So, as I am wont to do, I found myself doing chores and catching up on reality TV.
I had heard about Nicole Murphy/Andrea Kelly’s new show, but I also set myself up for disappointment by reading the title as “Hollywood Execs” not “Hollywood Exes.” Here I was excited to hear all about these new women fronted development projects, and the show is actually about moving on from your famous spouse. Oh well. I decided to give it another chance. During a routine conversation about vaginal lasering and rejuvenation, this exchange happens:
Sheree Fletcher: Wait a minute, let me ask you this. It’s my understanding that men really don’t care what it looks like -
Jessica Canseco: Well, that’s ’cause you datin’ a black guy, honey!
Sheree Fletcher: Now wait a minute…
Other women: What do you mean, what do you mean?
Jessica Canseco: From what I hear, black guys don’t go [down.]
Nicole Murphy: (in confessional mode) That’s garbage. That’s not true. At all.
Jessica Canseco: Black guys are like “eep eep eep” (makes chicken fingers). They do, I swear to God. They talk about black girl’s vaginas. It’s true.
Sheree Fletcher: (swoons) Our vaginas?
Jessica Canseco: You want me to get into all of this?
Sheree Fletcher: They complain about our vaginas to white girls?
Jessica Canseco: The guys I’ve talked to complain – that’s why they don’t want to go down.
Nicole Murphy: They had an infection then.
Jessica Canseco: I agree. It’s not everyone. It’s not everybody’s but you know…. Now let me tell you something. I’ve experienced that and I don’t agree.
Sheree Fletcher: Experienced what?
Jessica Canseco: A woman!
Sheree Fletcher: You went down on a black woman?
Jessica Canseco: Yeah.
Friend: Can I get another drink please?
Sheree Fletcher: (in confessional) Jessica needs Jesus.
The conversation quickly moves on, and this did not turn into any kind of racial moment on television – it was quickly chalked up to Jessica’s “say anything/do anything” personality. But there were definitely some palpable tension when the conversation turned to breaking down sexual experiences through a racial lens. It’s also worth noting that in a later episode, Andrea Kelly came out as a vocal fan of “the swirl,” noting that she was generally more interested in experiences with white men post-divorce. But this revelation didn’t cause the same awkwardness as Andrea was specifically talking about a personal choice, not generalizing.
Years ago, I had a black man-loving white girlfriend of mine say the following:
“It sounds so bad to say, but no wonder black guys don’t like sleeping with black girls. Yuck, all that scratchy, fake hair. No one wants to run their hands through that!”
She was that particular strain of non-black girl who felt that she could make racial comments to me, because I’m “different” somehow. You know the type. The comment was so extravagantly dumb, I didn’t waste my breath saying “you developed a philosophy on race and sexuality based on a drunken makeout sesh with a synthetic weave-wearing Jamaican chick at a BBQ? Vamoose, you square-hipped slut!”
What makes so-called “friends” comfortable enough to drop in racist generalizations when the topic turns to dating or sex?