It wasn’t long ago that I expounded on BILL MAHER’S use of the n-word, opining that I understood the mistake but didn’t think that people who know Bill would think it was that big of a deal. I say this today because just a few days ago, I got the “white boy” epithet thrown at me by a person of color and I didn’t really give a crap. The context was such that I wasn’t offended.
On a mission to help a phone girl set up a new website, I ascended to her spot where I assumed she would be alone – only to be mock-jumped by two floor girls of color who were visiting. Now this is not the first time I’ve been subjected to faux muggings upon entering a place because for better or worse, some girls think this is a funny prank.
Never has the set up elicited even a spike in adrenaline and this latest episode was no different. The only unique quality came as a suffix to the verbal demand: “Give us all your money, white boy!” This statement came from a girl I happen to like. Initially, I had more to say about their tacky attempt than the racist conclusion. But afterwards, it made me think.
If this girl was a celebrity…and she’d made that slip on mic, it would have meant real trouble. She’d have been explaining herself over and over again…”we were just having fun…and Billy and I are cool…and he’s not offended…but it was wrong…and insensitive…and I’ve learned my lesson” and on and on for one silly slip.
The point? Again…the world is too sensitive about all this stuff. The old sticks and stones quote should be the order of the day – at least within reason. Context and what’s in the heart should be paramount…and not as in her case, a meaningless slip of the lip.
And now, I think I’ll book an appointment with the “perpetrator” and be sure to let her know while in the throes “you be lucky if you’re as black as I am white, Miss Honey!” And of course, I’ll add “thank you for making this white boy feel so good and being one of my favorite people regardless of race or color” because as we all know, Dollar Bill is a gentleman if nothing else.