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Misdirected Anger Strikes Again

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on February 10, 2010

UPDATE! John Mayer didn’t call black women “dark ass hoes” but Kevin Hart did. Where’s the anger about this?

UPDATE: John Mayer tearfully apologizes for his comments

See Video below

John Mayer did an interview for Playboy Magazine wherein he said, “I think the world would be better off if I stopped doing interviews.” Well, I think it’s a good thing that he did this one because it set off a hailstorm of tweets, making the words “John Mayer” so popular it became a Trending Topic on Twitter. More importantly, it showed one flaw with American society. Many are quick to read, trust, and share thoughts from other people without critically analyzing and forming their own opinion. What set this off in my opinion? The following two tweets are from Dr. Marc Lamont Hill.

John Mayer on dating Black women: “I don’t think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist.”

John Mayer cont’d “I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock.”

I have no issue with Dr. Hill; and, I have no agenda to pursue. I feel that his tweet caused the subsequent re-tweets, which resulted in the controversy. With his reputation, many people read his tweet and stopped there without reading the article to get the entire quote, trusting him to be fair and balanced. What Dr. Hill left out was an extremely vital piece of Mayer’s message:  “I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.” Dr. Hill says it was not intentionally left out, but he believes that making such a decision signifies a decision to date women unattractive to him. There are a couple of problems with this.

Problem 1: Critical reading

The quote that was sent out was incomplete and did not paint an accurate portrayal of John Mayer’s thoughts on dating Black women. One would have only to do a close (critical) reading of his statements to see his intended message: I let myself be guided by my carnal desires without listening to my heart. I’m going to start listening to my heart.

On his site, Dr. Hill responds to the interview by saying, “I can’t say John Mayer is racist. He probably thinks he was being edgy and funny because he has a “black pass.” It’s still irresponsible.” I don’t believe he was saying that at all. In the interview Mayer says that someone else asked him how it felt to have a “hood pass”. A hood pass being a figurative statement meant to indicate that he’s been given an honorary membership into the Black community. Simply because someone else asks how it feels to have one does not mean that he accepted it and feels the right to use this privilege. How did Mayer choose to speak about this?

…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.’”

I believe Mayer meant that having a hood pass enables you to say the word “nigger” without opposition from the people who that term was used to abuse. Mayer acknowledges that he does not have one because, even before his fame, he has never been refused service based on a first impression. Meaning, the only people who have hood passes are the ones who, on first glance, would be immediately refused service upon entering a restaurant. Was his statement insensitive? Sure.

Problem 2: Misdirected anger

Mayer’s statement may have been insensitive, but what did he really do wrong? He stated an attraction towards a specific type of woman and made a comment about race relations. A lot of musicians do this and we in the Black community do not threaten to stop playing their music. In fact, women were the main people preventing radio stations from taking the following song off the air because of the volume of requests for it.

[Lil’ Wayne]
Un
I like a long haired thick red bon
Open up her legs then filet mignon that pussy
I’m a get in and on that pussy
If she let me in I’m a own that pussy
Go’n throw it back and bust it open like you ‘posed to
Girl I got that dope dick
Now come here let me dope you
You gon’ be a dope fiend
Your friends should call you dopey
Tell ’em keep my name out they mouth if they don’t know me
Huh
But you can’t come and tunecha
I’ll fuck the whole group
Baby I’m a groupie
My sex game is stupid
My head is the dumbest
I promise
I should be hooked on phonics
Haha

But anyway I think you’re bionic
And I don’t think you’re beautiful
I think you’re beyond it
And I just wanna get behind it
And watch you
(back it up and dump it back-
Back it up and dump it back)

[Chorus:]
Cause we like her
And we like her too
And we like her
And we like her too
And we like her
And we like her too
And we like herr
And she like us too

I wish I could fuck every girl in the world
I wish I could fuck every girl in the world
I wish I could fuck every girl in the world

[Drake:]
Yea
Alright
(ohh ohhh)
She be jumpin up and down
Tryna fit that ass in
Took her half an hour
Just to get that belt to fasten
All they want to talk about is partyin’ and fashion
Every single night I have a dream that I am smashin’
Them all
Young Money man this shit so timeless
And I’m in the mood to get faded so please bring your finest
And what are all your names again we drunk remind us
Are any y’all into girls like I am let’s be honest

She wants me she wants me
Cause I got it all shawty tell me what you don’t see
I will fuck with all y’all
All y’all are beautiful
I just can’t pick one so you can never say I’m choosy hoes
And Wayne say pussy pussy pussy
And weed and alcohol seem to satisfy us all
Damn
And every time I think of staying with her
She bring that friend around that make a nigga reconsider man

[Chorus]

