John Mayer's racist remarks ignite Twitter

>> Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Celebrity and singer named John Mayer lit up the Twitterverse with some racist remarks in a Playboy Magazine interview.

Until this morning, I'd never heard of John Mayer. After today, I probably won't care much about him either. I only heard about it because my folks Charles Perkins posted the following on Twitter:

so im seein twitter go crazy cuz of some comments John Mayer was 1 hunnit about. sounds like people r being sensitive
Turns out that John Mayer -- the guy who has collabed with Kanye -- compared his dick to the KKK and dropped the "N-word" bomb. That'll make you a trending topic on Twitter. Now he's apologizing.

Here's an except from the John Mayer interview with Playboy that has hella folks talking:
PLAYBOY: If you didn't know you, would you think you're a douche bag?

MAYER: It depends on what I picked up. My two biggest hits are "Your Body Is a Wonderland" and "Daughters." If you think those songs are pandering, then you'll think I'm a douche bag. It's like I come on very strong. I am a very...I'm just very. V-E-R-Y. And if you can't handle very, then I'm a douche bag. But I think the world needs a little very. That's why black people love me.

PLAYBOY: Because you're very?

MAYER: Someone asked me the other day, "What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?" And by the way, it's sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, "I can't really have a hood pass. I've never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, 'We're full.'"

PLAYBOY: It is true; a lot of rappers love you. You recorded with Common and Kanye West, played live with Jay-Z.

MAYER: What is being black? It's making the most of your life, not taking a single moment for granted. Taking something that's seen as a struggle and making it work for you, or you'll die inside. Not to say that my struggle is like the collective struggle of black America. But maybe my struggle is similar to one black dude's.

PLAYBOY: Do black women throw themselves at you?

MAYER: I don't think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I've got a Benetton heart and a fuckin' David Duke cock. I'm going to start dating separately from my dick.

Super blogger Zennie 62 breaks it down this way in his City Brights blog on the San Francisco Chronicle:
My take on this is it's one thing to be "race aware" - say if Mayer had made a comment about African American's still not sharing the American dream in full. That's ok. But Mayer used the N-word, which I have never allowed, even as a small boy. Then he basically religated blacks to what he sees as a permanent second class status, and calls himself a White Supremacist, even if he was referring to a part of his body.

And Mayer thinks black folks love him.
Zennie continues on Mayer stating that all the people forgiving Mayer "give him power and maintain whatever second-class status exists for us."

While I see that he understands that he does not have to deal with institutionalize racism and whatever struggles Black people experience -- just because we're black -- I ain't feeling his disrespectful attitude towards Black people.

I don't accept Black people calling me Nigga (with an "A" an "Ah" or any of that), so it certainly ain't cool for him to say Nigger. And I spell it without asterisks so you don't sugarcoat the word's history. But people are forgiving, or at least understanding.

My folks Katia Allen came with the most practical analysis of the matter:
  • "I respect him for keepin it real... only part that got him is trouble is comparing his dick to the kkk... can't come back from that
  • people have preferences.... he prefers not to date black women... that's his thing, I'm not knockin him for it
  • however, when you compare your dick to kkk, your dick is not a seperate entity, it does not have a brain therefor people will look at him as
  • a racist...
  • silence is very golden and as a public figure who has many black fans who should have known to choose his words wisely
  • I can understand why black women are talking shit and wanting to boycott him... they feel like he knocked us down...
  • John Mayer is not racist, he's just makes air headed spaced out retarded comparisons and if people were offended, let them be
Katia hits it on the nail when he tries to separate his dick from his brain. That is a Eurocentric concept -- separating mind and body. In reality, it is all one. And his spirit told him, Black girls can't have me.

Racist Logic
I won't make excuses for his stupidity. He gets no hood pass or a Nigger Pass. Why did he equate Nigger with Hood.

Let's examine John Mayer's logic:
Hood = Black
Hood = Nigger
Therefore, Black = Nigger.

