1. All Black folk be talkin like they from the ghetto. Even if they’re a stockbroker, an office manager, cop, priest, mayor or judge. Man, whatchoosayin?
2. If you’re a Black man you shoot the hoop on your time off. You are kool n the gang with your White buddy. In a family friendly, Neighbourhood Watch friendly, approachably middle class yet gangsterly kinda way. Like LL Cool Jay in Deep Blue Sea.
3. If you’re a Black woman, you’re sassy. Empowered. Endearingly obnoxious – you tells it how it is. You are the salt o’ the earth easy to anger, easy to laugh. You are big but you wear it tight. You take no prisoners.
4. Every Black church is the heart of the working class community, evangelical and full of shafts of morning light, uplifting music, and clapping. The preacher will be fiery and impassioned, as will be the be-hatted congregation who will sing, shout or nod their exhortations throughout the service. There will be several middle aged women fanning themselves and mhhhmmming.
5. If you’re an older Black woman with a serious expression, there are many, many opportunities to become a High Court judge. Approximately 85% of all judges in America are made up of older, Black women with serious expressions. You will be firm but fair, and liable to call all lawyers up to the bench to give stern admonishments to over your serious glasses.
6. If you’re British there are many, many opportunities to become an evil, globally dominating villain of the highest order. Or a butler. If you’re not insufferably posh (first choice), you can settle for being Cockney. This is the closest to foreign you will ever see.
7. All muggers are stupid, pale Wasp men in their late Twenties who bear striking resemblances to LA waiting staff, but with dark leather jackets/ hoody, hobo hat and needing a shave. They will often have the tables turned on them.
8. All people with dark hair, at some later stage in the story, will reveal themselves to actually be Jewish, usually by namedropping Bar Mitzvahs, bagels, schmucks, or their super Jewish parents. Chances are they are also loud, sassy and endearingly obnoxious as Black women. But more highly strung. -They are people too. Like if they didn’t announce their religion you woulda carried on thinking how lovely they were haa!
9. Ethnic minorities do not cry. Given the opportunity, they are stoic. Though really it’s just they never reach that stage of character development in their lives and loves (unless you’re single in NYC, ridiculously rich, powerful, handsome, well groomed, funny, inventive, educated, strong, fatherly and heart-rendingly widowed enough to court Dakota Johnson).
10. All maids are lovely Mexican women who can barely string a sentence together in English. They work hard and look after several impoverished families back in Latin America, for which their low paid job is vital. They are all resoundingly, frailly illegal.
11. LA is riven with Latino gang members who wear slick hair, 90s plaid, do their top buttons up, and sport bandanas like Notorious B.I.G. Their quasi-Mexican accents are as thick as yo mamacita’s guacamole. They prefer knives to guns. Those are for Black people. Statistically they are the least represented on-screen race per capita, more so than even the semi-mythical East Asians.
12. Italian Americans have lovely, huge nouveaux riches families and are adoring to their kids, despite their murderous mafia links. One of these ‘family friends’ will be obese and thuggish; and they will all talk with the Italian East coast accent ( not to be confused with the pan Jewish East coast accent, or New Jerseyitians). The long suffering wives wear a lot of gold, peroxide and have big hair, and can be just as ruthless despite their feminine charms. Not to be confused with Jewish princesses.
Actually fuck, it Jews, Italians and New Jerseyudlians are one and the same. They just change surnames on set.
13. Native Americans are wise, long haired and monosyllabic. They live on reservations or national parks and often sport cowboy hats paired with clinking jewelry, beads and totems as constant reminders of their timeless, majestic, pre-modern culture that our forefathers truly fucked to the tune of 98.1 percent of their missing gene pool. They tend to drive vintage trucks and have guns they use for manly stuff.
14. Asians don’t really exist. Except as news reporters; or waiting staff.
15. South Asians, despite being the world’s biggest ethnicity, really don’t exist.
Race appropriate(d) roleplay.
White folk: Bartenders, truckers, pilots, captains, muggers (see 7. Muggers), parking attendants, waiting staff, shop assistants, artists, art students, subjects of art, ballerinas, ex-pats (not to be confused with ‘immigrants’), travelers, firefighters, surgeons, mountaineers (not to be confused with Sherpas, ‘locals’, or guides who do the same thing), ice skaters, ice hockey players, skiers, snowboarders – pretty much anything cold related, swimmers, lifeguards, divers, pool babes (see 3. Outdoor pools) – pretty much anything water related, farmers/ ranchers, cowboys, Mounties, line-dancers, woodcutters, hunters, hippies, eco-warriors, extreme sports enthusiasts, – hell, pretty much anything outdoors related, Europeans, American tourists, academia, hipsters, nerds, rock enthusiasts, Goths/ emos, toll booth operators, Icelandic fishermen. Serial killers.
Black folk: Hip hop/ rap, R n B artists, gang members, basketballers, anything else just so long it’s not academic/ science / tech / finance/ rural / outdoors / er, water / or art related. Judges (see 5. Black women).
Mixed race: Hip hop/ rap, R n B artists, gang members, techs, nerds, occasional hipsters.
Latinos: Maids, gang members, policemen (California only). US/Mexican border control. Token cowboys.
East Asians: You are not in the army, you are not in the arts, you are not in academia, you are not in entertainment, you are not outdoorsy. You are not bar staff, surf instructing, cheer leading, basketball playin’ or any sport in general. You like business school, tech or nerdy stuff and news presenting. You do not hang out in bars, have family picnics, wait in post office queues, operate toll booths or any random activity that you do (but don’t – I mean do).
Arabs and Middle Easterners: Terrorists. Misunderstood terrorists. Understandable terrorists. Innocent civilians terrifically terrorised by terrorists. You do not hang out in bars, have family picnics, wait in post office queues, operate toll booths, or any random activity that you do (but don’t – I mean do). Terrorists.
South Asians: Sorry, who are you again?
South East Asians: Sandra! Can you show these nice people where the coffee machine and cookies are?
Native Americans: Outdoorsy shit. Seal/ bear/ sasquatch hunters. Chiefs. Majestic eagle wranglers. Canoeists. Guides. Spirit Guides.
Torres Straits Islanders: Thanks! We’ll let you know.