My, how I love my people and all of the idiosyncrasies of our Blackness. I do. But that doesn’t mean that every once in a while, something or someone will crop up and make me want to issue a press release on behalf of Black America in general. Any time I see Flavor Flav or Herman Cain respectively—Lord help me, never let them show up anywhere together—I get nervous about the impending and inevitable shenanigans about to befall our people. Celebrity coonin’ aside, there are other things that Black folks do that make me want to hang my head in shame.
We dry hump TV game show hosts. Bob Barker must be somewhere heaving a huge sigh of relief that this girl didn’t come charging down the aisle at him when her number was called to come on down. Black folks have been known to cut up on game shows—the potion of competition and the possibility of free money makes us giddy—but there seems to be a special place reserved on The Price Is Right for our tomfoolery. And although I can certainly appreciate this particular contestant’s jubilance, all the big money spins in a hour-long show can’t justify wrapping her legs around Drew Carey like she’s an extra in Dirty Dancing. Yeesh. Calm down.
We browbeat each other for overpriced sneakers. If I don’t ever hear the word “Jordans” and the number “11” in conjunction again, it’ll be too soon, particularly as it relates to top news stories that involve watching grown men mollywhop women, children, and the maimed and disabled to score a pair of sneakers that cost all of 25 cents to make in some faraway sweat shop. Every single time the news covered a story about some simple-minded crime involving those doggone sneakers, I held my breath waiting for the name of the assailant. And every single time, it was something like Derquan Jackson or Otis Jenkins and I knew, without a doubt, that another one of us had drunk the Kool-Aid and paid dearly for it.
We refer to all Asian people as “Chinese.” My apologies to the entire Asian community for the continuous oversights of some of my brethren and sistren, who seem to think that the whole big continent is comprised only of China. I once heard a frustrated woman in a beauty supply store declare that she could. not. stand. Chinese people, which would’ve probably stung more if the owners of the establishment weren’t Korean.