I am not a racist. I have black people in my family. My aunt is married to a black man and he was invited to my sister’s wedding. Yes, I know that I am not my sister, but I would totally invite him to my wedding.
A lot of times black people just assume that I am racist. One reason is the way I look. I am pale white with blue eyes and flaxen blonde hair. I’m a Nellie Olsen looking motherfucker. If it were Prairie times, I have slave-owner written all over me. The second reason is I’m from Boston, apparently the racist capital of America. Forget the Bible belt, if you mention you’re from Boston and have a last name starting with a Celtic prefix, you might as well be wearing a hood. I try to tell people I come from the Kennedy part of Boston, not the Marky Mark part of Boston, but that just seems to make things worse.
I have black friends. I have a black director and black co-stars. I have even dined with the esteemed Baratunde Thurston, author of How To Be Black. We sat at the W Hotel’s Spike Lee table! I realize I’m name-dropping black people names and maybe that’s just desperate ways to get you to think that I’m not racist. Here are some more: My favorite indie actor is Don Cheadle. My favorite baseball player is David ‘Big Papi ‘ Ortiz. My favorite basketball player is Paul Pierce. My favorite football player was Asante Samuel until he defected to the Eagles. My favorite teacher could have been black if my University had hired any. That one’s not on me.
I don’t know how much more I can make it clear to you that I’m not racist. I like black people as much as I could like ANY human being. I mean I’m not much of a people person in general. As far as people go, some of the black ones I’ve met have been pretty great. I feel like maybe all this groveling is maybe sounding a bit racist but whatever I can do to convince you. You see, the other night I flinched.
I was booked on a performance with four other amazing performers at Comedy Central. Another performer that night was a wonderful and hilarious gentleman, an African American who did a piece on how white women are crazy, especially the ones he dated, and sometimes a little racist.
I, personally, had a bitchy tidal wave of a week filled with a disappointing dickbag, a hit-and-run car smash up, and pet cancer. I had to pull deep inside my good ole Scot stoicism that solders a steely shield and holds in the tears that come out every 200 years, like Brigadoon. That rock hard badassery got me through the show and helped me kick some ass.
In the swirl of the after party, I finally had a second to reflect on my horrible week and I got lost in my head for a moment. I felt a tap on my shoulder and I hunched my shoulders a bit. I turned around and saw it was the black guy from my show. Oh no! Not the black guy. Anybody but the black guy! He’s gonna think I’m racist and that I flinched because he is black. Sure enough…
“Oh sorry, I didn’t mean to touch you…”
I could have told him I didn’t know that it was him. Or that he had startled me. Or that my week had been like a piñata stuffed with human waste that had burst everywhere. I could have told him that.
But instead I made it worse:
“I have a bad shoulder.”
“You have a bad shoulder? Oh, it’s like THAT. That’s a new one. I’ve got to write that one down.”
“No really! I fell hiking!”
The fact was I did have a bad shoulder. I am a clumsy fool. But I’m no racist.
I asked him if I could give him a hug. He begrudgingly agreed. I took a running start and gave him a massive bear hug. It lasted so long that most people around us began to get uncomfortable. I think I would have given him a blowjob if it would sort out race relations. Hell, I think I would have given white guilt head to anyone in Affirmative Action at that moment just to smooth things out. For someone who doesn’t like most people, I sure do want everyone to get along.
You know what this means. I’m definitely going to have to vote for Obama again. That should prove to you that I’m not racist. I do love having a black president. I just really wish he wasn’t a Muslim.