Why The Kayak-Eating Bear Is The Blackest Thing I’ve Ever Seen This Week » VSB

blackest thing, Featured, Race & Politics

Why The Kayak-Eating Bear Is The Blackest Thing I’ve Ever Seen This Week

YouTube screenshot via Mary Maley


By now, I’m sure many of you have seen the footage of a bear in Alaska using a woman’s kayak to floss his teeth, ignoring the woman’s hysterical pleas to leave the kayak alone. And, if you haven’t watched yet, please do.

Unbeknownst to the woman recording this — and, likely, unbeknownst to the bear — this two minute and 30 second long clip is a perfect synopsis of the Black American’s experience in America.

To wit…

1. When the footage begins, the bear wasn’t in Brooklyn and he wasn’t standing in line at a Chick-A-Fil. Nope. He was just minding his own damn bear business in his natural habitat. You know who else was minding his own damn business in his natural habitat before some White person decided to bother him? Kunta Kinte, that’s who.

2. And, just like Kunta Kinte, the bear was probably offended by the woman calling him out of his name. He’s a bear, sure, but I’m sure his name wasn’t “Bear.” He actually looks like his name would be “Maxwell.” But she didn’t even bother to take the time to learn his name. Because all bears look alike, apparently.

3. For all we know, kayak meat could be to bears what ribs and collard greens were to Black people.

4. Even bears experience racism. Brown bears are often called “Grizzly.” White bears are “Polar.” Biracial bears are “Panda.” Black bears though? They’re just Black. No special name. No nothing. They might as well be called “Nigger” bears.

5. At the 14 second mark, the woman pepper sprays the bear. Despite the fact that the bear posed no real danger to her. It wasn’t being threatening, it wasn’t carrying any weapons, and…well, you get the point. Basically, it was shot for bearing while bear.

6. Although the woman’s tears don’t technically qualify as “White Tears,” I imagine that if there was a “White Tears” sleep sounds app, where you could fall asleep to the soothing and comforting sounds of “White Tears” being shed, this is exactly how they would sound.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Peaches

    I feel like he didn’t decide to tear that kayak up until she tried to get buck with the pepper spray. It was like the ultimate “f yo couch” moment.


    • miss t-lee

      Yep. He was like, “pepper spray? pepper spray this, wanch.”
      *starts tearing up kayak*

      • SAR

        Wanch. Love it!

        • miss t-lee

          An oldie but goodie classic. :)

    • Glam Life

      Thank you! Pepper sprayed him then started shouting “come here.” No ma’am, you pepper sprayed me and mama bear didn’t raise no fools.

    • selwynbaptiste

      I was saying the same thing while watching. Like, “oh, you going to spray me?! It’s on! ” ROTFL ?

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      She should be happy he chewed it up instead of taking a steaming pile of s h i t in it. That’s a memory she’d never escape.

    • overandout

      He’d actually been chewing on it for 5 min before she started filming.

  • YeaSoh

    #1… I thought you were gonna say Trayvon Martin

    • celinad6

      There are a variety of analogies that would work. amirite?

      • YeaSoh


  • RewindingtonMaximus

    That arrogance kills me. Like….

    1) Who said the bear speaks English? He probably speaks Bearenese…get on his level h o.

    2) His name is most certainly not Bear. And last time I checked, people fetishized the idea of a Black creature not listening to the screams of “stop it” from a white creature.

    3) He did not like the taste of that kayak. But why did he want it in the first place? The pepper spray. Who eats raw pepper by itself? She aint give him no sides, no appetizer, no entree, but she’s mad he found something else?

    4) She did not want that kayak badly enough. That priviliege is based off such arrogrance. You’re just going to scream repeatidly from 20 ft away? You won’t fight for yours but you’ll video tape the bear so you can make yourself look better? Unbeknownst to her though…that bear just released his own IG page and got more followers than her so…..#staywinninBlackBear

    And just for kicks….because this was gangsta


    • miss t-lee

      I hate that you brought back this album cover…lol!!!!!!

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        As you should, but go on and pretend like it wasn’t the most appropriate thing.

        • miss t-lee

          It was so.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            Yaaaay you’re being nice to me this morning.

            • miss t-lee

              Not exactly.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                Don’t ruin my moment. Let me live.

                • miss t-lee


                  • RewindingtonMaximus


      • Pen and Pixel FTW

        • miss t-lee

          Did you know they’re still at it?

    • Sigma_Since 93

      #1 for the win.

      We go from 1 to 4 real quick since:

      The bear was clearly an immigrant; white folks were CLEARLY here first
      He didn’t speak the language
      He didn’t bow down to the white power

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        Donald Trump is looking for his birth certificate as we speak.

    • Ashley W.

      ?? My favorite comment! #real #blackbearsmatter ??

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        Ha! I’m using that hashtag

    • Cleojonz

      LOL @1. She Kept telling the bear what she was going to do like it was going to follow what she was saying. White people are so silly sometimes lol.

    • NomadaNare
  • laddibugg

    So, so so mad at #4. But so, so, so true.

  • The bear gave exactly 0.00 f u c k s about her, her kayak, her pleas, her tears, and that mark a$$ pepper spray. He’s like B I T C H I am Maxwell Bearington, and if I likes ya kayak…I eats ya kayak. F U C K how you gettin’ home!

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Homie went Fleece Johnson on that kayak “I likes ya and I wants ya”

  • PunchDrunkLove

    #4…..Lawd, if that didn’t turn my tickle box over

  • StillSuga

    That bear was like I don’t know who she’s talking to my name is Toby

  • miss t-lee

    I rooted for the bear the whole time.

  • iamnotakata

    I would just like to state that, that bear is black excellence. And the level of no fu cks it displayed as that entitled white woman hollered, gave me life. Come through bear?

    • PunchDrunkLove

      “Come through bear”


    • RewindingtonMaximus

      This is such a Netflix & chill comment. So good.

      I need popcorn.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    Can you add the family of bears that took a dip in the suburban pool as 1b to this?

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