Why I Don’t Eat Watermelon in Public

Racists really need to update their stereotype references. When it comes to black people at least, they seem stuck on…well they’re stuck on stupid, as we all know, but also stuck in the old days. Music evolves, the amount of clothing women wear (or don’t wear) evolves, our language evolves, yet racist Americans don’t appear to take pride in their racism enough to keep up with the times.

For example, Jennifer Olsen, chairwoman of Yellowstone County’s Republican committee in Montana, allegedly shared the following “hilarious” image with her Facebook followers:

The alleged post

The alleged post

She denies any involvement with this. In short, she says a hater is responsible. I’m sure her best friend is black, she prays to the black Jesus everyday of Black History Month and loves a scrumptious Kwanzaa cake. In 2000, Montana had a black population of less than half a percent. HALF A PERCENT! Where the fuck are all these black people Jennifer, I mean, Jennifer’s hater” is seeing having watermelon grub fests?

Where do these racists get their black-people-eats stereotypes? Is there a watermelon eating show on BET I don’t know about? Um, also, because people keep forgetting, President Obama is half-white, so…

These racists need to up their game. If you’re going to decide that all people of one race (ignoring that all of us humans are ridiculously genetically similar) eat the same things, at least be current, people! For you racists, I submit three popular black-people-eats stereotypes that are old as hell and implore you to consider modernizing your racist jokes.

Watermelon

Played out

Played out
Photo cr: Wikipedia

This racial weapon has been around since the days of slavery. Watermelon was one of the foods masters deigned to feed their captives. Slavery has ended, this black chick is free, happily riffing on racists. So why does the watermelon obsession persist? Why are some racists so fixated on black people eating watermelon? Are their hoards of black people across America buying up all the watermelon, keeping them from melon-loving racists? Was there a run on watermelon during the depression and black people were first in line, hogging the watermelon from the other poor, starving, depressed folk? Do some people have a watermelon allergy and are thus jealous of those of us that can easily digest the juicy melon? Do watermelons speak to black people in special language? “Hey black girl, I wanna be in yo’ belly. Let’s do this!” Do we look hotter eating watermelon? Maybe I should try this. Sit down at a public place, chow down on some watermelon, with a wind machine blowing through my hair, making seductive eyes at my luscious, red fruit and see how many men start throwing themselves at me. Ah, sweet watermelon, thank you for getting me a man!

You know what’s interesting? China is the largest producer of watermelon. The USDA led a super-important study on the lives of watermelon. Know what they found? Asian people actually consume a whole lotta this melon. More than black people. So BAM, racists! Check your stats, fools!

Look at that, Asians eat watermelon too!

Look at that, Asians eat watermelon too!

But, these lame ass racists living in the past don’t care. This is why I don’t eat watermelon in mixed company: stereotype threat. From time to time I’ll order a side of fruit at brunch. Sometimes watermelon is in that mix. If there are suspect people near me who seem overly interested in the food in my bowl, I’ll loudly say, to be overheard, and use my best diction: “Excuuuuuse me, sir. I did not ask for this wayward melon. It repulses meeeeeuh. Soooo gah-ross! It’s unnatural. Take it away. I said, take it away, sir! Have you people never heard of apples? Darn watermelon ruining the fabric of our society! Have a good day, sir. I said, GOOD DAY!”

Fried Chicken

old shit

old shit

Another old ass stereotype. Wouldn’t you know, black Americans and eating chicken goes back to the days of slavery? Chickens were one of the few animals slaves were allowed to own.

Fried chicken is eaten throughout the world: it’s popular in the American South among not just black people, but Southerners of all colors. If you’ve ever go to a Japanese restaurant and order “chicken katsu”, you’re presented with a patty of fried chicken. Koreans have their own version of fried chicken. Visit one of the many fried chicken shops in Los Angeles’s Koreatown and you’ll see not just Koreans enjoying it, but white hipsters too!

