Cry Me a River, John Mayer.

A lot of other people have already written about John Mayer’s shameful interview in Playboy where he basically throws everyone he knows into his spotlight of woman hate and racism.
I have never been a fan of John Mayer, I think his music sucks. And after reading this interview and others like it, I can safely say that he sucks. But I don’t care about him, I care about what his words say about discourses of race and sexuality.
This above apology is hilarious and narcissistic in a way that only someone who thinks making racist and sexist comments about people he knows as “being edgy and witty.” Yes, he cries and so do his back-up singers, but I think it would be more touching if his apology actually got to the heart of the problem of what he said.

As Kenyon Farrow discusses on his blog, it is not his use of the “N-word” I find most troubling about his interview. It is his depiction of black women, white women and sexuality. From the interview,

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.

Right, because the only black women that are gorgeous are the ones that white men want to bone. Kenyon writes,

Now, let me say that he also discusses his sex life with his former girlfriend Jessica Simpson in detail, which is also repulsive, and with no regard for what that might mean for her. But for now, I am talking about the black women who found themselves in this story. It’s clear that he associates all these black actresses as some nearly-white enough in class, hair texture or affect as to be “white enough for his David Duke dick” to fuck, but clearly also views them, based on his description of his imagined Washington, as sexually as loose and irreverent as the white women he normally fucks. All of this is every kind of wrong.

Mayer’s response to the interview isn’t that he shouldn’t have said the things that he said, it is that in his “great” service to us, the public, he is worn out and tired of coming off like an asshole no matter what he does.
And ultimately I am forced to ask, will he be hated forever like Kanye was after his mess up at the American Music Awards? Will the victims of his little racist sexualized tirade be upheld, the way Taylor Swift has been as the “pure and innocent” victim of big bad mean Kanye? No, probably not, because it is still considered edgy, deserving and just to say racist and sexist things about black women with no accountability, mechanism for remorse or narrative to say otherwise.
And let’s be clear, his depiction of how he perceives white women also feeds into hateful ideas of women’s sexuality and fear of the vagina. It is all just very sad and very telling.
Hey Mayer, take a tip from Kanye and quit while you are ahead. It is not that you sound like an asshole, it is that you are an asshole.

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