Even Chris Rock will tell you there was a civil war between Black people and "Niggas." I don't know what punk ass Uncle Toms he been hanging with, but that shit ain't cool.

The fact that he equates "Hood" with "Nigger" shows you where his heart is. You don't have to be a Nigger to be in the hood, but we live in a society that associates crime with Black people, it associates ignorance with Black people. Problematic things are associated with Black people.

We even have some "well-to-do" Black folks that get it twisted that being Black is to be ignorant. That's why folks who are well spoken or do well in school are told, "you talk white."

He should understand not only why it was offensive -- because of the White Man's God Complex -- and he needs to look at himself critically and examine what he believes.

My Racial Thought Evolution
I used to think that every -- and I use this term generically -- "white" person was racist. Simple and plain. White = Racist. Then I evolved to believing, "Every white person is racist. It's simply a matter of how racist they were.

That believe was based on how racist our society is structured, every white person was socialized into the backwards racist mentality. Hopefully, they could either be conscious of it and change. I don't completely believe that now. I treat every person according to their character and behavior.

Nonetheless, Mayer acted like an "accidental racist." I will define this as the person who says something racist but doesn't realize. This is due to the phenomena of white supremacy.

Mayer is a part of the dominant culture, he doesn't have to worry about offending people of other groups. He is the norm. And his dick prefers the norm. When he compared his dick to the KKK, he implied that his dick was too good for black women. But he probably didn't even realize what he was saying was offensive. He was an "accidental racist."

Mayer's Apology
This afternoon, Mayer apologized for using the Nigger word. He writes:
  • Re: using the 'N word' in an interview: I am sorry that I used the word. And it's such a shame that I did because the point I was trying
  • to make was in the exact opposite spirit of the word itself. It was arrogant of me to think I could intellectualize using it,
  • because I realize that there's no intellectualizing a word that is so emotionally charged.
  • Again, because I don't want anyone to think I'm equivocating: I should have never said the word and I will never say it again.
While some people think he was trying to "keep it one hunid" (see: 100% real), he just revealed his own subconscious racist mindset.

Unfortunately, participating in this discussion supports white supremacy. The fact that one white guy -- albeit, with 3 million Twitter followers -- can say some stupid ass racist shit and it becomes a trending topic is preposterous.

He was ripped off some scotch, so he came raw when he made the statement about his preferences.

Affirmative Action Dick?
I prefer Black women with curly/nappy hair. But I would be outta pocket if I said, "My dick is Black Panther" or "My dick is a Garveyite." That would be wrong mainly because it equates my penis to freedom fighters (even though I use my dick for revolutionary causes, also).

What would it sound like if he said, "My dick doesn't support Affirmative Action."

Me personally, "my heart is Paul Robeson but my dick is Shaft. (You damn skippy)"

But seriously, if I said, "If John Mayer's dick is "white supremacist," mine is homophobic." There would be LGBT folks who would be mad -- probably the same ones who blamed Blacks for Prop. 8 -- but there would be others who would understand: He's jokingly saying that he prefers women. Simple. (For the Record: I don't discriminate)

I understand John Mayer's point and had he just said this in a vaccuum, he might have gotten the "hood pass" he talked about. But dropping the Nigger Bomb is in appropriate. And why throw David Duke in there. Why not compare your shaft to Hitler while you're at it.

Guarantee he wouldn't have said that if I was in the room. Then again, white people have that luxury in this society.

Subconscious White Supremacy
In a recent article I wrote for The Black Hour, anti-racist activist Tim Wise told Laney College students:
His advice on confronting subtle or subconscious racism was critical confrontation. He said some whites may not be conscious of their racism, but by asking questions or critiquing racist remarks or statements, you can encourage people–who are not overtly or intentionally racist, to improve.

“You don’t want to just jump on them, you want them to think.”
Zennie offers the parting words: "My advice: watch the scotch, review what you think about people, and date black women."

I disagree. Leave my sistahs alone. And John, don't blame it on the alcohol.



Em February 11, 2010 at 5:13 AM  

I just love your article. And yes, he should not blame it on the booze!

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