How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse (as a Black Guy)
Zombies have grown in popularity in the last few years. Movies like Resident Evil and Shaun of the Dead, video games like Left 4 Dead and Dead Island, books like World War Z and Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, and shows like The Walking Dead have brought zombie fiction into the mainstream. Even Game of Thrones has zombies. Those of us who have obsessed over an imminent zombie apocalypse have been preparing to defend ourselves and our loved ones for years. My friends know what to do in case of an outbreak, and I can depend on them to stand their own on my Z-team. I spent half an hour in the ax section of Ace Hardware last week, just to test out durability and mobility. I’ve gone to the range and practiced with my firearm of choice.
Those who have not obsessed over the zombie apocalypse have recently had it thrust upon them in the form some real life horror movie shit.
The news frenzy all started a week ago, when a naked guy attacked a man and literally ate most of his face off in Miami, Florida. When the police arrived, the attacker growled at them and continued to eat the victim until the police shot him four times (the first two shots had little affect). The responding officer stated that this was not an isolated event and that there had been 4 similar cases in the area in which users of the drug mephedrone or “bath salts” exhibited a resistance to pain and incredibly violent and volatile behavior. A few days later, another user of bath salts had to be restrained with chains and a bite mask because he was allegedly slamming his head in police car windows and trying to bite cops. Then another Florida man, who wasn’t high on bath salts, bit his cat’s lips off.
Yesterday, a user of bath salts in Louisiana approached a man working in his yard and bit off a chunk of his face . The days following these incidents have been littered with more gruesome news reports of cannibalism and dismemberment from Baltimore to New Jersey to Montreal. But these later stories have had more in common with Hannibal than Dawn of the Dead. Nevertheless, the last few weeks have reminded us all that, even if the dead don’t come back to life, there are plenty of zombie-like threats to prepare for. Transmittable neurodegenerative diseases (à la 28 Days Later), missteps in nerogenesis research, toxoplasmas, bath salts… the threats are everywhere.
None of us have any real-world experience in dealing with actual zombies. All we have is reasoning, survival skills and cinema. If zombie movies are any indication of the survival rate of a Black males during a zombie apocalypse, we’re screwed.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Zombie Island Massacre
Dawn of the Dead
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Resident Evil: Extinction
And yes, I know, The Walking Dead. T-Dog (they really wanted to make sure we knew he was Black) is the only Black guy among the surviving characters in The Walking Dead. But that’s a television show, they had to keep him around for some portion of the story. We’re only two seasons into the series, T-Dog is on borrowed time.
Given the evidence presented above, I feel the need to properly inform members of my ingroup. So here are a few survival tips that are particularly beneficial to Black guys in a zombie apocalypse.
Leave the City
The Black population in the United States is concentrated in urban areas in the Southeast, Northeast and California. If a member of your survival team says, “We can go to my dude’s crib, its huge. We just have to get to the Southeast part of town”, immediately tell that person to refrain from speaking until you get to safety. If you feel inclined to contact your friends and family who live in your city, do so quickly and get the hell of any urban area. Zombie infections spread easily in dense populations. Go to where there are White people and fields. And above all, stay the hell out of Miami.
Don’t Overestimate Yourself
Black people invented “cool”, the idea of “cool” and the use of “cool” as a slang term. Our performance in sports and other athletic activities is often above average. Psychological research suggests that African-Americans have higher than average self esteem. We are stereotyped as aggressive and violent, which other White survivors may see as useful. All of these things can lead to you to overestimate your abilities and underestimate the dangers around you. Don’t try to test your gangsta and take on a pack of wild walkers with shotgun while the white girl and the main character run off with the scientist.
You may have seen the recent prank that hit the interwebs this week in which a White guy dressed like a zombie and chased Black folk around Dade County Florida. If you watch the video below, you’ll see a Black guy at 1:08 square up with the “zombie”.
As hilarious as that was, in a real zombie apocalypse, you would get eaten or infected within seconds of a zombie fight. Run like Ricky.
Tone it down
Okay, you’ve run away from a horde and you come across an abandoned Dodge Charger with the keys in the ignition. You hop in and the G.O.O.D. Music album is in the stereo. DO NOT blast Mercy out of the sound system at full volume. Don’t do any loud shit. Take off the Beats headphones, stop clapping on every syllable and no yell-laughs. I know we are an expressive and rhythmic people, but your moment of bass-laced nostalgia could cost you your life.
Make Rosa Parks Proud
Never stand or sit in the back of anywhere. Don’t be the one walking in the back of the group, they’re always the first person to get snatched up by some unusually quiet dead head. Don’t sit in the back of the survival car either. If there’s a bite victim in the car, that fool is going to be in the back seat. If someone if going to change into a zombie in the car, that shit is happening in the back seat. If someone tries to send your Black ass to the back, assert yourself and find a way to get to the front.
Don’t forget your goons
Whether you reside in your home hood, or you left it to pursue a degree or vocational opportunity, many of us know some goons from the block. Some people who you know could find a way to lay down some heavy fire on the undead. Call up yo niggas and tell them to get the choppas. If you made the mistake of burning bridges, your goons are already in prison, or you simply don’t know any OGs, then I suggest you hit up your friend who’s been sending you Living Social invites for the shooting range.
Baggy Jeans are a No Go
As a Black man who has lived in the Northeast, Southeast and the South Pacific, I can tell you, Black men are significantly more likely to like baggy clothes. Even a dashiki wears like a XXXL. But even if you’ve progressed with the times and fitted your clothes more proportionally, you may still be inclined to go to your storage of old clothes so as to not ruin your nice jeans while bashing zombie heads. This a good idea to a certain degree. You don’t want to have your arms exposed to zombie bites and there’s no reason to ruin a perfectly good v-neck from Banana Republic. However, clothes that are too baggy can reduce mobility and are easy to grab onto. Which are things you want to avoid when running for your life.
Oh yeah, sagging fitted or skinny jeans is just as bad.
Don’t Get Shot by a White Person
The Zombie Apocalypse is all about survival, and when the enemy gains it strength from numbers, you must join others to make it. Given that evidence presented in The Walking Dead and recent news suggest that a zombie outbreak would most likely occur in the South, I implore you to use extreme caution when approaching other survivors. Keep an eye out for confederate flags, stickers that say “Our Race is Our Nation” or mullets. We’re talking about a situation in which the government would be dissolved while raging zombies run through red states and the hometown of George Zimmerman. I’m just saying, be aware of all threats. Don’t die from a gunshot wound during a zombie apocalypse.
The vast majority of us don’t want a zombie apocolypse to occur. But as we already know, Black people are the most vulnerable racial demographic in the US. Even when a disaster is limited to a small area, New Orleans for example, we have been presented with evidence that suggests that we will be thrown under the bus if shit goes down. It is imperative that we prepare properly. Some of you may think that zombies (or something like them) will never cause an outbreak of epic proportions, and that’s fine. I want you to prepare anyway. The CDC may have stated recently that there “there is no zombie apocalypse”, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be one in the future. Plus, the CDC released a Zombie Preparedness Action Plan last year that detailed the essential items needed for a zombie apocalypse (besides weapons). The CDC released that action plan because preparing for a zombie apocalypse is similar to preparing for any disaster or attack. We live in a time when many things seem to be on the edge of apocalyptic disaster but, no matter what happens, I want the Black guy to make it.