Paula Deen with fried chicken, not a black woman, by the way

Paula Deen with fried chicken. Not a black woman, by the way

As mentioned in a previous post, I stopped eating fried chicken in high school. Fried food = fatty boombatty. No thanks. However. Yes, HOWEVER. I do love Popeye’s, mainly for the red beans and rice, but the chicken is pretty hot and tasty. But, I do not enter Popeye’s in recognizable form. My alter ego, Diane, goes. Diane seems like a ethnically-neutral name, right? I’ve met Dianes of all ethnicities. Diane wears a red wig, think Carrot Top’s style: a big curly mop. She also dons a white theater mask (the comedy one, not the sad tragedy one). She speaks with a deep, saccharine, Southern drawl. “Hey y’all, I’m just a sweet ole girl from Georgia. I love me some fried chicken. Mmm, mmm, mmm, deep down in my churching soul. Y’all know how you go to church and you just feel the spirit of the Lawd in ya? That’s how I feel when I get me some Popeye’s. Mmm. Mmm. What’s that? My mask is scary? Well, you know, I got protect myself from the cancer. That skin cancer’ll kill ya. Thanks for the chicken. Have a nice day, y’all!”

Kool-Aid (Oh yeah!)

Kool-Aid is cheap as fuck. If you are trying to save a dollar or quench the thirst of a large family who enjoys uber-sugary bevvies on a tight budget, Kool-Aid is an option. If you aspire to have a crayon-colored tongue, get you some Kool-Aid. If you just like the taste of artificial powders, hell yeah, Kool-Aid. Me, I haven’t had Kool-Aid since I was a kid. Though I do love a good Kool-Aid man cameo on Family Guy.

Some more knowledge for you racists, Kool-Aid was invented by a white man in Nebraska in the 1920s. Nebraska had how many black people then? And who engineered a cult’s group suicide making the term “Drinking the Kool-Aid” part of our lexicon: Jim Jones. Not black. Kool-Aid started with white people. So suck it.

I am black, therefore I am an expert on what this black person eats. Should you be the type to assume that what one black person does, all black people do, here are some ideas for new racial stereotypes. Try: spinach, low-fat milk, Sour Patch Kids, protein shakes, udon noodle soup, sushi, wonton noodle soup, pasta, coffee, fajitas, crawfish…

If you’re stuck on stupid and find yourself obsessed with what black people eat, ask yourself this: what is so shameful or insult-worthy about eating healthy fruit, tasty chicken or a sweet, refreshing beverage? Perhaps you are the one with the issue?

5 Comments
  • poetess
    September 23, 2014

    Why I don’t give a swollen baboon’s a** what white people think of me

    I’m an angry black woman (sometimes), love me some watermelon, cantaloupe and honey dew; love me some fried chicken, and yes, I occasionally use Ebonics (but am proficient in the Queen’s English as well); I am not ashamed of my brothers and sisters who name their children creatively, or who act “ghetto” or the women who give their bodies up to bear children out of wedlock. Black people are not unique in these aspects. There are myriad people of every race and ethnicity who are loud, act crazy, have kids out of wedlock, burden their children with odd first names (Trig, Apple, Moon Unit). How a certain section of the black population of chooses to live their lives is not a reflection on me, and I refuse to think of it that way. I am an individual who happens to be African American. I simply do not have time to waste worrying about what some random white person (s) think about my culture, my people, the way I wear my hair, or how I conduct myself in public and most of all, what I choose to eat. Whatever stereotypes they are attaching to me are their problem. I will eat whatever I choose to in the shared public space and if somebody finds it fodder for their confirmation biases, well, that says a lot more about them and their racist hang-ups that it will ever say about me. I believe that every ridiculous stereotype the collective racist culture holds about blacks is actually a self-serving conceit created to shame us into silence and submission. When you are in a position of weakness, it’s difficult to push back against injustice; when you think something is the matter with you, you’re too busy with self-blame to turn a critical eye on your true tormenter.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 2, 2014

      Thanks for your comment.

      You might enjoy this article on Shadown & Act: . It discusses how black Americans are so accostomed to adapting their behaviors to avoid causing discomfort of or ridicule from white Americans, it’s almost subconcious behavior.

  • Ellen Hawley
    July 29, 2014

    My (white) southern partner grew up eating watermelon and fried chicken. Oddly enough, no one sells horrible little statuettes of her and her family doing this. Strange, that.

  • Julie Phelps
    August 29, 2013

    Hah! You got me choking on the hunks of watermelon I was eating as my late night treat. Yep, have a container of cut up pieces right in the refrigerator, ready for those all important sudden urges.
    And I do love Popeye’s Red Beans and Rice.
    And the fries at In N Out Burgers? Can’t hold me back….
    Food cravings are a universal bond, seems to me.

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