Drinking Coffee Is Racist

Dima Sobko / (Shutterstock.com)
Dima Sobko / (Shutterstock.com)

I am angry. I am angry at my race. I am angry at what we’ve done. People are prattling on about the Redskins, but this is much, much worse. First slavery, then blackface, and now this. This. Must. Stop. I can’t believe I haven’t realized it before—but it’s so obvious now.

What am I talking about? Oh, I’ll tell you all right, but first I must go back and tell you about when I had my epiphany.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was yesterday, and I was in the hood. Das righ’, I was in da hood, da real hood, down by Doo-Rag Downs, down by Sag Pant Central, down by the Gardens of Grill Grange (where da black folks live and the Grapevines grow plenty). I was on my way home from Tyrone. We had made up after he cheated on me with some bimbo. He’s a total douche, but like, I just keep going back to him, I dunno why, he just makes me so wet, I can’t control myself, maybe if I mustered up the strength to leave him, I wouldn’t keep on getting hurt, but it’s like I don’t have a mind of my own…what am I saying…of course I do…OMG, I AM VICTIM-BLAMING MYSELF! SOCIETY MUST TEACH HIM NOT TO HURT ME, CUZ TEACHING ME TO LEAVE AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP IS VICTIM-BLAMING. I AM THE VICTIM!

So…yeah…anyway, I was on my way home from Tyrone’s crib and I stopped by a little quaint (yes I know that word, OK!?) coffee joint. A guy who looked like Will Smith and Samuel L. Jackson, and Morgan Freeman, and Denzel Washington (I could go on all day) took my order. I ordered a coffee black, cuz they didn’t have my favorite frappy for some f’ed up reason…ughhh. I felt soooo out of place in that coffee shack; this was no Starbucks, I can tell you that much. Where were the MacBooks? Where were the Uggs? Where was the bearded barista who talks slowly and sighs a lot when you order like you’re telling him to go clean his room? I was like the only white girl in there, and the only one with chic, stylish clothing, and the only one with blue eyes. It felt weird, like I was a swan among crows. You’d think I’d be scared but I loved it, I totally love being nugget of fine veal in the frothing melting pot that is America, I love the diverseness of diversity, I love the movie Pootie Tang.

Bored as I was (I had forgotten to bring my MacBook to Tyrone’s so I couldn’t go on Tumblr or anything), I searched my bag for a little something to read. The only book I found apart from my Women’s Studies textbook was a little one called Mein Kampf. An exchange student at my college called Franz had given to me. He had been super eager for me to read it. I didn’t know what it was about; it seemed like a cozy, cultural read, so I got into it while sippin’ on my black brew.

Suddenly the calmness was shattered as a voice boomed, “Hey, get outta here with that shit—what you thinking, white girl?” The voice belonged to a big black man with flaring nostrils who had left his table and come up to mine. He looked real angry. “You know how much pain that’s caused to my people, you gon’ get knocked out around here for that shit.” Now I was freaking out, like I’m not even kidding, forreal freaking out. I was so confused. Had I yawned the N-word? Was I accidentally wearing an “MLK is dead, good riddance” shirt? Did he somehow know that my uncle’s name is Tom? It wasn’t until I felt the residue of coffee between my brilliant white teeth that I realized what I had done. It was bad. It was real bad. “I’m so sorry, I don’t normally take it this black!” I screamed. “It won’t happen again.” Then I packed my bag and ran for my fucking life.

On my way home to my apartment, I thought long and hard about what had happened. I had culturally appropriated a black beverage, a real dark-skinned dram, a swarthy swig, a Ray Charles-colored refreshment. I had taken that black man’s cultural identity, his skin, and put it in a cup to drink while reading a cozy book. My guilt-o-meter shot up higher than Norwegian taxes as I thought about what we’ve taken from them, how we drink coffee, a black liquid that is symbolic of black people’s skin, how we essentially drink the flayed skin of black slaves every morning with our bagels. And for what? To wake up properly? Because it makes us feel good? To give us energy? We are literally energized by consuming liquid apartheid. We are drinking the souls of black children because it’s “a pick me up”—and “pick me up” is a phrase I don’t think many black child slaves were saying when slave master came to the market, that’s for sure.

Look, the fact is totally irrefutable: Drinking coffee is racist because coffee is black. The West has culturally appropriated the color of black people’s black skin and made it into a breakfast beverage. The White Devil-plan behind this is to rob black people of their cultural heritage, to use their color for our own gains, and at the same time condition people to think it’s OK to consume black people in the morning.

The color of coffee does not belong to us. We stole it from them, we shouldn’t be allowed to use it, and therefore we shouldn’t be allowed to drink coffee—cuz coffee is black. If you don’t quit drinking coffee right this second, you’re a racist. If you’ve ever had a cup, examine yourself and your choices in life, and realize that you are a racist.

It’s time for us humans give back the color black and with it, the beverage known as coffee to its owners, African Americans. Help give black back; tweet under #CoffeeisCrime. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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