Racial Nags and Other Weekend Fun


On Friday Ta-Nehisi Coates over at the Atlantic dug up Queen Latifah's SNL Excedrin for Racial Tension clip.  That popular faux commercial about the nagging pain that accompanies curiosity-driven whites.  Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about.  Those "can I touch your hair?" "do you wash your hair?" "where can I get some good soul food?" painful curiosities.

I appreciate Ta-Nehisi for pulling that baby out of the closet. Over the weekend a co-worker of a friend, a woman I've meet at least three times, innocently introduced me to her husband as "Jamal".  I broke out in laughter.  The woman apologized and said, "I don't know why I keep wanting to call you Jamal."  I replied, "Cuz I'm Black."  If I took over-the-counter medication I would have popped an Excedrin right then and there.  Nagging attacks like that can slice three years off a black man's life.  So I did the smart thing.  I darted over to the nearest Vitamin Shoppe for three quick drops under the tongue of Oil of Oregano.  It knocks out the pain from a racial nag in seconds, and the flu (in case you were interested). And yes, black folks get the flu.


I'm thinking that a group of us should publish a book of racial nags.  First, we'll need to compare and contrast.  I'll start. Do you know anything about the Blues? (asked by the non-Black girlfriend of my white neighbor upon meeting her).  Do you know of a good dance spot in Brooklyn? (asked by a random white couple while I was standing on the corner, Trader Joe's bag in tow, waiting for the B52 bus).  And ultimately, Do you know where to get good weed? (wait! this was asked by a buddy of mine, black, who was visiting Los Angeles from Queens).

Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.