Only a week or so ago was I trying to explain to a friend why I wasn’t all that fond of John Mayer. Musically, he’s a good guitarist and a so-so vocalist. In short: He sings like he’s gargling. Mayer’s artistry aside, he always comes across as a jackass in interviews. The sort of guy who likes to be incendiary because he feels it makes him look “cool.” That’s always a telling sign of someone who didn’t grow up with many friends or much attention. Once folks like Mayer get it they do and say whatever to keep it. It’s often hard to separate John Mayer the artist from John Mayer the verbal toilet because the later is so hell bent on outshining the former.
That brings me to his now already infamous Playboy interview, where Mayer gives me another reason to contemplate embracing the term “douche bag.”
If you haven’t read it, here are my oh-so-favorite parts of the interview:
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.
PLAYBOY: Let’s put some names out there. Let’s get specific.
MAYER: I always thought Holly Robinson Peete was gorgeous. Every white dude loved Hilary from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And Kerry Washington. She’s superhot, and she’s also white-girl crazy. Kerry Washington would break your heart like a white girl. Just all of a sudden she’d be like, “Yeah, I sucked his dick. Whatever.” And you’d be like, “What? We weren’t talking about that.” That’s what “Heartbreak Warfare” is all about, when a girl uses jealousy as a tactic.
Before we go even further, let me point to some of the people who didn’t score high enough to come aboard the short yellow bus why some of us are perturbed my Mayer’s words.
Reason One: He throws out terms like “hood pass” and flexes his white privilege a little too strongly by going one step further by saying “nigger pass.”
Sorry, folks, but there are some out there who don’t think it’s OK for any white person to let the word nigger slide out of their pampered mouths just because they can.
Reason Two: He limits the black experience to the idea of struggling. He then has the nerve to liken his struggle to those of black men.
As a black man I can say without a doubt in my mind that this now wealthy musician no matter how he grew up’s experience mirrors that of a black man in America. This is what happens when you make three black friends and suddenly fall under the false impression that you know of what you speak.
Secondly, his idea of the black experience makes me more upset than anything else he had to say.
It’s a very limiting idea of black people and that’s dangerous. The mere fact that this guy could even try to sum the black experience in a single sentence is maddening enough. And that sort of sentiment trickles over into other facets of society beyond the realms of pop culture.
I guess since that comment didn’t involve dating or his dick a lot of people skimmed over it.
Pay attention you silly buffoons.
Reason Three: I don’t care if he has a preference. I wouldn’t fuck him, his mammy, cousin, or auntie. What irks me is that he used white supremacy as a punch line.
But as stupid as Mayer sounds in this interview I imagine he’ll cut a track with Mos Def and all will be forgiven. Already the mainstream press is more concerned about his musings about Jessica Simpson.
What grates me about this most of all is the sea of white apologists with black faces.
It’s twofold: People who didn’t bother to read the article in its entirety and those who may have very well read it but certainly didn’t comprehend much of it.
I see your excuses and I pity you for each of them.
But for the sake of the post let’s entertain some of them, shall we?
1. What about R. Kelly, rappers, and those of us who us the n-word? What about the men who disrespect black women every day?
Unless you drink from a sippy cup you’re too old to say some bullshit like this. Another person’s grievances don’t negate the other.
Besides, when it comes to black men disrespecting black women, where do you think they learned that from? Yes, mainstream rap can be grossly misogynistic but who consumes more than 80% of it? So: after they consume the product it becomes highly popular, which means record companies will make sure it dominates much of what the entire audience sees and hears.
But even if you don’t want to argue on that point, let me go back to the first: It’s childish as hell to say “well look what they’re doing.”
It’s OK to talk about black men who disrespect black women and people overall, but you can’t do the same about a white person?
I’ve seen people pontificate about the evils of white napkins yet suddenly they’ve got nothing to say about a guy making white supremacist jokes and lumping them and their brethren under one brush of struggle?
This is why it’s so easy to write off so many purported “pro-black” “thinkers,” “writers,” and loud mouths as nothing more than a gimmick.
You prove that when you finally get your chance to complain about something that relates to the source of your grief, you’ve got nothing to say.
This is not about seeking the validation of a sophomoric white man. It’s a realization that after much of what’s been accomplished, people still sum us up with one word: struggle. That’s fine if you don’t agree, but try not to limit everyone else who seeks to make this more about Mayer saying one stupid thing and rappers using the words “bitch and nigga.”
2. I don’t see anything wrong with him having a preference.
Like I said, he can have his preference but David Duke cock? He’s not funny, he’s not insightful, his points on race are not “acute” as the writer of this article tweeted, and overall David Duke dick for brains is a jackass.
3. At least he was being honest.
Since John Mayer brought him up, David Duke has always been quite vocal about his racial prejudices but that doesn’t make him any less of a racist twit, now does it? I honestly think you’re stupid if you think that fun fact makes any difference. See, I’m being honest and I bet those offended still rolled their eyes at me for it.
4. Don’t we have more important things to focus on like Haiti?
Generally speaking, whenever people talk about something and you tend to find those contrarians for convenience who seek to convey the sentiment that they don’t care or have more important matters to tend to. These people highly annoy me.
You don’t have to declare that you don’t care. Show us by not actually caring to bother chiming in at all.
For those that cared a little bit but not enough because they’re keeping up with Haiti, a special shut up goes out to you, too.
You can care about Haiti and still think John Mayer’s a dick for mumbling about his KKK penis. That’s the gift we call multi-tasking. If it escaped you, sorry, but don’t try to vilify the rest of us for having it.
5. We have a black president. Who cares what he says?
Yes, I actually saw this. The only people who can fix their mouths to say something like probably can’t even spell president without hurting themselves in the process.
As I tweeted earlier, I encourage some of you to check the wrong box on your Census form. Buy bleaching cream while you’re at it.