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I’ve been thinking about doing this for a very long time and finally, I’ve decided to put my foot down and just do it like Micheal Jordan. I’ve recently been influenced by so many Black figures before me to take action and stand up for what I believe in – like the Civil Rights leaders who rebelled against society’s ills: Martin Luther King at age 36, marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama for the right to vote; Rosa Parks, at age 42, refusing to give up her seat on a racially segregated bus, also in Montgomery, Alabama; and now, the baton has been passed to me. At age 22, I have found the courage to announce to my upper middle class Black southern family in Austin, Texas that meat should no longer be an option served to me at our weekly family dinners.
As soon as my mother was finished with her long-winded prayer where the focus is always on me and only me getting a job that isn’t promoting shady brands on Instagram, I got up and confessed, “Mom, Dad, Dewayne. I am a Lacto-Ovo Authoritarian!”
“What the hell does that mean?” Dewayne asked.
“Well,” I answered, “you all know I have a thing for politics and an interest in fighting for what I believe in. So, I found out about this political party that serves the underrepresented, The Authoritarians. They promote a meat-free diet to save America…..and also don’t believe in direct elections.”
“Good God!” shrieked my mother.
“Don’t play no games with us” roared my dad.
“Is that why you looked so disappointed when Uncle Curtis gave you that Popeyes Gift Card for your birthday two weeks ago? Follow up question: Can I have it?” croaked my younger brother Dewayne.
My dad was the first one to attack me. No seriously, he leapt out of his chair, grabbed the fork that was stuck to a piece of beef in the beef-stuffed mashed potatoes and waved it in my direction saying, “Girl, if you don’t get yourself together! Now sit down and eat your quadruple fried gravy filled chicken patty.”
Hopefully this doesn’t come as a surprise, but being scolded like that just caused me to become even more enraged.
After my father retaliated, my mother didn’t even care to listen when I asked her to defend me. She went ahead and tried to place a plate of ribs in front of me. “No mother, get this savory slab of ribs away from me. I’ve changed. I will no longer be seduced by your meat-filled meals,” I screamed as a tiny droplet of drool escaped my mouth at the sight of Dewayne’s chicken pot pie that was sitting at the end of the table.
“I can’t believe you!” my mother yelped as she sat the plate in the middle of the table and picked up a pot of chicken-broth infused gravy and began to stir it, almost menacingly.
Of course, my annoying-as-hell younger brother, Dewayne decided to spew complete and utter nonsense.
“It’s because she’s dating that new guy, he’s white. He’s definitely a part of some diet cult where they force people to eat this stuff. Sissy, you’re about to get “Get Out-ed!”
“Dewayne! This has nothing to do with Brian and especially nothing to do with his race. Just because he’s white and was the person that sent me the link to this diet and was adamant that I start it immediately without giving me context as to why, doesn’t mean a thing!” I yelled even more intensely before getting distracted by the smell of the Lawry’s chicken-seasoned cornbread my mother brought out.
“You guys are all just jealous that my digestive tract will be clean and all of yours will be backed up.” Gasps filled the room. I truly felt the presence of Martin and Rosa in my dining room table that night. Rest in Power to both of them, as well as my desire to be force-fed processed meat products. I got up and walked away from the table feeling more accomplished than ever before. “Disgusting,” I thought, but not before sneaking a piece of that chicken patty into one of my jeans pockets when no one was looking.
This post appears courtesy of our March 2021 publishing partnership with Flexx. Every month, Widget partners with an organisation to feature one post/week from their contributors, members, or so on. View the other posts from our partner’s contributors here.
Favorites include American Psycho, Forrest Gump, The Horse In The Grey Flannel Suit, and The Parent Trap (1961).
Watch Succession on HBO if you want to laugh at white people in power because that’s definitely not something we already do in the real world. Not at all.