In the current issue of Playboy, an interview with John Mayer has the following exchange
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.
For those who don’t know who David Duke is, let me save you the Google search. David Duke is to white supremacist what President Obama is to black people, except with less of that hope-y change-y stuff (© Sarah Palin).
Now that we have the knowledge out of the way, let’s unpack Mayer’s quote here just for conversation’s sake.
There are two things I know: Black women who love themselves some John Mayer and white guys who don’t date black women.
In regards to the first thing I know, Mayer himself needs to recognize this fact and apologize because of it. Don Imus had less black fans than Mayer did, and he still apologized both to the women of the Rutgers basketball team and to anyone else he offended. Meanwhile, Mayer who is one of the most charismatic stars of his generation might find a way to act like he doesn’t need to apologize, and truthfully, it won’t make a difference. But public apologies for saying something or doing something stupid is a part of the unofficial celebrity rulebook. If John Mayer really has a Benetton heart, and if he cares about selling one less album or one less concert ticket, he will say he’s sorry for saying what so many other men like him think, which brings me to the second thing I know.
Mad white men don’t date black women but that doesn’t mean they’re not friends with them or can’t work with them or feel like David Duke about them. And, in defense of the white people who don’t date outside of their race, let’s keep in mind all the black people who also have the same discriminatory tastes. This idea that we live in a post-racial America doesn’t need to extend into our dating lives. If Mayer or any other white person can’t find it in their loins to be with a woman as fine as Kerry Washington, then so be it. They shouldn’t start doing so out of guilt.
If people’s attitudes towards race were determined by their sexual history, then I’m sure most of us would look like racist. Some might say I, for instance, am a black nationalist, but I digress.
Half of what John Mayer said was stupid, but the other half of it, the first half, which will no doubt get clouded when repeated in the press, is noteworthy. The man said he had a Benetton heart, which is to say, in his heart, he appreciates all the love he gets regardless of their skin color. What John Mayer said was a classic case of what Dave Chappelle once famously called, "When keeping it real goes wrong." But what's important is Mayer's heart was in the right place.