Reader Email

Hey Maurice!

Nice job on the blog, been reading it since it came out! So, I like to think of myself as a worldly man that has a pretty good handle on the Souls of Black Folk. I work in a city school, can talk shit with the black kids, and do an awkward as hell Dougie that leaves ‘em in stitches. Question for you: I was recently cooking burgers for a BBQ at the school where I teach and I noticed that all the black people (adults and kids) were grossed out to no end when there was just the littlest bit of pink in the middle. When I was dating a black girl in college, I was at a BBQ with her family and they reacted the same way to steaks or burgers that had any blood whatsoever in them. As these are two instances of black people not liking rare beef, I feel it’s safe to say that it’s all black people that don’t dig on bovine blood. So, what gives? Fear of food poisoning? Is it like NASCAR, skiing, and Vermont: too white? I feel like black people are missing out on some delicious, juicy burgs and steaks here, but I’m sure you’ve got a good answer to this.

Thanks, and if you don’t mind, please don’t publish my name. Teachers on a sports/lifestyle/smut blog is not the professional development I’m looking for. That being said, I’m working hard to get Barstool into the reading curriculum in my district. Until that day comes, your discretion is appreciated.

-Steve (totally not his name)

Souls of Black Folk, eh? Looks like Mr. Fancy Teacher has been reading his W.E.B. Dubois. Well “Steve”, this may be one of the best questions I’ve received yet. I’m not even sure if all white people are aware of this stereotype because it’s rare (pun!) that I ever hear anyone openly discussing African American’s aversion to undercooked meat. Like this should without question replace watermelon in the Racist’s Guide to Black Stereotypes. Why? Because unlike watermelon (which isn’t exclusively enjoyed by blacks at all), this one is 100% true for a huge number of black folks around the country.

Like most things, there are multiple ways to look at this. I remember growing up with nobody in my family getting burgers/steaks/etc any way besides well done. Which I’m sure sounds crazy to many whites out there, but that’s just the way it was. And because I grew up like that and never thought anything of it, I continued to order “well done” as a teenager up until college. It took me working for a fancy-pants French chef (I told you, I’ve had a ton of jobs) and picking his brain to learn how good steak (particularly filet) should be eaten at medium rare or rare. It grew on me and today I now enjoy fancy cuts at medium rare and cheap stuff at medium well.

Now I could get up here and make up some historical bullshit about slavery and fire hoses and racist German Shepards and scraps and milk steak and say that’s the reason why we order our stuff well done, but honestly I have no idea how it started. But I challenge all the non-blacks reading this to look at it from our point of view: rare meat is raw. You are literally ripping into the under-cooked flesh of another animal. That’s why it’s red — it’s not fully cooked. Sure, you get juices and flavor and blah blah blah, I get it. But it doesn’t change the fact that your carnivorous instincts have you purposefully not cooking your meat all the way so you can enjoy the taste of the raw animal muscle. Kinda gross when you think about it.

It’s like white folks kissing their dogs in the mouth. White people don’t think a thing of it — they just do it because they love their dogs. But to us, that shit is revolting and hilarious. Yeah, the science behind it says a dogs’ mouth is clean, but bro, you’re letting an animal that eats its own throw up and sniffs asses all day kiss you deeper than another human. It’s just one of those cultural differences with no real explainable origin.

Well done meat is the same way, Steve. It’s just one of those things. But hey, if you ever get another black girlfriend, bring her along slowly. At some point she’s bound to see that it tastes better and at that point you would have converted her. Not so sure you’ll be able to get her to kiss the dog, though.