[Jae Millz:]
I ain’t being disrespectful baby I’m just being Millz
And I don’t know how fake feels so I gotta keep it real
I just wanna fuck every girl in the world
Every model every singer every actress every diva
Every house of diddy chick every college girl every skeezer
Stripper and every desperate housewife that resemble eva
My role model was will
So married boy I’m in the milf
It don’t matter who you is miss
You can get the business
Haaaa

[Gudda Gudda:]
These hoes is gods gift like Christmas
I like ’em caramel skin long hair thick ass
And I swear I’m feelin’ all y’all
I’m scrollin’ down my call log
And I’m a call all y’all
My butter pecan Puerto Rican
She screamin’ out “papi” every time a nigga deep in
And I’m about to get my Bill Clinton on
And Hilary can Rodham too boy I gets my pimpin’ on

[Chorus]

[Mack Maine:]
And bitch I’m Mack Maine -aine -aine -aine
Sanna Lathan
Megan Good
Angelina Jolie
Hah
D Woods
For free suites I’d give Paris Hilton all-nighters
In about 3 years, holla at me Miley Cyrus
I don’t discriminate, no not at all
Kit kat a midget if that ass soft I break her off
I exchange V cards with the retards
And get behind the Christian like DR cause he are
Mack Mizzo
Baby
Cause he are Mack Mizzo
Baby

[Chorus:]
Cause we like her
And we like her too
And we like her
And we like her too
And we like her
And we like her too
And we like herr
And she like us too

I wish I could fuck every girl in the world
I wish I could fuck every girl in the world
I wish I could fuck every girl in the world

Young Mula baby

Milan Ford, the man who tried to get the song taken off the air had this to say about where “we” direct our anger,

Remember when Don Imus called the Rutgers [University] women’s basketball team a bunch of nappy-headed hos? We got CBS to remove him as a host just a few days later. Why do we limit our defense only to those who don’t look like us? As a husband and father, something in me just said we need to protect our women.

We really need to reevaluate what causes us to rise up and show our strength. The way it seems, nothing will stop Lil Wayne. Unless, of course, he raps about only wanting to *&$( every White girl in the world. Cause, you know, that would be bad.

Next: The 3rd Problem

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25 Responses to “Misdirected Anger Strikes Again”

  1. Mary D said

    you are so unbelievably right, well said. The small clips that are cut and paste together make him look much worse than he really meant. It’s all in context and John definitely had some faults in his interview but nothing that should have caused this much controversy. Focus on the music.

  2. Jara said

    Wonderful post, Chanelle (and why you should post more often)!

    I first found out about this interview via my Twitterstream. After 30 minutes of reading, not one person actually linked to the original article. But everyone was full of opinions.

    SMH.

    I still haven’t read the Playboy interview (although I will after hitting submit here). But I do know that John Mayer has a habit of giving very snarky/sarcastic interviews, especially if he thinks the questions are dumb. Usually, the interviewer either gets what John is doing and becomes offended and returns the snark or doesn’t get it and labels John a “dumb celebrity”.

    Too many examples to link but here’s a recent Rolling Stone interview:

    http://stupidcelebrities.net/2010/01/21/john-mayer-overshares-in-rolling-stone-magazine-interview/

    By the way, John has apologized for the Playboy interview:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100210/ap_on_en_mu/us_people_john_mayer

    I still love his music. *shrug*

    Thanks again for pointing out the nuances that so many others miss or refuse to consider.

  3. Jara said

    One more thing, I don’t understand why black people are so forgiving of other blacks when they denigrate our people but it’s very wrong when a non-black (especially white) person does it. If someone could explain that to me, it would be greatly appreciated.

  4. I know it was a good reason why I didn’t respond to these streams of tweets or entertain the story enough to even look at it myself.

    This post is spot on. One of the things I always like or hope to do with my blog is to read entire articles, or entire reports, and then make my opinion and share it.

    I think its a sad side effect of the “right now, soundbite” society we live in. It is more important to get a piece of the news, than the whole scoop.

    I am glad you wrote on this Chanelle. Without even seeing the article or getting sucked into people’s anger, I felt it would turn out to be some silly thiing blown out of proportion. Maybe he was insensitive, but if yo look past the insensitivity he was actually trying to do a credit to black people by not pretending he “knows” what it means to struggle as though he has a “hard knock life”. And i have to say the penis comment was definitely taken out of context.

  5. KDavis said

    Just so you know, many of the people who expressed opinions about Mayer’s interview (which I read in its entirety), aren’t upset at his having expressed a preference; It’s more about the language he used to express such. Dude is also a huge narcissist who doesn’t think before he speaks.

    • Akirah said

      I agree. I don’t think Mayer is a racist and I don’t care what his dating preferences are either. I did find his tone and word choice to be very unnecessary and unwise. But I wasn’t a huge fan before I read the article, so it doesn’t matter much.

