Celebrating Jeezy's divorce is weird
Even though the 'dark meat' comment from Jeannie Mai was admittedly offensive
One of the biggest mysteries in the world to me will never be solved. Easy Rawlins can’t narrow it down. Detective Poirot doesn’t know. And even on Ptolemy Grey’s best day, he’s not going to be able to give me a sufficient answer. I’ll never understand why people celebrate another person’s divorce (or breakup). Unless it’s a Chrisean and Blueface situation and abuse is involved, what is there to gain?
The latest celebration is between Atlanta rapper Jeezy and former talk show host/fashionista Jeannie Mai. Even if you don’t listen to the Ice Cream Man’s music (I 100% do not enjoy it) or loyally follow the now-canceled “The Real” talk show, you’ve probably seen this couple on social media platforms. I’m not even slightly surprised they ended up dating. Jeezy clearly had an eye out for non-black women (“Bad bitch with me and she's mixed breed”). In the same 2012 “Get Right” song, Jeezy even went as far as demanding people “Call me Mel Gibson, got a ‘brave heart’” — even after Mel Gibson went on a racist tirade (“If you get raped by a pack of n***ers, it will be your fault”) with his ex-girlfriend in 2010.
Then comes Jeannie Mai, who made the following statement during an episode of “The Real” a little over a decade ago about dating black men versus white men: “For me, dark meat on the side. White meat keeps me mean and lean.” And the reaction from the crowd and co-hosts Loni Love, Tamera Mowry-Housley and Tamar Braxton was exactly how I reacted. Not only was Jeannie Mai’s comment cringeworthy, but she was absolutely oblivious to how racist this line sounds. She tried to clean it up when Tamar Braxton told her how it sounded, and her “happiest” comment was a car crash too.
Still, with the pattern of some of Jeezy’s early lyrics, it’s not like he was much of a social justice advocate. I expected him to do exactly what he did: give her a pass once these two met and started dating. Apparently, all she had to do was know California rapper E-40’s lyrics and it’s all good from there.
All it takes is a one-on-one conversation and education
Would I, personally, have given a pass to an Asian man if I was dating him and found out he said this? I’m on the fence with this one. If he knew how horrendous his comment was and said it anyway, hard no. But if he was genuinely clueless at how harsh it came across — sorta like me repeatedly telling a story about an Asian college friend who left me chasing her empty car — and was not intending to be ruthless, we’d have to have a one-on-one conversation about how much words matter. In my case, it took a stone-faced Asian gentleman in the crowd for me to realize that my real-life story was also perpetuating a stereotype that completely went over my head.
Sometimes people just say dumb comments without ever intending to be racist while other people are abhorrently racist. A one-on-one conversation will quickly allow you to figure out who you’re talking to. I had to have one of these conversations with my former (Asian) landlord about a racist comment one of the (white) tenants made while I was renting a condo from her. She just flat-out didn’t get why I was so irate at him moving across the hall from me.
But I wasn’t in a romantic relationship with the college friend. I wasn’t dating the guy in the crowd. And I didn’t own any property in that condo rental. So in all of these cases, we could all get upset, discuss and go our separate ways. In Jeezy’s case though, he actually fell in love with Jeannie Mai in spite of the comment, married her and had a baby with her — after she spent 11 years in a prior marriage and was vocal about never having children. This wasn’t a flip decision he made to choose a non-black woman and “let her ride the dick like a ten speed.” He clearly wanted to be with this lady. She also apologized publicly for her comment and tried to explain how she meant for it to sound. For me, it is what it is. I wished them (and their gorgeous travels) the best.
Still, some women held a grudge. And these same women are cackling about how she deserved the divorce, offering a shoulder for Jeezy to lean on and immediately going on about how he should date black women anyway. It hasn’t even been two days since the news broke, and they’re celebrating a relationship’s demise. The last time I saw this much of a happy dance was when Keke Palmer and the father of her child were at odds, and once again, this crowd was picking out their favorite pom-poms. (Confession: I still blast the “Boyfriend” video and song all the time, but I also hoped they’d work it out.) I simply do not understand women celebrating breakups.