“Guess what, Bernie? We’re white.”

“Really? I thought so, but I’m colorblind, so who knows?”

“You know how you know? Because we have Stanley. There’s a big academic survey in the Washington Post that shows how different behaviors and things you buy can predict whether you’re white or not, and whether you’re liberal or conservative. For example, white people have pets.”

“I am not a pet,” says Stanley. He jumps out the kitchen dog door, then pokes his head in through the plastic. “I think you are very smart that you have me. I think you are very lucky that you have me. But are you white because you have me? Naah.”

“It’s probably the other way around,” says the in-house mathematician. “Because we’re white we have Stanley. Maybe they’re saying that white people have more money to spend on pets than non-white people.”

“Anyhow,” adds Stanley, coming back to the table, “I’m black. Are you still white if you have a black dog?”

“This is very confusing.” I read on. “It says: ‘The best predictor of whiteness was whether someone owned a pet—followed closely by whether they owned a flashlight.’’”

“Nobody owns a flashlight anymore,” says Bernie. “Everybody uses their phone.”

“Does that mean that nobody’s white?” wonders Stan.

“We have to figure out if we’re white or not,” says Bernie. “What else predicts that you’re white?”

“Has guns at home,” I read from the paper.


“Approves of police striking citizens.”


“As long as they’re not canines it’s okay with me,” says Stanley.

“Favors death penalty.”


“Not confident in the executive branch.”

“I have every confidence in our President,” says Bernie. “What else?”

“Loves Grey Poupon mustard.”

“Feh, give me Nathan’s yellow mustard any day.”

“Now, listen to this, Bernie. Here are some predictors for whether we’re liberal or not. If we’re liberal, we don’t use Jif Peanut Butter.”

“Oh oh, I eat peanut butter every breakfast.”

“But not Jif, Bernie.”

“Good, I want to be a good liberal.”

“A good liberal doesn’t eat at Arby’s or Applebee’s.”

“I’ll eat anywhere,” sighs Stanley.

“A good liberal doesn’t eat Little Debbie snack cakes.”

“They must be delicious,” sighs Stanley again.

“OMG, Bernie, listen to this: A liberal doesn’t eat Cool Whip dessert topping.”

“WHAT! How am I supposed to have my chocolate pudding, naked?”

“I told you it’s not good for us to have Cool Whip dessert topping in our refrigerator, right next to the dishwasher that predicts we’re white.”

“A Greyston chocolate brownie without Cool Whip is like a Buddhist monk. Bald.”

“We’re getting rid of it this minute, before anyone finds out.”

“Just spray it on my dog food,” offers Stanley. “I’m black and I ain’t no liberal. Nothing freer than that.”