It’s Halloween season, which means being forced to pretend you don’t want to choke-slam old ladies for giving you marshmallow circus peanuts or candy corn (or, as I call it, “the devil’s butt plug”).
Halloween is also the time when we celebrate being intentionally frightened because the holiday commemorates ... ummm ... you know what? I have never been quite clear what Halloween is really about, and I’m afraid to Google it because I know the 11th item in the search results is going to be some kind of wypipo goblin pumpkin-spice porn, and who wants to see that?
Anyway, today we celebrate the scariest black people. We all know at least one person who fits each description on this list, so sit back and contemplate the examples on this countdown and get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about them.
10. Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson is one of my favorite sports personalities of all time, and everyone who knows him says he’s a big teddy bear.
But when I look into Mike Tyson’s eyes, I sense he isn’t all there. And his scariness has nothing to do with his size or ability to fight. He just seems too fragile to be around for any extended period of time. It’s like you could slap Mike Tyson and he’d curl up in a ball and weep incessantly, but if you mentioned that you preferred strawberry jelly to grape, he would stab you in. the neck with a ballpoint pen and then start clawing at his own throat.
9. Hebrew Israelites
My fear of Hebrew Israelites has nothing to do with their religion, because I have a slight mistrust for anyone who strictly adheres to any organized belief system. But I find myself incredibly apprehensive when I walk by them preaching on the street. Maybe I think they can sense that I am watching them too closely, but that’s only because I once engaged one of them in a debate and he threatened to punch me in my “muhfuckin face, black man ... ” because I trapped him on a logical, salient point. (Also, I may have asked him if he was jealous of how the other Hebrew Israelites’ beards seemed to all connect, while his ... but that’s not the point here.)
You don’t get nervous when you have to walk by them? I do. Plus, I am generally afraid of people who pray loudly in public spaces. If I’m on the train, and someone in my car begins talking to God, the next stop is always my stop.
I think they might call me out and expose me for not being sufficiently black and godly. Maybe I look like I have a slave mentality because people often tell me that they assume I date white girls (and by “people,” I mean The Root’s deputy managing editor, Yesha Callahan). Maybe I’m just uneasy with the way they dress—like they’re either 13th-century Japanese ninja assassins or they were once members of the rap group X-Clan.
8. Anyone Who Shaves Off Their Eyebrows and Draws Them Back On
Look, I am not one of those people who think everyone should adhere to the same eyebrow formula. I believe our society pays too much attention to eyebrows in general, so if you want to do the squiggly eyebrows, or no eyebrows at all, I’m cool with that. But there’s something about drawn-on eyebrows that’s a little unsettling. Unless you are a first responder whose facial hair was singed off after you ran into a building to save a kitten, don’t try to draw your eyebrows back on. It makes you look angry, and that’s scary.
... Even though I once thought about shaving off my eyebrows and drawing one higher than the other just to make it look as if I was interested when people talked to me. But now, every time I see someone with drawn-on eyebrows, I also assume they have a box cutter in their purse.
I am always right.
7. Side Barbers
Surely you know what a side barber is, right? Allow me to expose you to the realities of life:
Sometimes a man who is faithful and loyal has to step outside his relationship. It’s not that his main barber isn’t getting the job done. He or she just might not be around when you really, really need someone to tighten you up. That’s when every man has to have a one-night stand with a side barber.
Visiting a break barber for the first time is one of the scariest experiences in life because if they fuck up your fade, there’s literally nothing you can do. It’s not like you can put it back on.
I firmly believe that a full 23 percent of black male depression is caused by inept barbers. Every man sitting in a new barber’s chair is praying and chanting an incantation to haircut Jesus to keep them safe in his arms.
6. XXXTentacion and Kodak Black
I’m grown, but everything about these hobgoblin-looking dudes makes me think of the bogey-monster who used to live under my bed. Even though they are ugly, I am afraid of everything about these dudes. If they approached me on the street and asked me for a dollar, I’d just throw my wallet at them and run.
It’s not just because both men are alleged woman beaters, even though they look like something you find in the drain when you’re unclogging your sink. It’s not just because Kodak Black said he doesn’t find dark-skinned women attractive and XXXTentacion allegedly head-butted, kicked and stomped a woman after threatening to put a barbecue pitchfork in her vagina!
Hold on, let me clear my head with an LL Cool J verse: “When I’m alone in my room, sometimes I stare at the wall, and in the back of my mind I hear my conscience call” ... and it says:
“What if your daughter came home and wanted to introduce you to her boyfriend, Kodak Black?”
Look at these two and tell me you aren’t afraid of them, too.
5. That One Aunt
The mean aunt. The aunt whose house you had to spend a week at during the summers and it always smelled like mothballs and lavender potpourri. The mean-ass aunt whose beds had too many pillows, who didn’t have cable and who made you go to bed at 8:45 p.m.
That one aunt who would whip your ass. The one aunt who was tougher on you than your football coach. Your mama was kinda scared of her, too, and that was her sister.
Probably because she drew her eyebrows back on.
4. The Dude Who’s a Little Too Old to Be Here
It doesn’t matter where “here” is; there is always one guy who is a little too long in the tooth for the crowd he’s surrounded by, and he’s not so much scary as he is problematic.
He’s the 21-year-old boyfriend at a sweet-16 party. He’s the dude in the three-piece suit and tie, a gold-nugget pinkie ring, Stacy Adams shoes and a juiceless Jheri curl with gray highlights doing the Harlem Shake at the club. He’s egging on the teenage girls to have a twerk contest or trying to proposition someone by offering to buy them an apple martini. Don’t act like you don’t know this creepy guy.
Or maybe you are this creepy guy. Or maybe he’s R. Kelly.
Go home, old man. You’re scaring me.
3. Your Homeboy’s Homeboy Who Just Got Out of Jail
So you just want to hang out with your friend, but just before you get together, he announces that he’s bringing Jamaal along.
You don’t even know Jamaal, but he seems very intense about everything and often asks random people why they are “looking in my face like that,” adding, “You don’t know me, dog.” Jamaal seems to be very good at noticing everyday items he can sharpen down to a point, although you can’t quite put your finger on why. It scares you how loud he talks and how adamant he is about everything. Then it all comes together ...
... Jamaal might be a Hebrew Israelite.
2. Black Republicans
A black Republican will stab you in the dick (like Ben Carson). A black Republican will sexually harass his employees (like Herman Cain). A black Republican will put pubic hair in your Coca-Cola. Worst of all, a black Republican will vote for Donald Trump.
Black Republicans are scary because they don’t give a damn about throwing their own people under the bus.
And for the 1,924th year in a row, “they” are the scariest people in the world!
Also known as “them,” “they” and “those people,” they have held the top spot on the scariest-black-people list for too many years to count. All lies are preceded by the bullshit phrase “they say,” because after all, I heard it from “them.”
Them people (known as “the feds” or, simply, “folks”) just want to lock us up and throw away the key. They don’t really care about us. That’s why you gotta watch them. But you know what they say: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself ... ”
And that XXXTentacion dude.
Definitely fear him.
Also receiving votes: church ushers, Bill Cosby the bartender, the R. Kelly babysitting service, Jesus.