January 28, 2008

the boundaries, they are not so clear

“You African. You Jamaican, but you’re African to me.”

After a whole buncha finagling, I get Studley there to listen to me explain that I find it offensive and I get to speak on it, even though I’m not African. He tells me he is African.1

Oh yeah? Where you from?


I appear to have won this round, so I get to tell him that I find it offensive to try to insult anyone based on who they are (female, queer, black, white, African, American, whatever) and can he please make future insults without dragging in some whole group of random people who aren’t involved?

He tells the original girl, “You a Monday. You know why? Because don’t nobody like Mondays. That’s what you are. You a Monday.”

I love this. I think it’s a fucking brilliant insult: not offensive, not profane, absolutely clear in conveying how inevitably useless the insulted person or thing is. Then she starts explaining why he’s mad at her. They went to a dance together and she wouldn't leave with him because she had a white boy's number.

“White boys fuck like poodles and they’re not circumcised.”

This is where Studley officially jumps the shark as far as I’m concerned. So I drag him off to the internet to show him that actually more white men are circumcised than African-American men and can he please make his insults without talking out his ass? Only the statistics I get are actually from San Francisco and somehow had slightly more African-American than white men in the survey sample circumcised. Whatever. Because this matters. Why is being uncircumcised something he objects to anyway? The world may never know.

Then I start in on how he knows how white boys fuck. Are you a white boy?

“I am not.”

Have you ever had sex with a white boy?

“Absolutely not.”

So the only way I can think of that you know how white boys fuck is that you’re watching porn, and let me just tell you, if you get your ideas about sex from porn, you’re going to be wrong all the time. You’re telling me you have no personal or academic experience about this. When you start having sex with white boys

“And I never will.”

or when you become a sexuality researcher, then you’ll have something to back up what you’re saying.

I love Studley, actually. He’s super-interesting, and wrote his college essay about a childhood featuring appalling dysfunction, and how he got out of the crazy through sports. He’ll also listen to me talk about stuff and say, “you right,” which I confess I enjoy. And sometimes I think he’s actually listening.

1. African and African-American are not the same thing at my school.

1 comment:

Abramorous said...

This has nothing to do with the humor of the story, but I really like the rationalization of not calling people queer, African, whatever, because it brings in a whole group of random people that shouldn't be involved in the discussion. That's much easier to "get" than the explanation that it's just offensive, or the "how would you like it if ..." argument (because a lot of people are really bad at predicting how upset they would be).