President Barack Obama has invited Dr. Henry “Skip” Gates and Sgt. James Crowley to the White House to have a beer and hash out their differences behind Crowley arresting Gates for disorderly conduct a couple weeks back. Normally, this is where you would cue the laughter, but it’s no joke. Skip's drinking Red Stripe, Crowley's having Blue Moon and the Prez is sipping on a Bud. This history-making president is about to make history—-again. It's nice to have a president who isn't a known lush who can have a pint without going all Otis the Wino on us. Obama says he sees this as a teachable moment that coud spark beer conversations nationwide, and he’s right. So much of what we call racism are miscommunications complicated by class and race. A little interaction over a cold one would really help us understand one another. You want your post-racial moment, America, and no one want you to have it more than I do.
The thing is, repairing the racial divide is sticky business and you gotta know going in that the beer you choose to lubricate this new-school six-pack diplomacy will decide whether or not it ends with a man-hug or with a trip to the hospital. So if you are planning to sit down with your white neighbor and have a cold one, I’m here to point you in the right direction. I don't drink alot, so I can’t give you an informed recco on what to drink, but I can definitely give you…
Ten Beers Likely To Impede Racial Harmony
Colt 45 PowerMaster –When this concoction was released in the mid-90s with 31 percent more alcohol than ordinary malt liqour, it was like liquid, legal crack. I knew people who’d suffered temporary blindness and extreme lapses of memory/judgment. You’d see grown men running down the street pantless. You were lucky if you just wet yourself and passed out. Thank God it was pulled off the shelf, but if you have a case of this that you’d been saving for a special occasion, I promise you that building bridges with your white neighbor is not that type of party.
Schlitz – The Bull is a classic, but it’s the kind of brew homeless guys treat themselves to after a good day on the dole and argue about which taste better – Red Bull or Blue Bull. Building race relations is hard enough without a contentious quandary like that on the table.
Pabst—Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer—WTF?! Are you serious? Your race talk is really going to go bad if the beer makes you do a spit-take. This is beer made for ironic suburban hipsters too cool to drink real beer. This stuff looks and tastes like a tall, sweaty glass of ice-cold cat pee.
Miller Light—Miller Light is for punks. The High Life is the only way to fly, so sayeth Da Mayor.
Old English—Old English—-aka El Dopa—-is strictly for live men, not for freshmen. Depending on your constitution, you are likely to get extra-happy for about 15 minutes. But trust that Ole E has a reputation for elevating misunderstandings into shoot-outs. Not for nothing, Old English basically invented the 64 ounce bottle of beer. Ok. Why the eff do you need to be carrying around 64 ounces of emma-effin beer any emma-effin-way, if you’re just not looking for a problem? Pass on the Englishman.
Mickey’s—-aka The Green Goblin. It'slike they made the bottle in a convenient palm-size for your inclination to bash somebody's skull in. Perhaps this isn’t the beer that’s gonna help to realize Martin’s Dream.
St. Ides—Ice Cube, Tupac and Snoop Dog used to shill for the Crooked I, so with ringing endorsements like that, why not make it your beer of choice for racial reconciliation? Because its affects are unpredictable. You never know how people are take Ides when it gets to their head. And it only comes in Tall Boys and 40 ounces. That should tell you something right there! Leave that on the shelf.
Smirnoff Ice—What, you gonna have finger sandwiches too? I know Smirnoff Ice is a malt liquor, but you want your white neighbor to take you seriously, right? Don’t you go out to Da Club at all? Nine out of every 10 weave-tearing topless cat-fights you see up in the club is fueled by Smirnoff Ice, son. C’mon. Man-up.
Busch—-Better off leaking your own urine over ice because your pee probably has more alcohol content and full-bodied taste than Busch has in its sleep.
King Kobra—If you just trying to keep it real for your neighbor like that, go for it, son. But the Kobra bites back, Jack.
Single Father, Author, Screenwriter, Award-Winning Journalist, NPR Moderator, Lecturer and College Professor. Habitual Line-Stepper