The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images

Attributed to Benjamin Franklin, "in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes" is one of the most popular, pithy, and eternally relevant quotes ever. It's also false. Well maybe not false, but incomplete and in need of an amendment for it to be truly true.

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes and nigga wake-up calls"

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The inevitability of the nigga wake-up call is its primary characteristic. It is dependable and predictable; so punctual that you don't even bother looking for it. You just look at your watch, see that it's 3:17pm, and note "I guess the nigga wake-up call will be here in 13 minutes." Its so reliable that you time other shit to it's time, like a nigga-charting master clock. "Oh, the nigga wake-up call is here. So I guess its time to take the meat out the oven."

Noting that a Black person is stuck in the Sunken Place — a reference to the bone-chilling, labyrinthic, and Kafkaesque destination in Get Out — has become a convenient and useful catch-all to synopsize a certain type of intra-racial obliviousness and self loathing. Considering what has happened and what continues to happen to Tiger Woods, its tempting to place him there and offer commentary on his residency. As compelling as that analogy seems to be, though, there's another recent cinematic reference that's a bit more fitting.

After Bane breaks Batman's back in The Dark Knight Rises, he takes him to the same prison he was once held captive in. It exists several hundred feet below ground, with the only contact with the outside world a tunnel leading down to the prison. Naturally, many inmates attempt to scale this tunnel and escape — seduced by the daylight at the end of it — only to find that it's virtually unscaleable; a lesson they learn while falling to their death.

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Tiger Woods is in that prison. And the nigga wake-up call is that fall.

Of course, this analogy isn't perfect. Mainly because Blackness isn't a prison. But Tiger Woods believed it to be, and attempted to escape it. And he was close. So very, very close. Close enough to feel the heat of discarded Blackness on his cheek; the shine of it on his brow; the taste of it on his tongue. He thought — he believed — he hadn't just left Blackness. He'd transcended it. He existed above it; floating over and then away from Blackness like a balloon escaping a toddler's grip.

But then the Escalade (and all of the Escalade-adjacent women) happened. And his golf game went to shit. And the shift in how Tiger was regarded began to happen. He became "darker" and less clean. His pristine image — his ever-so-near proximity to not-quite-Whiteness but definitely-not-Blackness — sullied and defiled. He no longer was America's favorite and favored not-quite-white but definitely not-quite-Black son; the glee felt and mirth expressed when he was successful replaced with a wicked obsession with his downfall. Even this week, as news came out that Tiger's DUI wasn't actually because of alcohol or illicit drugs but a bad reaction to the gaggle of prescription medications he's on, the post mortems breathlessly chronicling his fall from not-quite-Whiteness haven't subsided. "Tiger Woods is Lost" and perhaps this was the "Final Nail in His Coffin." He was so close to almost being almost one of us, they say; the violence and horror of this determination obscured by their performative and artificial empathy.

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All reminding Tiger of a reality he either forgot or just wanted us to collectively forget. He is a nigga. He's been a nigga. Was born a nigga. And will die a nigga. And, for his own sake, I just hope he didn't hit snooze.