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"Then they'll say some stupid shit like, 'Oh, Karen, I didn't notice you're black.' Don't say that to black people. We're really codependent and we're worried about your blind ass."
Karen Williams

When a character says or does something racist, sexist or homophobic in front of the Token Minority, The Chick, or Ambiguously Gay person, either because they're an Innocent Bigot or because they said something easily Mistaken for Racist. Usually, the character will respond with a caustic one-liner like "I'm Standing Right Here".

This has been played for laughs with a Token White. Otherwise, it usually pops up in the Very Special Episode, after which the characters go back to totally ignoring the issue.

Much more offensive than You Are a Credit to Your Race.

The logical conclusion of You Know What They Say About X.... See also Insult Friendly Fire for this sans racial components.

Examples of You Know I'm Black, Right? include:


Anime and Manga

  • Possibly parodied in Wolf's Rain. When the wolves (disguised as humans from the viewers' perspective) are walking through a forest, Toboe is puzzled by the lack of any animals. Hige replies, "You know you're a wolf, don't you? They probably ran away when they saw us coming."

Comic Books

  • Astro City has a humorously overblown example. A boisterous comic book publisher releases a comic Very Loosely Based on a True Story in which the supervillain Glowworm is ascribed a white supremacist motivation that was not substantiated by the actual events. Glowworm, a monstrous glowing green man with a tail in place of legs, attacks the publisher at a comic convention:

 Glowworm: You know what color I am? You know what color I used to be?!?

Publisher: No, but I can make a guess...

Glowworm: Do you have any idea what my mother thought when she read this?!?

Publisher: What does she think of your robbing banks?

  • He doesn't say anything actually racist, but early in A God Somewhere a white guy is helping his Black Best Friend move to a new place. He opens the box he's been carrying to see a multitude of Black History books inside. Puzzled, he asks his friend why the friend has so many of these books and why he reads them. The friend just looks at him and after a moment the white guy is going "Oh, right..." then tries to explain that he sometimes forgets his friend is black. That doesn't exactly fly either.
  • In New X-Men, Rockslide taunts gay Anole by calling him a "big sissy." Anole immediately opens a can of whoopass on him, which is impressive, considering Rockslide is twice his size and made out of lava, and Anole isn't exactly the biggest Badass on the team. As it happens, Rockslide didn't know and was just being his usual insensitive self, but Anole's not interested in excuses.
  • In Quantum and Woody issue #4, Quantum is repeatedly called "noogie" (a substitute for the n-word) several times by a homeless street dweller. Quantum, whose costume covers his entire face and body, asks the guy how he knows he's black. "You're black? S-word!"
  • Spider-Man Family #9: Jean Grey of the X-Men gives a speech about how people treat mutants, people always assuming the worst and treating you like a freak and running scared at the slightest provocation...then realizes she's talking to Spidey and Bruce Banner. "Oop" indeed.
  • Somewhat subverted in DC Comics' Steel: Natasha Irons says to her white friend "Boris, in case you haven't noticed, I'm black" before realizing that he's just such a ditz he honestly hasn't occurred to him there's an unfortunate association in giving her a watermelon as a gift.
    • For those who are not Americans: This joke refers to the old American trope that the best way to portray a lazy black slave or even freedman was to show a scrawny old slave, lounging on a porch, eating a watermelon. The "blacks love watermelon and fried chicken" idea is a well-worn staple of stereotypical humor.


Films

  • There's a literal example of this in If You Could See What I Hear, a biopic about blind musician Tom Sullivan. In bed, his new girlfriend asks him if it "feels different" making love to her because she's black, and he's surprised by the question because he hadn't even realized she was.
  • In the film, The Jerk, Navin (played by Steve Martin), after striking it rich, was talking to several financial advisers and people who wanted him to invest his newfound wealth. One guy was suggesting a housing/apartment complex and detailed that they would of course keep the "niggers" away. Navin, who was raised by a black family (oblivious to his own whiteness for decades), snapped at him, saying "Sir, you are talking to a nigger!" and proceeded to kick his ass with martial arts skills not shown before or after in the movie.
  • At the beginning of Stand by Me, Chris, Teddy, and Gordie are sitting in their tree-house, playing cards, when Chris decides to tell a joke.

