Friday, February 12, 2010

An Open Letter to John Mayer.

Dear John-

I remember folding t-shirts at Eddie Bauer in my post-college days and hearing No Such Thing over the sound system. I liked it so much that I checked the Musak playlist to find out what the song was called, and went out the next day and bought your first major label release. Being only a year younger than you, I could relate to your songs about quarter-life crises, and wondering when your true love was going to come along. I bought a couple more of your albums, I saw you perform live, and in a random moment of post 9-11 angst, may have even referred to you as the "voice of our generation."

So here we are...almost 10 years later. I'm happily married; planning on starting a family soon. You're still writing the same songs about how depressing being single is. You're also dating chicks and dumping them after they take you to the Oscars, and dating other chicks and blabbing to national publications how "crazy" the sex was. I wonder why you can't find a long-term, meaningful relationship.

One of my favorite songs on your first album was Your Body is a Wonderland . But as much as I loved this song,there was always one line that bothered me:

"one mile to every inch of your skin like porcelain"

I thought, "What does he mean 'like porcelain'? Smooth and cold? Or white?"

Now that you've revealed that your penis is a "white supremacist" it's probably safe to say it's the latter.

Now, I understand that people have their personal preferences when it comes to dating, but really, John? I have never been a big fan of people excluding entire groups of people based on skin color. There are smokin' hot, interesting people of all races. (Yes, I do have a bias against non-smokin' hot, uninteresting people--maybe I'll examine that more at another time.)

I also want to share one piece of advice I think will be really helpful to you and any other white people that think "black people love [them]." Actually, to any white person that thinks one black person might even kind of like them.

The fastest way to lose your "n***r pass" (as you so lovingly referred to it,) is to even entertain the idea, much less proclaim to others that you have earned such a pass. It's like the first rule of Fight Club.

Thinking that you are down and as a result, have earned the right to do or say certain things that might be perceived as racist if other white people did them is just a sign of the arrogance and sense of entitlement that is so freakin' exasperating and exhausting to deal with. There are no other white people. Those people are you.

My hope is that you won't come away from this whole thing thinking, " I should have just kept my mouth shut." I really want you to examine what caused you to say the things that you did. Not just "wanting to be clever"--that was only part of it.

What makes it okay to reveal private details about someone you've had an intimate relationship with? Where did you learn your "aversion" to black women? What made you think it would be okay to use the "n-word"? You used a gay slur in that same Playboy interview, why do you think that hasn't been getting as much media attention?

Most importantly: How are you going to change and grow as a person because of this experience?

I was saddened and angered by the comments that you made. My relationship with you and your music has been permanently changed. At the same time, I understand that people make mistakes and that you've said that you're sorry. I just hope that you are willing to do the work necessary to truly understand what you are apologizing for.



  1. dear lord.

    i haven't read this, but i don't know if i do or don't need to read this interview.

    the little bit yoou've referenced is so deeply disturbing that it may well have me taking up my boyfriend's rule of just nt dealing with white folks.

    dear lord.

  2. I sincerely wish he would read this. That interview made my jaw drop several times. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. I'm not a big fan of any musician.....they are all narcissistic....that's what makes their music good......I'm almost always a fan of the music, but not the person.

  4. Very well written. You posed some provacative questions as well. I hope JM seriously reads this! Your posts are progressively impressive and thought provoking. Keep them coming... despite life's chaotic spin.

  5. Anonymous9:47 PM

    why would anyone "just not deal with white folks" just because an egomaniac singer said something ignorant? surely you can't think that he represents anyone but himself?