St. Patrick’s Day (#89), film festivals (#3), yoga (#15), writers workshops (#21), gay friends (#88), microbreweries (#23), David Sedaris (#25), graduate school (#81), difficult break-ups (#70), divorce (#66), Bob Marley (#125) … hell, I even have a niece named after him! I wouldn’t threaten to move to Canada (#75), only because it’s too damn cold, but how many times have I told you I love Canadians? Jews didn't make the list, but I love them, too, and how white are they?
Well, last Sunday night I had dinner with a couple of my writer friends, one of whom is black. Her name is Judy McFadden and I have to digress for a second because I think it’s funny that Judy has a son named Kelly McFadden. I mean, is that the ultimate Guess-Who’s-Coming-for-Corned-Beef-and-Cabbage-Dinner name or what? Cracks me up.
Anyway, I had a burning Ask-a-Black-Person question because there were a lot of “Remembering Katrina” programs on last weekend and for the longest time I’ve been wondering something: How do black people feel about Jesse Jackson and Al freakin’ Sharpton acting like the spokesmen for their entire race? Because it sure as hell looks like they are to me, and if I were black I’d be pissed.
Judy rolled her eyes and said those two hardly represent the race and the media intentionally sticks a microphone in their faces whenever anything happens to keep black people looking bad. (I realize that now I’m making Judy the new spokesperson, but trust me, I think she’s a much better representative.)
Well, her answer made sense to me and then I came up with more questions: What about Bill Cosby? Who are the true black leaders of today? Why does rap music have to be so mess-you-up-bitches negative?
I hung on her every word. She told me all kinds of stuff black people did in history that never made it into the textbooks. I’m gonna ask her to be guest blogger someday—it will be educational! White people should totally ask black people questions—and vice-versa. I know I would be more than happy to explain why bowling is fun and the brilliance behind Family Guy.
Judy seemed to delight in answering my questions and kept asking if I had any more. But wouldn’t you know it, I didn’t think of the biggest question of all until the next day, so I sent her an email.
Hey, Judy—Well, good news! She sent me this e-card with the following message.
When my daughter and I are mad at someone, we say (just in conversation to each other), "He can kiss my black ass." We think the "black" part adds some oomph to it, like we really mean it. So much stronger than "He can kiss my ass." But is that racist? We totally don't mean it to be.
Let me know!
So it’s not racist--yay! I'm really happy because it's totally fun to say.
But seriously, can you imagine if you had to have official spokespersons for your race? If I were black, I'd want Oprah and Wanda Sykes. Well, I think they should be the official spokespeople of the white race, too.
What? You don't like Oprah? Well, you can just kiss my black ass.