 Chris: How do you know if a Frenchman has been in your back yard?

Teddy: Hey, I'm French, okay?

Chris: Your garbage cans are empty and your dog's pregnant.

*Chris and Gordie laugh*

Teddy: Didn't I just say I was French?


Literature

  • In the second Night Huntress book, Cat gets really pissed about her team's racism against vampires without remembering that she is half-vampire herself.

Live-Action TV

  • 30 Rock: Taken Up to Eleven, to the point of parody. Jack proudly announces to a room full of old, white, rich, conservative business executives that he has a liberal girlfriend. Cue the other men coming out with all sorts of other "confessions"--their children went to public school, they listen to NPR, and . . .

 Black guy: I'm black!

  • In an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, to Dick this has happened multiple times in the same few minutes, so, in order to prevent it from happening to him again, he puts a sticky-note on his secretary reading 'Nina is Black'.
  • In Angel, Cordelia calls Willow, who has broken up with her boyfriend and acquired a girlfriend in Cordy's absence, to ask her about her old friend Hermony's irritating behavior.

Cordelia: (on the phone) Oh! Harmony's a vampire! ...All this time I thought she'd become a great big lesbo! (Beat) ...Oh really? ...Well that's great! Good for you!

Willow: Thanks for the validation.

  • Jake in Becker: "I'm a blind black man; we just sail through life."
  • Subverted in the Chappelle's Show skit Black White Supremacist. A blind black man grows up under the impression he is white. He becomes a prominent white supremacist writer until he finds out he is black.
    • Note that he stays a white supremacist. He even leaves his wife for marrying a black man, even though this black man is himself.
  • One of Judge Milianis' cases in Court TV, the plaintiff informed the judge that the defendants were - ugh - lawyers! ...It turns out, so are all judges.
  • Somewhat parodied in a deleted scene of Criminal Minds, in which the line was not actually meant to be racist, but is jokingly taken that way. When Reid (white) tricks Morgan (black) into losing at Gin on the plane, he gloats, "When are you people going to learn never to play cards with a magician?" Morgan replies, "What do you mean 'you people'?"
    • For context, because it's interesting: the scene is an alternate ending to an episode which deals heavily with race relations.
  • Degrassi the Next Generation, "Pride, part 1": When Paige asks Spinner to carry her beach bag, which happens to be floral patterned, he tells her that he can't, because it make people will mistake him for a "homo". Spinner then realizes it was a mistake to say that in front of Paige's brother, Dylan, who is gay:

 Spinner: I didn't mean 'homo' as in 'gay', I mean 'homo' as in...

Dylan: ...Milk?

  • In the Puppy episode of Ellen, Ellen discussing coming out to her therapist who is played by Oprah Winfrey:

Ellen: You don't understand. Do you think I want to be discriminated against? Do you think I want people calling me names to my face?

Therapist: Have people commit hate crimes against you because you're not like them.

Ellen: Thank you.

Therapist: Have to use separate bathrooms and separate water fountains and sit on the back of the bus.

Ellen: Oh man, we have to use separate water fountains?

  • One episode of The George Lopez Show featured a racist scout leader for Max. During a discussion of how one can tell how different marks on an animal show whether they're aggressive, he mentions "Just like people." George questions this, to which he responds by asking which one a cop will question: a cute blonde or a Mexican. George responds with this trope.

Scout: I mean, yah, but I mean, well, not you guys. I mean those 'me no speake' Mexicans.

