Dear Terrence Dashon:
I watched your interview with Hip Hollywood in which you professed disappointment with the Black media and Negroes at large over nasty comments you claimed were made about your interracial marriage. “I think as Black people we have to start helping each other,” you said. Right on, brother!
But wait a second now, you added, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say nothing at all.” Okay, so that just sounds silly. Yes, I know that’s the preferred way of life according to Big Bird and the late Mr. Rogers, but as a cultural critic and shade samurai I can’t always be nice. Besides, you’d be taking money out of my pocket with such a request. That’s not exactly nice, now is it?
Still, I can understand why you’d be sensitive to insensitive comments about your multiracial marriage. That’s not right, sir. It’s not right. At the same time, while there may have been some Blacks who have booed and hissed at your marriage to an Asian woman, I tend to take issue with people who present that as some sort of issue exclusive to Black folks. After all, prejudice isn’t limited to any fold, though surely you’d agree that racism is far more popular in communities outside of ours.
I mean, you did accuse your wife – whom you’ve since hooked back up with – of hurling racial slurs at you. As a matter of fact, your marriages haven’t ended so well – fueled with allegations of abuse and the like. Hey, I’m not saying it happened, but I am noting that it’s been reported. Yet, Black media and folks at large have been overall good to you before, during, and after whatever relationship you’ve had with non-Black women and whatever controversy that arose from them.
Black media raved about your Academy Award nomination and have thrown their money behind several of your film projects. After all, Black audiences tend to be the most loyal, are they not? When Black folks fall off the A-list, “who they gonna call?” After you finish singing The Ghostbusters theme since I just placed it in your head, say it with me: The Blacks.
The same goes for that time you told ELLE that your romantic dealbreaker is: “Toilet paper – and no baby wipes – in the bathroom. If they’re using dry paper, they aren’t washing all of themselves. It’s just unclean. So if I go in a woman’s house and see the toilet paper there, I’ll explain this. And if she doesn’t make the adjustment to baby wipes, I’ll know she’s not completely clean.”
Likewise, the comment you made about preferring someone who looks like you, as it feels “more natural.” You caught a lot of flack for such commentary, but you didn’t say, “White people, leave me be!” So right is right and fair is fair: Don’t do that to your skinfolk, kinfolk.
Speaking of, uh, interesting comments you've made in interviews, when Movie Fanatic asked about what it’s like to have steamy love scenes with Oprah. Your response: "To be able to make out with Oprah, to have love scenes with her and those tig ol' bitties — she's such a lovely and voluptuous woman... She's very, very, very beautiful, and that was wonderful."
Plus you told Hip Hollywood you’d like to do it again “if I can get her drunk.”
You know, maybe we should all be watching what we say.
Michael Arceneaux is the author of the “The Weekly Read,” where on the surface the shade might make the culprit want to curse, but trust, it comes from a place of concern. Tweet him at @youngsinick.