE SHIT
I NEED FUNDS AND A TEAM AND I HAVE HEY COME BACK YOU LITT
WE GON' BE ALRIGHT CUZ AIN'T NO OTHER CHOICE
OG idea: <a href="https://twitter.com/baratunde" target=_blank>Baratunde Thurston</a>
Script/Visuals/Audio/Code/Deployment: <a href="https://twitter.com/har0ld" target=_blank>Harold Pichol</a>
Sound: Keith Scott's murder
Situations may or may not have existed.
You: "what do you guys think?"
White dude: "I just don't think race or gender matters in fictional work and a famous actor will drive SO much engagement."
You know his point of view is rather different from yours but his argument is fair. He's missing one point though.
You: ["Right,]<right|(click: ?right)[
but we're trying to play catch up here and having a full Asian cast with an Asian story being nothing special, is the goal."
You, with your new Asian friend: <img src="http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/daaamn.gif">
The problem is that not only you stole a joke from Paul Mooney but you just played the race card which is not acceptable.
You fucked up, son.
Your new Asian friend:
*smiles and nods*
You: "So you know, I just move on like that. There are so many excellent movies out there touching so many different people and stories. I just follow my curiosity."
[White woman and two others, mentally:]<2others|(click: ?2others)[
<img src="http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/whyouhere.gif"> [[Continue|AlmostThere]]]
You: "now if you'll excuse me."
Now that's what it's aBOUT. You know you just made the world a better place, one little moment at a time. You know you just accomplished something crucial in this world of hate and wars. You executed it with the grace of a black panther hunting in the morning on her way to get that breakfast burrito. You still have it.
It's exhausting tho, your eyes are turnin red yo
[You and exhaustion]<exhaustion|
(click: ?exhaustion)[<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/heyyy2.gif">]
[[Continue (almost there)|Agent]]
You: "now if you'll excuse me."
That's NOT the best way to convey the argument. I know, bringing the point across on racial stuff with white people is kind of a successful suicide mission inside a black hole.
You did your best and moved on before all that just happened disappears forever as if it had never happened.
[Frustration and you]<frustration|
(click: ?frustration)[<img src= "http://har0ld.free.fr/twine/heyyy.gif">]
[[Continue (almost there)|Agent]]