30 Questions About Dr. Umar Johnson's Claim That Black Americans Spend $19 Million a Year on Grits

Illustration for article titled 30 Questions About Dr. Umar Johnson's Claim That Black Americans Spend $19 Million a Year on Grits
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In an Instagram post on Labor Day, Dr. Umar Johnson lamented that he would be able to build multiple schools for Black boys if we gave our annual grit money to him instead.


I have questions.

1. Where did he find that number?

2. Is there a secret registry of grain-specific stats that only hotep doctors have access to?

3. Like how American Airlines has the Admiral’s Club?

4. Where you accumulate hotep points for amenities?

5. Like maybe you get 15 rewards points for aggressive ankle ash?

6. Or it is like a speakeasy?

7. Where you roll up to some door, give a secure code (“straws are the gay agenda”), and they take you to the grit stat room?

8. Is the grit stat room like a strip club champagne room, except with kufis and grit stats instead of dancers and Mo’?

9. Can you get a lap dance from a grit stat?

10. Or maybe did he find the grit stats on the back of a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s 18-In-1 Hemp Baby Pure Castile Soap?


11. Does he also have stats for Cream of Wheat?

12. Ralston?

13. Do they still sell Ralston in stores?

14. Wait, have y’all even heard of Ralston?

15. If we do decide to donate our annual grit funds to his schools, how will he honor this sacrifice?


16. A bronzed plague of a box of Quaker Oats outside of each building?

17. An annual Grit Day fest?

18. Or maybe a grit mascot, which would be creepy af—a grit with arms, legs, and teeth would give me nightmares—but original?


19. What if Umar is just obsessed with grits?

20. Like how Sonny the Cuckoo Bird goes cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?

21. And he wants us to stop buying grits so he can horde them?

22. And the school is a Trojan horse for his gritophile proclivities?

23. Maybe that’s why it hasn’t been built yet?

24. Because he’s raising funds to buy grits?

25. So he can just stay home and eat grits?

26. Maybe that’s why his beard’s so full?

27. Because it’s not actual hair—it’s grits with Bigen?

28. This nigga has a grit beard?

29. I think I’m much much interested in funding his grit beard upkeep than his schools?


30. Where do I sign up?

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



I have some questions for Doctor Johnson:

1. Why no school for girls?

2. Why are you obsessed with my grits money?

3. Why are you obsessed with grits?

4. What makes you think you’re getting my grits-or my grits money?

5. Are you going to try and steal my cheesecake recipe next?

6. Are you a real doctor?

7. Do you like green eggs and ham?

8. Which side of the bread is supposed to get the butter?

9. Who knew what you knew before you even knew it?

10. What about Naomi?! (This was the question asked on every episode of The Electric Company from the 1970s.  To this date, nobody has answered this question.)