By Michael Harriot
I don’t even know when it started. I don’t even know why the controversy became a trending topic on social media, but for the past two days there has been furious debate on social media over whether sugar or salt is the appropriate seasoning for grits.
To be sure, this is a Black debate. I’m sure white people eat grits, especially in the South, but grits is a universally Black food. It probably has something to do with the fact that you can purchase a metric ton of grits for less than seventeen cents, so it has become a historic staple on the breakfast tables of Black families. Although I could not find a Gallup poll or government statistics comparing the percentages of Black people who eat grits to Whites (Yet another reason to distrust The U.S. Census Bureau), the fact that most of my white Southern friends sometimes refer to them as “Hominy” and my suburban middle-class associates give me a quizzical look when I talk about grits until I say “polenta” is evidence that this is a discussion for Black people.
Plus, when talking about seasoning and spices, always bet on Black.
I don’t find fault with my Black friends who don’t like grits. They are allowed. Although, when anyone tries to derail a grits conversation by equating it to Cream of Wheat or oatmeal, I believe they are intentionally trying to distract the attention of the grits-loving population. It’s like talking about real hip hop and having someone bring up Vanilla Ice–you are immediately disqualified. Your vote doesn’t count. Be gone.
But let’s get to the people who like sugar on their grits.
You are what is wrong with this country. You are the part of the constituency of people who want participation trophies and don’t believe kids with bad grades should flunk. You want to live in a sweet and saccharine world. You probably believe in “safe spaces” and think Kenny G is jazz.
Well guess what? The world is not like that. Everything shouldn’t be sweet. You are handicapping your taste buds and insulting the memories of the people who gave their blood, sweat and tears to plant, grow, harvest and grind the corn that you have dishonored and debased by defiling them with Dixie Crystal.
Sugar on grits is an abomination. It is a microagression. Many people don’t know that Harriet Tubman carried a shotgun and would kill anyone who she thought might endanger the lives or compromise the secrecy of the Underground Railroad… or who liked sugar on their grits. One of the ways King James modified the original Bible was to remove the “B clause” from the sixteenth verse of the 3rd chapter of Revelation, which originally said “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth as though thy were sugar grits.” If you look through the historical archives, before Martin Luther King edited his speech at the March On Washington, there was a sentence at the end that said:
“I have a dream, that the people who believe in the supremacy that robs us of our our dignity, our right to vote and our freedom to live as full citizens will one day suffer the same fate as those who believe slavery was a noble institution, women should not have the right to vote and sugar belongs in grits.”
People who have refined taste buds know anything tastes better with sugar on it, but that doesn’t mean you should eat sugar on grits… or microwave grits… or Kwik grits. God made grits perfect. The only variation you should ever consider is white grits or yellow. If you sprinkled granulated Domino sugar over a bowl of naturally fertilized potting soil, it might be edible, but you’re still eating shit. People who eat sugar on their grits are capable of anything–murder, theft, slowing down when they change lanes…
God likes salt on his grits. Satan prefers sugar. Donald Trump likes sugar on his grits. Bernie Sanders likes salt. (Hillary Clinton used to prefer sugar, but recently issued a statement calling it an “unfortunate choice of seasoning” that is now part of her past, and it is time for America to move forward.)
But I understand there are objections. There are people who believe Lebron is better than Jordan, the Madea movies are funnier than the Friday movies and Chris Brown can outdance Michael Jackson. Some people just weren’t raised right.
If you ever catch someone putting sugar on their grits, don’t try to stop them–they are obviously crazy and could hurt in you the same way they are harming their breakfast. Just let someone know. Like they say–if you see something, say something.
And if you have young children who want to sprinkle something sweet over their breakfast, explain to them that there are some things you will not allow in your house–drugs, Young Thug albums and sugar grits. If they object, then you should take their plate and fix them a bowl of Corn Flakes. When they ask why, inform them that there are standards and traditions that everyone should pass to the next generation. Tell them that Jesus didn’t die on the cross for them to ruin his creation with sugar. Finally tell them that you offered them one of the oldest and most filling breakfasts in the history of Black people, and if they need sugar to consume it…
Maybe they just don’t like grits.