Samuel L. Jackson made it into an issue of race when a white reporter confused him with Laurence Fishburne. I wouldn’t label the guy a racist. Blind? Absolutely. But not a racist.
“Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry,” yells a small elderly black woman who almost dropped her five red delicious apples out of excitement. In ear shot of the star-struck senior citizen as I was examining heads of romaine lettuce, my journalistic instincts kicked in and I pulled out my iPhone and turned her direction. Before I could unlock my screen and access the camera, she was standing in front of me asking for an autograph.
“Tyler Perry! You’re Tyler Perry aren’t you?” she asked. I chuckled – as this was the third time I’ve been mistaken for the Atlanta-based playwright by a black person – and sighed – as I didn’t want to break her heart. “No I’m not,” I replied, “I get it all the time though; I’m the other black guy.”
Oddly enough I’ve gotten used to the mix up. And although I don’t think I look anything like Mr. Perry, I don’t take offense to it.
So I actually agree and disagree with CNN Anchor Don Lemon, who yesterday during an interview with Erin Burnett said: “When someone is in our tribe, I think it’s particularly easier for us to tell them apart, because we’re used to their facial features.” Prepared for the backfire, Lemon, who admitted he’s often mistaken for former CNN Anchor T.J. Holmes, then added: “people do look alike” and “it’s not about race.”
I’ll start with what I disagree with. Just because someone is in our tribe—or of the same race—doesn’t necessarily make it easier to distinguish them. I’m a black man and I still confuse Blair Underwood with Dennis Haysbert, or Bokeem Woodbine with D.B Woodside; I can even see why someone might mistake Terrance Howard with Michael Ealy. And it’s not just with black men. I’ve always thought Will Ferrell looked a hell of a lot like Chad Smith, the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers—the two actually announced this week they will face-off in a charity drum battle, a move inspired by their close resemblance.
According to the New York Daily News, Ferrell jokingly stated:
“A lot of people think that it’s me playing for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But that would be an insult to Chad Smith. The truth of the matter is there is no Will Ferrell, only Chad Smith.”
People do look alike and it has nothing to do with race – or being racist for that matter; that’s where I agree with Don Lemon. Yeah, the video of L.A. entertainment reporter “confusing” Samuel L. Jackson with Laurence Fishburne was a classic screw up and deserved to go viral—given that there’s no close resemblance—but it definitely doesn’t deserved to be labeled racist or anything close to it. Seriously folks, it ain’t that deep; lighten up.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
Source: TBO Inc®
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