My Introduction to Bacon

Michael Harriot

 

This is an excerpt from an article originally published in The Root. Read the rest here.

 

Opinion:

 

In my quest to become a whole, functioning human being, I have been going through a years-long process of undoing and unpacking the subconscious biases and fears that created the person who could never be described any funnier or more succinctly than by my line brother, who once said:

 

“Michael Harriot, you’re one weird-ass strain of ni----. Who made you?”

 

A few months ago, I offhandedly mentioned to my co-workers that I had recently tried bacon for the first time. I was homeschooled and raised in a cult-like religion that didn’t allow the eating of pork, hearing other people pray, wearing shorts, doing anything not Jesus-related from sundown Friday night until Saturday night, or even attending movies. You didn’t know that sin was a contagious disease?

 

 

The Root staff was astounded that a black kid born and raised in South Carolina had not tried the most delicious of all the varieties of swine. (Sidenote: The first time I tasted pork was in my freshman year of college when my roommate breaded and fried these delicious little steaks that I later found out were called “pork chops.”) All of my co-workers were waiting for me to explain how I must have had a mini-orgasm the moment the cured side pork passed my lips. They expected me to say how slavery, Jim Crow and Tyler Perry’s Boo: A Madea Halloween were all necessary evils that got me to this moment in my own porcine history.

 

It was a’ight, I guess.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t dislike bacon, as one co-worker whom I will not name, except to say her name rhymes with “Danielle Young”—I’m bad at rhyming—is trying to tell people. Before you get all pearl-clutchy and panty-bunched, let me be clear:

 

Bacon is perfectly fine. Like Sza.

 

I think bacon is analogous to the sentient Auto-Tune voice box that everyone tells me is a combination of Beyoncé, Nina Simone, Harriet Tubman and light-skinned Jesus. I was late to the Sza bandwagon because I was ashamed to ask about her, mostly because I didn’t know how to pronounce her name. As everyone talked about how great she was, I quietly declared to myself that I wouldn’t listen to her until she became more responsive to her fans and put some motherf****ing vowels in her name.

 

And then I listened to her, and she was perfectly fine.

 

Not groundbreaking or anything. Her music sounds like when a reggae selector rewinds a song. At first I cussed out the entire Apple corporation, screaming about how the company had gone to sh** since Tim Cook murdered Steve Jobs (an accusation for which I have no real evidence, nor do I need any, because I was screaming to myself) because I thought iTunes had sold me a song that was playing backward or at the wrong speed. But when I started listening, I liked her.

 

Then, when I expressed my Sza sntmnts (see how hard it is to understand words like “sentiments” when you don’t include the vowels, Miss Sizza?), her fans acted like I didn’t listen to the right song. This is exactly what people at The Root did when I Kanye-shugged bacon.

 

“You must have eaten that maple-flavored sh**, dawg!” —Yesha

 

“Are you sure you didn’t eat turkey bacon?” —Genetta

 

So I tried it again Thursday. Same results. It was a’ight. Quick anecdote: I am currently in Spokane, Wash., so when I asked the waitress for some ketchup for my hash browns, I said, “Can I get some ... ” and she perkily interrupted me with “ ... hot sauce?” before I could finish my sentence.

 

This is an excerpt from an article originally published in The Root. Read the rest here.

 

Author Bio:

 

Michael Harriot is a staff writer at The Root, host of "The Black One" podcast and editor-in-chief of the daily digital magazine NegusWhoRead.

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