When I first heard Michael Tyson was appearing on HBO’s “Real Time” I got understandably excited. It was odd though that my BFF wouldn’t have called to tell me the good news. Well, imagine my chagrin then when it turned out to be some schmoe named Michael Dyson. And oh lordy, judging by both his verbal and skin tone, his appearance was designed to publicly flog the Mark Furman of comedians, Bill Maher, for his unspeakable crimes against comedy last week.
To his credit, Maher wasn’t completely cowed by Dyson’s impression of every black minister on TV that makes you immediately change the channel, but the munchies came in handy when he did have to at least nibble some humble pie. At one point Maher fought back, insisting that he hasn’t made a career doing this, that it was bad joke, and when he grew up race was a non-issue. Although I call bullshit on that last statement. Maher’s like sixty. If I’ve grown up aware of race at half his age, how the fuck can he claim a colorblind childhood?
Then to prolong Maher’s agonizing apology tour, Ice Cube of all goddamn people showed up to offer his two cents, and zero sense. As he admonished Maher with understated, though condescending faux outrage, all I kept waiting for was somebody to go, “Nigga are you serious?” I mean correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Cube rise to fame in a group called “The Mamas and the Papas?” Oh wait, I mean “Niggas With Attitude.” Music like his is responsible for introducing the fuckin word “nigga” to a generation of suburban cracker pee-pants like myself. Now muthafuckin doughboy is gonna give us a lecture on race?
How ridiculous too that a black millionaire who’s made the bulk of his money portraying black people as every bit the stereotypical thugs and gangstas the average Klansman assumes them to be has the audacity to act like he’s Nelson Mandela. Listening to his ramblings was as painful as getting fucked with No Vaseline. I mean, are we really having a serious racial discussion with an almost fifty year old man who still calls himself Ice Cube? That’s like discussing climate change with Snoop Dog.
Then after Cube spoke, shockingly another rapper was on hand, as Biggie Smalls gave a ten-hour self-aggrandizing diatribe about slavery and how this silliness is somehow a “teachable moment” for white America. Oh wait that wasn’t Biggie, it was some walrus calling herself Symone Sanders. Yeesh. Talk about a black cloud. Her blithering was entirely unworthy of note except for the fact that after she finally finished, Maher immediately ignored her annoying soliloquy by asking Ice Cube, “Hey we should plug your record before we run out of time.” Friggin hilarious.
The only person on the show making any sense of any color was the aforementioned phony Tyson’s son, who texted his pops something along the lines of, “Some white boys have the pass to say “nigga”, but the coolest white boys are the ones who never use that pass.”
I agree with fifty percent of that statement. Some white boys surely do have a pass to say “nigga.” I guess since Dyson Jr. halfway spilled the beans already I’ll just come out and say it: I happen to be one of the privileged few honkies with my own official Black Guy Card.
That’s right. Most white people don’t even know such a magical item exists, but if you remove a thorn from a black guy’s paw you get one in return. I happened to procure mine from none other than Mad Stupid Jason Epstein himself, before he so hilariously passed away. The way it works is I get up to five free “niggas” every weekday, and up to ten on weekends. Of course, I could always trade one “nigga” for two “coons” and a “spook” but the conversion rate can sometimes get confusing, so I tend to keep it simple and use my niggas wisely. And sparingly.
Exceptions do occur however. I remember when I had two black roommates who always had their cousin over, and guess what color he was? Well before you knew it, my house was chock fulla “niggas.” And they said it a lot too. I mean, they’d begin and end every sentence with “nigga”, plus sprinkle in a few extra niggas throughout for good measure. A normally nonsensical statement like, “Nigga, I told that nigga, nigga,” was as commonplace as, “How do you do?” Quite frankly, with such rampant nigga abuse, I started nigga’ing myself at an astonishing rate. Finally the addiction overtook me and I overdosed on niggas. Even worse, I almost had my Black Guy Card revoked, but luckily I knew someone down at the DMB (Department of Muthafuckin Black Guys).
Like I explained earlier about Ice Cube, I grew up almost exclusively hearing the word “nigga” in rap songs by black artists. Other than Huckleberry Finn, hip hop was where I was introduced to the word for probably the first thousand times. In his statement to Maher, Ice Cube claimed that saying the word “nigga” is never acceptable for white people. Well fuck that and fuck him. Ice Cube isn’t the goddamn Language Police. And he says “Fuck Tha Police” anyway. The fact is, both white and black people my age have an entirely different view of the word than someone who grew up in the dogs and fire hoses era. Unlike my generation, older folks simply can’t see the world through nigga-tinted glasses.