Entertainment & Culture
The NegusWhoRead Definitive List Of People Not Invited To The Cookout

As July 4th rolls around (Not Independence Day, because we celebrate that on Juneteenth) Black America once again engages in the time-honored cultural tradition that requires disparate groups come together as one to work toward a common goal–eating like hell. Cookouts are like fingerprints–everyone has them, each one is different and if they are in the wrong place, you can get in a lot of trouble. 

After the landmark Caucasian Guide To Black Barbecues, NegusWhoRead became the definitive source for cookouts. As such, we have been tapped by the global cookout community to provide a list of people who are excluded from this year’s festivities, so we present the 2017 NegusWhoRead list of people not invited to the cookout.

Rachel N’Becki Mutombo Shaka Zooloo Afeni Dolezal – Aunt Phyllis always said “there’s something funny about that girl. She never claps on beat and she her chicken salad always needs a little more seasoning.” I don’t know who invited her in the first place. I think she just showed up one year and kept coming. After one of the kids last year said: “I only have to do two things: stay black and die!” I heard Trans-Rachel say, “Well, actually…” and realized that we could no longer allow Becky Badass to keep Columbus-ing our cookouts.

Or our culture.

Empty-Handers – According to the new rules of the CCBA (The Cookout Collective Bargaining Agreement) if you are over 21 years old and you show up at the cookout without bringing anything, you are automatically subject to a 3-year suspension. I know we all go through economic struggles, but you can go to the Piggly Wiggly and get 1,204 cans of NuGrape for like $1.28, so please don’t play the poor-mouth card.

In fact, the new CCBA is pretty definitive on this–for every $10 you spend on your cookout outfit, you must spend at least $1 on cookout items. If you show up wearing the new Yeezy boosts, but can’t afford a pack of aluminum foil or a bag of ice, then you must not care about the economic empowerment of your community.

Steve Harvey – I’ve been trying to warn the international cookout community about this negro ever since he bamboozled the masses into buying that elementary-school intelligence, “self-help” misogyny coloring book called Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, but no one would listen to me. Just because he stole one of the Whispers’ mustache and outfitted deacons across America in Easter suits doesn’t mean he deserved any of my Aunt Marvell’s potato salad. But ever since he told a Flint, Michigan resident to “Enjoy your nice brown glass of water” only months after hooking up with President Trump to give his professional advice as the least funniest King of Comedy on how to fix the inner city, and a few weeks after writing a memo telling his staff to never look him in the eyes or show the whites of their teeth in his presence,  we saw Steve Harvey’s true colors. It’s not that we hate Steve Harvey, it’s just that our cousin Quan is coming down from Flint, and I don’t want him to slap the shit out of Steve sending mustache hairs flying everywhere.

Some of them might land in the potato salad.

Drop Off-ers – Listen, Nikki; Every year, you come by the cookout, grab you a plate, drop your bad-ass kids off and leave without telling anyone. You know your children are–let’s just say “very energetic”–and they won’t listen to anyone. Two years ago you got mad at Uncle Junior because he beat SharGregory’s behind for throwing firecrackers on the grill. I admit that shit was kinda funny, but her little stunt ruined three whole racks of ribs! And you know Junior has PTSD! He started calling for his drill sergeant and pulled out his knife and almost cut your son! I will also admit that I was impressed that Matthewina knew the entire routine to Beyoncé’s “Formation” at the Labor Day cookout, but whenever anyone tried to correct her behavior, we grew tired of her screaming, “Leave me alone! You ain’t my daddy!”

When I got a little frustrated, I pulled her aside and asked her who her daddy was, and she replied, “I don’t know. I just know it ain’t you!”

White women – Although we will make an exception for Rachel Maddow and Teena Marie (wait… she died? When? Ain’t nobody told me nothing!) you have played us for the last time. We thought y’all were cool with us, but then you smiled in our faces and went behind our backs and voted for that citrus-skinned, rooster-headed doofus for President. Then you tried to double back and get us to don pink pussy hats and march with y’all after looking down your noses and sat out the entire Black Lives Matter movement. It’s not that we don’t like you, it’s that you always want to use feminism as a tool to separate yourselves out from white men when we speak of our plight while enjoying the benefits of your whiteness. You participated in every form of white supremacy this country has ever known–slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings… Now you heaux wanna show up with a Tupperware container of kale shish-ka-bobs talmbout “resist.” Man, we don’t fuck with y’all like that anymore! You better get the fuck from around our grill before we call the poli–

Nah, strike that. We’ll just end up getting shot.

Reneggers – No, I’m not talking about the n-word. I’m talking about the people who renege during the spades game. Whether by accident or through nefarious cheating, we are tired of having to break up fights at the card table every year because you cut puppytoes and then tried to slide in a six of clubs towards the end of the hand. Every time you cause a melee things get out of hand, so we have come up with a solution: A Spades referee.

From now on, Uncle Junior will settle all disputes regarding spades games, dominos, Uno, Red Light/Green Light, checkers and rock/paper/scissors. If you disagree with any of his rulings you can always appeal…

…to Uncle Junior’s knife.

Omarosa Manigault – Don’t think we have forgotten that you are sitting in every Trump meeting and press conference not speaking up for us. Don’t come through here this year thinking you are going to get you a plate, because some of our cousins might jump on you and beat you like you stole something.

…or even worse, beat you like you reneged.

Sage Steele – Wait… We already said “white women.”

Plate Rule-breakers – At cookouts in Black America, we abide by the parliamentary plate procedural policies outlined in Robert’s Rules of Cookout Order. While I won’t go over all of them right here, there are a few rule changes for this year that you must familiarize yourself with in order to attend:

  • The international sanctioning body has reduced the number of to-go plates any attendee is allowed to fix to one. Uno. That’s it. The only exception is for people who paid or bought something for the cookout, but had to miss because of work or sickness. You must bring a doctor’s or work excuse and the committee will review it to see if it stands.
  • One scoop. That’s it. I know you want some more of Aunt Marvell’s potato salad, but you better pile it up in that one spoonful like you’re digging a grave.
  • No to-go plate shall be fixed until everyone in attendance has eaten. If I see you fixing your plate beforehand, it is legal for me to grab a rib off of it.
  • Everyone under the age of 9 can only eat hamburgers and hot dogs. We know that old trick of putting extra ribs and macaroni on a plate and acting as if your kid is gonna eat it. We know that’s for you! Don’t make me call Uncle Junior…
    or his knife

That’s it. Those are the people we have chosen to exclude from this year’s cookout.

However, this doesn’t mean that everyone else is invited. Instead, we have seen the need to protect Black America’s most sacred tradition before wypipo do it like Kenny G did jazz, Macklemore did hip hop, or America did… well… everything.  As you embark on this 4th of July, remember to bask in the beautiful tradition of your beautiful people and never forget that British soldiers policing the colonies, killing a black man is what started the process that birthed America and 241 years later, they still haven’t solved that problem.

So when you’re at the cookout kicking out Beckies, remember, it’s called “the 4th of July.” Until they fix that…

Ain’t no Independence Day, bih!


About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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