The Race Card, by Michael Davis
I’m writing a book on race and…hey, I’m serious. I’m writing the book with my boy Rusty Cundieff, whose long list of director credits include the films Fear Of A Black Hat and House Party 2. Rusty was also the director of The Dave Chappelle Show. I came up with the project three years ago and Rusty came aboard two years ago. Why has it taken so long? It’s one of those projects that just takes the time it takes (hear that, O?). The book is called Every Thing You Wanted To Know About black People But Were Afraid To Ask.
I had a fair amount of interest from some publishers over the last two years but lately there has been a flurry of interest from many publishers. I have no doubt the recent focus on race in the presidential campaign has made the book a lot more relevant.
The book is written by two black men and is based on our experiences.
Now, what does that mean? It means that two black men are going to talk about our experiences as black men. We do not speak for every single black person. Rusty and I are also professional television writers who LOVE to write comedy, so you KNOW what that means…fun, laughs and WHITE WOMEN!
If you have the ability to read and reason then you must feel like I do about racism and that is that racism is just plain stupid. I just don’t get racism at all. It’s stupid, stupid, STUPID.
I mean to dislike someone just because of the color of their skin is nuts. The only thing dumber is hating on someone because of his or her religious beliefs. What’s next, hating someone because they eat apples and you like oranges?
The rest of the world should take a page from the comic book world. We don’t see color. I have been to hundreds of comic book conventions all over the planet and never felt even the hint of racism. Now there were some times in the convention city where racism was a real issue.
Some years ago Denys Cowan and I were standing outside a hotel in Virginia watching a parade when a guy in a pick up truck showed us his confederate flag…and his gun. There was another time when Denys and I went to a restaurant in Rosemont Illinois across the street from the Chicago Con (this was years before Wizard took over, when the convention was in a Hyatt Hotel) when we got to the restaurant we were met by some bikers who kindly told us we were not welcome and it was not because we were comic fans. Lastly, I was at Dragon Con some years back walking from dinner with my then-girlfriend, who happened to be white, when a car filled with black women shouted to me that I should ‘Drop that white bitch.” I wonder to this day if they really thought by saying that I would have done it.
Rosie and I had just had a wonderful dinner at a fabulous restaurant in downtown Atlanta. We were walking back to our hotel hand in hand enjoying the night air. I smiled at her and she smiled back. Her smile spoke volumes. I loved her smile, I loved her. We walked for a bit more and we came across some street dancers. Rosie put her head on my shoulders and we watched together. How I loved our times together! When I was with Rosie I loved everything and everyone. I knew at that instant that we would always be together nothing would ever tear us apart… nothing.
I turned to Rosie and said “I will never leave you.”
I lifted my head to the heavens and swore silently “I will love this women forever.” Rosie looked at me and her eyes said the same thing, she would love me forever. Just then I heard the sounds of joy all around me! I heard the harps of the angels I heard…
“Drop that white bitch.”
I could not believe my ears! Someone was telling me to “Drop that white bitch.”
The car that those hated words came from had stopped a bit in front of us. I wanted to go over there and give them a piece of my mind when the car door opened and this man of a woman got out. To say she was ugly would not do her justice. Ugly would be a step up for this woman. A BIG STEP UP. Let me just say if she was the last women on Earth and I had the choice of being with her or a homeless man who smelled like pee I would be living on Brokeback Mountain.
She looked at me with what I assumed were eyes and said “What does she have that I don’t have?” I said “Teeth and hair, to start.” She said “I’m black – you should be with me.”
That was good enough for me I started to get into the car with Sasquatch Jones, simply because she was black.
“Michael!” Rosie shouted! “Where are you going?” “With my black queen!” I responded feeling my blackness more and more. “You said you would never leave me Michael!” Rosie cried in this disbelief. “ That was before I had a ride, I mean I just realized all my blackness! And stop calling me by my slave name. Call me… Mandingo!”
I got in the car on the passenger side. In the rearview mirror I saw Rosie standing there dumbfounded. So I loved that woman; so what? What’s love got to do with it? I’m a black man I need to be with a black woman… even one with a paw.
