1. In 2010, singer John Mayer gave an interview to Playboy magazine, in which he explored an ‘interesting’ philosophy regarding his penis and black women: “I don’t think I open myself to [black women],” he said. “My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock.”
2. Also in 2010, I wrote a piece about race (not necessarily racism) and online dating. It got a few comments, and I got a few emails. I went on Woman’s Hour to discuss the piece. You can read it here, if you like.
3. I like to watch Take Me Out from time to time. In case you don’t know, Take Me Out is a dating show that comes on Saturday nights on ITV1. It is hosted by comedian/actor Paddy McGuinness, who gently (and sometimes not-so-gently) mocks the intelligence of the 30 assembled women as they continue their quest for love on national television. Like a lot of my telly these days, I watch TMO with Twitter, adding commentary and reading the often hilarious tweets from my timeline. The longest-running joke is the fact that almost none of the black women on the show have ever been selected for a date. I am 30 years old, so maybe my memory’s already going, but I can personally only remember one black woman securing a date. One.
4. On February 4 2013, less than an hour after Beyonce finished a triumphant set at the Super Bowl Half-time Show, English footballer Joey Barton tweeted (and has now deleted) this:
And that’s when I murmured ‘enough, now’, clicked ‘Close Tab’, blew a long and involved raspberry in the general direction of Joey Barton, and sighed so heavily Toni Morrison offered to write a short story about me.
Listen up, because – in the style of Michelle off Allo, Allo – I shall say ‘zis only once.
HAVE A SEAT. YOU HEAR? JUST GO OCCUPY A STADIUM OF SEATS. TAKE A TOUR OF THE COLOSSEUM AND THEN TAKE AN EVERLASTING SEAT IN ITS LARGE ASSORTMENTS OF SEATING OPTIONS. PARK YOUR JANKY ARSE DOWN ON A PARK BENCH SOMEWHERE AND TAKE A LOAD OFF. FIND A CHAIR AND LAY ALL YOUR BURDENS ON IT.
SIRS. MADAMS. SIT. THE HELL. DOWN.
Joey Barton, thank you for condescending to offer your field for a game with the women who make up Destiny’s Child. I try my best never to speak for all black women, since, you know, we’re not a monolithic block, but following an emergency Black AGM (‘Sisters’ Branch) last night, I have been nominated to pass on some information. Here goes:
We, the Sisters, are not really “ones for you” either. We suggest you take that offer of a game and stick it, without muss or fuss, in a location where the sun does not habitually shine. We urge you to thoroughly, and thoughtfully, go fuck yourself.
I am not so naive or puffed up on ideas of my own (pretty fucking gorgeous) appearance that I start off with the assumption that everyone must fancy me and other women in the Mo’ Better Melanin Club. Fancy who you like, man. With any luck they’ll fancy you back. You’re “not really one for the sisters”? Oh, noes! *frets* WHATEVER SHALL WE DO? Here’s the thing: Joey Barton had no reason whatsoever to provide that little caveat at the end of his tweet. None. What does it achieve exactly? Is it a self-congratulatory ‘look how open-minded I’m being!’ signpost? Or is it a ‘look – lust has unlocked my racism curse!’ call for celebration? Why does/should it matter who you normally fancy? Shall we send word to Bey, Michelle and Kelly on their breakthrough with you? Fetch me Shadowfax – we ride at dawn!
And what is up with the use of that ‘the sisters’ tag? Is that to show us you’re ‘down’, Joey? Oh, you. Look how well that turned out for John Mayer, who you may recall, “is just very. V-E-R-Y“.
I just… what even.
Go home, Joey Barton. You are drunk.