  • The British TV Biopic Hughie Green: Most Sincerely has a scene, possibly taken from real life, in which Green and his producer are holding an audition for Green's TV talent show. Green is enthusiastic about one candidate, but his producer says, "You know he's black, don't you?" Green rejects this racist attitude out of hand and passes the candidate over his producer's objections.
  • In the original UK version of Queer as Folk, Nathan moans that his best friend wouldn't understand what he's going through because she's straight; she snaps "I'm black. And I'm a girl. Try that for a week."
  • In one episode of Scrubs, Dr. Cox calls Turk "bro." Turk replies that "Bros don't even use bro. You're not as hip as you think you are." When Cox asks if Turk is, Turk points out that he's black.

 Dr. Cox: You're black? 'Cause last I checked you had a nerdy white best friend, you enjoy Neil Diamond, and you damn sure act like a black guy... and these, my friend, are all characteristics of white guys. Please understand, I'm a huge supporter of the NAACP. If you don't know what that stands for, it's the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. And quite frankly, I always thought they should change the "colored people" to "African-Americans," but then of course it wouldn't be the NAACP, it'd be the N-quad-A or NAAAA. And I know this probably sounds like a digression but actually brings me back to my original point... Do I think you're black? Naaaaaaah!

    • Of course, this may not necessarily be any better on Cox's part, since he seems to be suggesting race is determined by behaviors, as if Turk is less "black" because he listens to Neil Diamond and is best friends with a white guy.
      • Of course, some would argue being born into any particular group carries with it some obligation to participate in that group's culture, but that's a question that's waaaaay above our pay grade...
  • In a Very Special Episode of Smart Guy, Yvette and her friend Nina get jobs at a small store in the mall where Nina is given the following job:

Nina: It is my happy task to follow black people around the store to make sure they don't steal.

Yvette: You know this is going to affect our friendship?

Black, Gay Guy (in confessional): That's what I like about Jimmy. He didn't even seem to care that I'm gay... or notice.... Tomorrow I'm gonna tell him that I'm black!

Machinima

 Tucker: Yeah, but we mean a girl girl!

Tex: And what the hell does that mean?

Tucker/Caboose: Nothing!!!


Newspaper Comics


Video Games

Anders: Why do you do this right in front of me?

 Shepard: "You? I said a badass, not some scout whining like a Quarian with a tummyache."

Tali: "I'm standing right here!

Webcomics

Black Mage: Let me stop you right there, before I am honor-bound to cut you like an elven whore.
Thief: Hold on. Elven whore? Do I even have to explain why that's offensive to me?
Black Mage: Look, if your mother had made dresses, I would have called her a tailor instead.

 Carrie: Doesn't that freak you out? Isn't that totally gross?

Alice: Let Me Get This Straight.... You're asking one of the only black girls at this school if she should be repulsed by somebody because she's different?

 Pagan: You'll never know what its like to live with the pain of your ancestors being oppressed for who they were! That they lived in fear because they might get lynched! To know that they suffered so I'd have the right to --

[Panel with Kim (Black woman) staring at him]

Kim: Do you need some time to comprehend why saying that to me makes you stupid?

Pagan: ...No, I think I've got that figured out.

Western Animation

Wyatt: We're not twins! I'm black and he's white!

Malory: What are you, deaf and racist?
Lana: Racist? I'm black--"
Malory: Oh, put it back in the deck.

 Sokka: It's so dark in here, I can't see a thing!

Toph: Oh no, what a nightmare!

 Toph: Oh, sure, ask the blind girl to pilot the airship.

Sokka: Actually, I was talking to Suki.

Toph: Oh. That would make more sense.

 Kahn: Oh yes, I wouldn't understand. My original last name is Smith! I just changed it to Souphanousinphone when I moved to Texas!

Jenny: You think you're better than them!
Tuck: Duh! They're just stupid robots! (Cue Tuck's POV of the 6-&-a-half foot, 600 pound walking weapons platform giving him the Death Glare.)

Real Life

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