Don't Ask Us to Explain John Mayer Because We Can't

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Yesterday a friend of mine who is black said "So what do you have to say about your boy?" and at first I thought she was talking about a male acquaintance we have in common who I stick up for sometimes when she feels he's behaving foolishly. But no, in fact, she was talking about another male who was behaving foolishly, but the only connection I have to him is that we're both white: John Mayer. I explained quickly that we white people do not claim John Mayer in any way shape or form and I don't intend to explain him or stick up for him. If anything he's making us all look bad which I do not appreciate.

In case you didn't hear, in his recent Playboy interview he just goes from bad to worse so fast it makes your head spin. First he says:

"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."

Now, come on. This is actually relatively innocuous but clearly he wasn't listening to the words coming out of his mouth as he was saying them, because this is just a big pile of bullshit presented on a platter that might as well have a little tiny flag marked "bullshit" on it planted right in it. What does that even mean? Only a self-indulgent person spewing bullshit might know.

But then he continues, "But I think the world needs a little very. That's why black people love me."

Uh oh.

Then he goes on, as you probably might have heard, to use the bad word.

"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?"

Any decent white person knows that you don't use that word, and any white person who might not be decent but at least has an ounce of sense knows not to use that word around someone else, especially a person with a recording device and a press pass. I'm actually more mad at Mayer for being an idiot, for thinking that he is so down that this would somehow fly over and people would get it, than for him using a racist term.

This message is to Mayer and to white people in general: just don't. OK? It's not going to work. That is to say, thinking you know the black experience, especially more than any other average person of non-color. Don't try to go there, or anywhere near there. Pretend a bomb is going to go off around there and just run as far away as you can, quickly.

But Mayer, since he obviously knows what he's talking about, goes on. "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."


Then, when the reporter asks Mayer if he's into black women, he says "My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I've got a Benetton heart and a David Duke cock."

Okay, John, let's break this down. You were probably trying to make a joke here. And, you know, I think it's fair to a certain extent to be romantically into some people and not so much others--we all have our turn-ons. But again, you compared a part of your body to someone who used to be a Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Someone who used to wear a Nazi uniform. Please tell me at which point we're all supposed to laugh, John, because most of us are still shrieking "STOP TALKING RIGHT NOW YOU'RE MAKING US ALL LOOK SOOOOO BAD" and dribbling water down our fronts.

Then he goes on to mention the black women he doesn't particularly object to, and says "Kerry Washington would break your heart like a white girl." So, yeah. Congratulations Ms. Washington!

So I'd just like to say that while Mayer's "hood pass" has clearly been ripped up and thrown down the drain, I think his white pass is also on probation at the very least. I cannot explain John Mayer to my friend but I can explain a few things to HIM. I think addressing race and the differences between cultures is a great thing, but the first mistake a white person who thinks he or she "gets it" can be is to talk like he or she KNOWS. And you don't. So stop talking. Is it unfair that you have to be sensitive and not make your hilarious white supremacist jokes and say bad words? I suppose so. That's just the price we must pay for being unhorrible white people.

PS to John: adding "That's all I'll say" after talking for a few minutes about what sex was like with someone does not constitute discretion. That's all I'll say.