Hard truth: lying is a part of being human. Big lies, small lies, lies of commission and omission; If there is one thing you can count on human beings to do at least once in their lives, it’s lie. Whether it be a lie to spare someone’s feelings, like the ones you tell at office pot lucks (You know damn well you’re not gonna try Brenda’s nasty looking crockpot surprise, so telling her you’re “on a cleanse” is just easier), or a lie to make something more appealing (Telling people Brenda’s dish was SOOOO GOOOOD last time you had it—which was never), or even a lie to avoid getting caught in a previous lie (YES you ARE still on a cleanse, you’re taking the cupcake hidden under this napkin HOME to your KID…), most people consider the majority of lies they tell harmless or benign, which is why they call them “white lies.” White denotes purity, therefore a white lie must be something pure in intention; innocent; meant to help and not harm.

Then we have actual white lies: the lies white people tell to excuse their racism and bigotry. From Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and his “it wasn’t me in that picture” (after first apologizing for being in the picture, but ok), to newly minted dummy of the day Del. Mary Ann Lisanti, white people can come up with some WHOPPERS when faced with the label of “racist.” Lisanti is the latest casualty of the True Colors Shining Through epidemic, after a colleague reported that she used disparaging language to describe the majority Black county of Prince George’s, Maryland. According to reports, Miss Mary Ann told her white colleague that when he campaigned in Prince George’s on behalf of a candidate last fall he was door-knocking in a “n—– district.”

When first questioned on the accusation, she acquired situational amnesia (a frequent symptom of the TCST epidemic) and stated “I don’t recall that. . . . I don’t recall much of that evening.” Later, when asked if she’d ever used the n-word, Lisanti went with “I’m sure I have. . . . I’m sure everyone has used it. I’ve used the f-word. I used the Lord’s name in vain.” However, when witnesses came forward, she firmly stated her white lie. Mary Ann Lisanti, a Democratic Lawmaker in the state of Maryland, released a statement to the American public, in the year of our Lord, two thousand and nineteen, that read in part: “I am sickened that a word that is not in my vocabulary came out of my mouth. It does not represent my belief system, my life’s work or what is my heart.”

A word…that is not in her vocabulary….came out of her mouth. Like, involuntarily.


Now, look—I don’t claim, to have knowledge of every miracle, medical wonder, or inexplicable phenomenon to have ever occurred, but I’m fairly confident that words don’t just emanate from the larynx unassisted by the brain. Especially words like nigger. Especially words like nigger, when referencing Black people. ESPECIALLY words like nigger, when referencing Black people, from an American White person. For instance, I don’t know the French word for ugly. It’s literally NOT in my VOCABULARY,

Therefore I have not, do not, and probably will not ever use it to describe ugly things. (I just looked it up though, and it’s “laid”—which now makes me question if every time someone said “your hair is LAID” it actually meant my hair looked like trash…but I digress.) Yet, when you use a word in proper context and common definition, it is safe to say the word is definitely within your vocabulary.

Mary Ann, why you lying? WHY? Just say you didn’t mean to speak in such an ugly way. Say that you apparently have inherent biases that prevent you from being objective when it comes to Black people. Blame it on your privileged and prejudiced upbringing. Blame it on your parents using the word around you growing up. Blame it on the rain. Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol. But this whole invasion of the bodysnatchers routine is for the birds, as are most actual white lies. Reason being? Actual White lies are easy to spot. They require such a Herculean suspension of disbelief that the most common reaction to hearing them, across multiple demographics, is “bitch, please.” Actual white lies want us to disassociate with our own life experiences and believe in fantasies, fallacies, and fictional fuckery. They are not just an insult to human intelligence they are, themselves, just…dumb. Void of intellectual content or logical thought. As are the people that tell them.

As of this writing, it has been reported that Lisanti was stripped of her leadership role on an unemployment subcommittee, and will attend sensitivity training for the offense. I wonder if the training will be run by a young priest and an old priest? Maybe Lorraine Warren, famed Connecticut paranormal investigator (and the lady from “The Conjuring”) will make the trip down to the DMV? No matter who facilitates it, I fear whatever possessed Mary Ann and forced her to say words that “aren’t in her vocabulary” won’t be exorcised. Some believe you have to call a demon by its name in order to cast it out—but as long as White people continue to tell these actual white lies? Racism and bigotry are here to stay.

A culture critic who grew up in the East Baton Rouge Parish Public School system, Kellee is an ardent supporter of having an educated, well-rounded populace armed with facts and informed opinion. Having graduated with a BS in Biology (PreMedicine) from one of the top five HBCUs in the country, she is committed to encouraging Black youth to embrace the culture and opportunities held within the halls of HBCUs. In addition to writing and performing arts, she has also worked within school systems in the Northeast, focusing on classrooms containing at-risk youth. You can find her online at @bellekurve or www.thebellekurve.com


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