News item: Miami Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito, who is white, was able to call his black teammate Jonathan Martin the “n” word because Incognito is considered an “honorary black man” in the team locker room, The Miami Herald reported.
Dear Honorary Black Man Selection Committee:
Hi, again. It’s me. Frank. Sorry to keep bugging you, but it has been three weeks since I submitted the rest of my paperwork, and I haven’t heard a peep.
So I’ve begun to wonder if maybe there was some problem with my application.
I realize I probably hurt my chances when I checked “No” to the question, “Have you ever been shadowed by store employees who presumed you were a shoplifter while you were browsing at a department store?”
And I had no idea that “DWB” meant “driving while black.” So please delete my answer: “dozen warm bagels.”
I know I’ve still got a lot to learn. And I realize I made a few mistakes on the quiz section of the application.
But I’ll bet a lot of other applicants thought “Jet” referred to a means of transportation instead of a magazine. Or that Booker T. Washington was associated with the M.G.’s, instead of the Tuskegee Institute.
And c’mon, are you going to really hold it against me that I put down “John Boehner” when asked to name a member of the Ohio Players?
So please, don’t hold it against me. Cut me some slack.
Nobody’s perfect. Even our first black president is half white.
As I said in my essay, I would be willing to delete all the Abba music from my iTunes library and work on learning a Teddy Pendergrass medley on my accordion.
The love I lost … um-pah-pah, um-pah-pah … was a sweet love. See?
And don’t tell me I’m too white.
Not unless you explain how former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was publicly declared an honorary black man at a Washington, D.C. middle school in 2003. Or even worse, how Al Gore was crowned an honorary black man in South-Central Los Angeles three years earlier.
Al Gore? Did you ever see him dance? That man’s sense of rhythm is so bad, it qualifies as a disability.
I don’t mean to sound so desperate. But if you bestow HBM status on me, I won’t let you down.
As I made clear in my essay, the purpose of me getting this honor isn’t to have free reign on using the “n” word. I have no interest in using that word in public or private, even in allegedly good-natured jest.
Claiming HBM status in order to hurl racial epithets at black people would be like trying to join the Shriners so you can mock old men in funny hats.
So I don’t understand how you approved a guy like Incognito, a coarse white guy who throws around the “n” word as if he’s auditioning for a role in a Quentin Tarantino movie.
I have too much respect for the struggles of black people in this country to abuse the honorary title for these purposes.
So why do I want it?
Because if you’re a 50-something year old white man in America, the only group that’s eagerly trying to claim you is the AARP. Membership offers come in the mail on a monthly basis and I keep ripping them up.
I’ve been clinging to the hope that there must be more to life than discount movie tickets.
So I’ve been holding out for a better offer. And then I heard about this honorary black man status. And I thought, “Now, that sounds more interesting. Fo-shizzle.”
By the way, if “shizzle” talk is no longer considered authentic, please strike that last comment.