  6. I did not take the few “stand-alone” phrases you highlighted and then embark on an “I hate John Mayer” frenzy, as so many people did, however, I don’t think much of the anger directed at him is “misdirected”. Whether it was “insensitive” or not, he pretty much dissed Black women, and showed he has a myriad of psychological issues. Honestly, upon reading the article I wondered if he was medicated or perhaps “self-medicated” because some of the things he said just imply that he might have been high! As I mentioned on Dr. Hill’s blog (which I believe may have either been removed or didn’t get posted yet), his comments about Kerry Washington were more “offensive” to me than the other things he said. “Kerry Washington. She’s superhot, and she’s also white-girl crazy…[she] would break your heart like a white girl. Just all of a sudden she’d be like, ‘Yeah, I sucked his dick. Whatever'”. WTF? There were a LOT of “off-color comments” made by John in this interview, but for the most part he made himself look like a douche to a number of people who probably hadn’t paid much attention to him beyond his music.

    I thought it was ironic that he mentioned the whole thing about the perception of him being a douchebag, because prior to the article I didn’t have that. Now, of course, it’s solidified! LOL.

    And for the record, I wouldn’t give Lil Wayne or any of the tons of idiotic rappers of today’s “urban music genre” a “pass” for this type of tomfoolery either! I don’t listen to them, and henceforth, I won’t be listening to John Mayer.

  7. Jara said

    I want people to learn how to do homework/research before commenting/opining.

    Can they teach this class in school?

    Genius Deferred, I like how you cut off the rest of that quote that provides more context to John’s point, which was that…WHITE GIRLS ACT CRAZY BY TRYING TO MAKE A MAN JEALOUS…and he’s worried that Kerri Washington has that in her…PROBABLY BECAUSE SHE’S APPEALING TO (AND DATES) WHITE MEN. How that is offensive to black women I don’t know.

    John wasn’t medicated. That’s how he usually is in interviews. He likes to think of the wittiest things he can say to shock people so the can half-quote him on blogs while getting upset over nothing.

    Also, THIS WAS A PLAYBOY INTERVIEW.

    CONTEXT IS YOUR FRIEND.

    SMH.

    • Jara, I like how you completely overlook the fact that I was giving my opinion on his comments, and opined in reference to said comments. For someone so interested in “context”, you’d think you would have examined the one you were commenting on.

  8. Jara said

    I love how blacks don’t get offended at anything that Dave Chappelle ever said in his show but…John Mayer = booo!!! Dumb.

    • I was COMPLETELY offended by Dave Chappelle and his show, and I voiced my criticism of him at the time as well!

      FYI: All Blacks don’t think alike. SMH.

      • Jara said

        Nice appropriate nickname you have there.

        When someone doesn’t use the word ALL before blacks, guess what? They don’t mean ALL BLACKS. Genius.

      • Jara said

        Look, non-genius, here’s how this here blog works:

        When you see a number beside a comment, that means it’s a NEW COMMENT – i.e. NOT a reply to you. i.e. NOT ABOUT YOU. i.e. I don’t give a what whether or not you were offended over Dave Chappelle. Please go back to school.

  9. Jara said

    “I didn’t need to use the entire sentence to get my point across”

    That’s quite obvious. Your point is worthless because it’s based on incomplete information AND bad reading comprehension. Ignorant commentary “deeply offends” me. Too bad you brought it to an intelligent blog.

    • It’s not based on “incomplete information” as I read the article and responded accordingly. If “ignorant commentary” deeply offends you, then you should rightly be angry at yourself!

      You trying to argue against MY OPINION and my right to express it is ridiculous, and it doesn’t make you look all that “intelligent”. Just angry and bitter. No wonder you can’t get none from John Mayer! LOL.

      • Jara said

        Oh, so you read the entire article and yet STILL chose to cut off the sentence. Just wanted to get that on record. You must get a lot of exercise with all of that jumping to conclusions. Who says I want “some” from John Mayer? You are the type of person this post is directed at and the funniest part is that you can’t even see it. You might want to try to achieve some genius now instead of deferring it.

    • You again, with your anger and spitefulness can’t even see that you missed the point here entirely! I’m not the author of this blog, nor did I post a message to “inform” the people about what he said. I gave my opinion on it, and highlighted the part of his comments that I took issue with. I still don’t see what YOUR issue was with this, but I suspect you’re just looking for “an internet fight”. I’m sure you’re enjoying yourself. SMH.

  10. Jara said

    And, boo boo, this is no argument. Your ignorance isn’t debatable. It’s obvious to anyone with sense.

  11. Jara said

    Anyway, Chanelle. To reiterate, great post. The smart ones overstand you.

  12. Nice piece, Chanelle. And as far as John Mayer’s Playboy interview and the following hubub, I’ll just borrow the oft repeated phrase in the movie Forrest Gump as my reply to Mr. Mayer: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

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