An Honest Dialogue On Race.



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • “You ever leave that wash rag on the night stand? Your kids coming in. Wash rag on a night stand? Give me that god damn wash rag and get the fuck out of my room.”

  • I mean, I believe, in my humble opinion, that this wins the internet.

    • Amy


  • Quick note on nomenclature: in West Virginia as well as parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio, you’ll likely hear the term “worsh rag.” It’s, of course, a different name for a wash cloth.

    Some folks change out their “worsh rags” on an almost daily basis. So as not to clean your face with the same cloth you used yesterday to clean your arse.

  • please see Dave Chappelle’s skit on this with the Leanord Washington wife swap reality show skit, the two-word summation of which was “Love & warshin'”

  • LadyNumberNine

    I was unaware of this stereotype until I went to college. In fact it was orientation. Me + a room full of white people (from all over the country, mind you) + a weird conversation that lead somehow to this topic = I was the ONLY person there that used a washcloth. I was the weird one.

    The stereotype is TRUE!!!

  • Here’s another funny take on washcloths – I’m South Asian and was raised in East Asia. I (and many of my friends) have always considered washcloths a “white” thing. I’ll just be honest here – we generally thought that white people aren’t very clean or as hygienic as Asians tend to be. Washcloths are dirty! Not at all the same as the rough, exfoliating towels used in East Asia, for example.

  • VeryLateToParty

    About the European thing: I’m a (white) immigrant from the UK and they wouldn’t put out washcloths there because they are considered a personal item, like a toothbrush. You only use your own.

    My white American husband never uses a wash cloth. I do.

  • Pingback: Is Using Lotion a Black Thing? « The Black Conversation()

  • Amy

    I have never even heard of this, but that dialogue was hilarious! I’m a white girl, and I use a wash cloth on my face sometimes? My mom always uses one, but I never thought about it haha the hands and soap are just simpler. But then again, I didn’t grow up around hardly any one of African descent, maybe that’s why I never knew this. Again though, that dialogue was so funny!

  • Emily

    I have never, ever heard of any such thing. So the stereotype is that white people don’t wash themselves properly because they supposedly don’t use washcloths? Stereotypes rarely make sense but can often be traced to a (twisted) grain of truth … this one, though, I just don’t get.

  • I think we call those face-cloths. Only to be used in the sink mind you.

  • HereToEternity

    Try this experiment after working out at the gym. First wash your body with regular soap and water. Next thoroughly wet a wash cloth, rub soap on it, and scrub/wash your body; especially the areas that sweat the most (underarms, groin, etc.). Then look at the wash cloth and come to your own conclusion why people use wash cloths!

  • Nina

    This was really interesting! My (white) family use washcloths, but that’s the older generation. Everyone now uses those shower poufs (including guys). I even have a mini pouf that I pack on trips. I don’t really use the hotel washcloth except to wipe my chin after brushing my teeth or whatever.

    I think we mostly switched to poufs because they lather up great, dry faster, and cut down on wet stuff in the laundry pile. Ugh, stiff-ass washcloths on the tub edge!