This So-Called Post-Post-Racial Life

March 17, 2009

I’m Just Not That Into Him: Open Letter to (Some of) My Family

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — pprscribe @ 1:21 am

Dear Fam,

Let me first say that I respect your right to be into him. Please enjoy, please laugh to your hearts’ contentment. If you take special meaning from his messages, then that is a wonderful thing. If he strikes a chord with you, if you recognize yourselves or folks you know in him–then that, too, is a wonderful thing. I will not deny you your right to be into him.

But I am not.

I do not find him funny. I do not relate to his message. I am just not that into him.


"Will have you in stitches!" Mikey aka DaSkinnyBlackMan in Iraq,

I am happy he is making money. I am happy that he is revealing to the world that there is a whole segment of the population that feels they and their needs have been ignored on screen–and that they have the $10 at the ready to drop on a film they deem worthy of their patronage. I am glad that he is employing all sorts of Black actors, old and new. I am especially glad that he has begun using his considerable pull to bring stories other than his own to the screen. I have every faith that he will continue to do so. He is definitely a man on a mission, and I respect his drive. I know it cannot have been easy for him, so I respect his perseverance.

But I am just not that into him.

I really do not care if he is straight or gay. Because I have known how everyday people have struggled behind straight masks, I wish more highly visible people would come out as gay and lesbian–careers and backlash be damned. I would love for the whole busloads of church folks who are his fans who have certain ideas about “homosexuality” to have to confront the cognitive dissonance that someone they love and respect, someone they perceive as 100% “Christian” is, himself, gay. But if he says he is not gay and tells Essence he searching for “Mrs. Right,” then I’ll take him at his word. I am annoyed at your attitude that to be thought gay is to suffer insult. To be thought gay when one is not is not insult, just mistaken. But I will let that pass for now, perhaps waiting for our next family reunion or big family dinner to get on my anti-homophobia soap box.

I don’t care–straight or gay, something else or in between, or none of the above. I am just not that into him.

Let me note that my being not into him has nothing to do with: me thinking I am better than you…me rubbing my degrees in your face…me reading about why Black people should not like him in “some book”…me being ashamed of women who are like his famous character…me not knowing people who are like the ones he depicts in his plays or films…me not being a church-goer…me being “not a real” or “not a regular” Black person…me wanting to start some “Black revolution”…me being worried about what “the White folks” will think… I have laughed at characters like his in the past and in the present. I think that kind of comedy done a certain way can be very humorous to me. But he, specifically, is not my cup of tea.

I. Am. Just. Not. That. Into. Him. Period.

When I tell you the (albeit) limited number of his works that I have seen, please do not tell me that I just have to see _________. I really do not want to see him go to jail. Nor to a family reunion. Nor to the marriage counselor. Nor to the neighborhood Kroger to buy eggs, milk and bread. I do not wish to see him go anywhere or do anything in any movie, TV show or stage play.

I love you, Fam. By choice, by blood, by marriage, by chance–we are One. That doesn’t mean we are same, but that’s OK. We’re not going to agree all the time on everything. But that’s OK. I love your homemade rolls, and your homemade hot tamales. Love your stories and your jokes and your funny old-fogey dancing. I love so much of what you love, and will tolerate much of the rest.

But not him. Please. Thanks.

Love Always,

Your sister/daughter/cousin/neice


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