Mayer, 32, told [a Playboy] interviewer: "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 n*gger pass."...I think he's musing about whether it's fair for him to see himself as having earned credibility in the way that a black person would. That's deferential to black people. He's also using the N-word, which is never a good idea for a white person, but if really had a "hood pass," it might be an argument that he should be able to use the taboo word the way a black person can. By actually using the word, he's implicitly making that argument.
He goes on to say:
"What is being black?" He then answers himself: "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."That supports my interpretation of what he was trying to say. My point isn't that he should use the word, only that he didn't have a hateful reason for saying it. Substantively, he is sympathetic to black people and thoughtful. But form can eclipse substance. In short: Don't use the N-word, even to make an enlightened point about race. It's inflammatory, distracting, and likely to be taken the wrong way.
And then there's this:
When asked by the interviewer, "Do black women throw themselves at you?", Mayer responds: "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."He's being outrageous there, but read, people. He's insulting his own penis! He's saying his penis is a big racist. That is, he's always gone out with white women, because he's been following his cock. Now, he's saying, he'd like to be more open-minded and have his heart take over. Let the cock be the follower now. He's trying to entertain Playboy readers, and that actually is funny.
Why not read and think first before attacking this man? Let your mind go first, not your... whatever you have instead of a dick that gives you a stupid instinct for racial excitement.
Now, Mayer tweets that he was wrong — about the N-word:
"I am sorry that I used the word. And it's a shame that I did because the point I was trying to make was the exact opposite spirit of the word itself. It was arrogant of me to think I could intellectualise using it, because I realise there's no intellectualising a word that is so emotionally charged."It was arrogant — he's saying — to think other people would be intellectually sharp and interested in ideas. It's a bit of a nonapology. He's pretty close to saying: I'm sorry people are stupid. But obviously he knows what is obvious: The word is what it is because it transcends thought and stimulates emotion. The decision to use it is a decision to go for emotion. You can't really complain that people got distracted by the distraction you created.
Now, if you're really smart and you do it right — or maybe only if you're Lenny Bruce — you might find a way to use the very emotional distraction to leverage your way to a brilliant, enlightened, substantive statement about race. But Lenny Bruce wouldn't have tweeted an apology if he were misunderstood. He'd have said something else smart, not whined about how other people aren't smart enough to get him.