Who would do that?
The above scenario did not happen, but the following did. I was at a Hollywood party with my then-girlfriend Kamila. Kamila is simply stunning. Imagine a better looking Angelina Jolie and I’m not kidding. She’s Jewish and speaks seven different languages. Yeah, stunning and smart. You may be asking yourself how in the world could I score this 8th Wonder of the World? Simple…I got game. AND I happen to be Master Of The Universe.
So there I was at this Hollywood party when this really sexy black girl joins the group of people I was holding court with. Why was I holding court?
HELLO?!? M.O.T.U. here!!
This young lady was very attractive and started to laugh at whatever story I was telling at the time. Eventually she and I started talking and she asked if I wanted to leave and get a drink. I said only if my girlfriend could come. Clearly taken aback and perhaps a bit pissed that I did not make that clear the moment I started to talk to her she asked “Who’s your girlfriend?” I pointed to Kamila who was surrounded (what else was new?) by a group of men all vying for her attention. “That is not your girlfriend.” She said, a smile returning to her lips secure in her false knowledge that I must have been making a joke before. I yelled to Kamila “Kamila, are you my girlfriend?” Thus killing two birds with one stone, the guys who were drooling over her and the girl who did not believe me.
“Yes I am, Mishka, only yours!” She replied with her radiant smile.
Mishka was her pet name for me. I had (still don’t) NO idea what language that was nor did I care. I said; “Good, now go make me an egg sandwich.”
The black woman I was talking to spent the next few minutes just hating on Kamila and me. She insulted me by telling me that I was not black and that my girlfriend was just a ho I most likely was paying to be with me. Finally after three or four minutes of this she said “What does she have that I don’t have?” Now remember she had just insulted my girlfriend and me. I looked at her and calmly said. “She’s white and knows how to make an egg sandwich and when to shut up. But most of all, what I see in her is she’s not you.”
Black Armani suit: $2,500.00
Valet Parking Beverly Hills Hotel: $20.00
Tips to waiters at the open bar at the party: $40.00
Shutting up a bigot at a huge Hollywood party: Priceless.
There are some things in life that are priceless. For everything else there’s The You’re Not My Mastercard… bitch.
I am a very proud black man. I don’t care what color you are, you fall in love with who you fall in love with… period.
I love the vibe at comic book conventions. Ours is a world full of like-minded people who don’t see color. We see the world as it should be. We are content to be who we are and let others be who they are. We worry about important stuff, like whether Superman can beat the Hulk. He would beat him like his personal little BIC-TCH by the way.
When the movie Blade came out comic fans did not see a black superhero, they saw a superhero. I sawBlade at the Magic Johnson Theater in Los Angeles, the audience was 99.9% black.
That audiencedid see a black superhero. When Marv Wolfman’s creator credit came up on the screen I clapped like a mad man. No one else clapped and one guy turned around and asked me why I was clapping. I told him I knew Marv. He asked “Is he a brother?” I took a quick look around and saw most of the theater waiting for my answer. I said “He’s my brother.” That was met with heavy applause. The not to bright girl I was with (Ladies, I like smart women but sometimes you just don’t want to have a dialog, you just want to hear “Yes.” Hey! Fellas, she was FINE!) anywho – this genius turns to me and says loudly “You don’t have a brother.”
Spawn is the story of a black superhero and as far as I know there has never been any issue with the character being black. Some years ago at a DC Comics panel I asked Paul Levitz why DC had to make ‘The Invisible Kid’ black.” It was a joke and everybody in that room knew it to be such. DC Comics backed Milestone because they saw a business opportunity AND an opportunity to publish a black universe of characters. The funny thing about Milestone is we had just as many non-black characters as black characters.
I have not really talked about my time at Milestone. Maybe I will in my book, but for now just let me say this we were a true multicultural company. We were black owned but welcomed anyone in our doors. Heck, some of the best pitches about the Milestone characters came from white and other non-black creators. At our Milestone convention panels our audience looked like a group of polka dots.
The world could learn a lot from how comic book fans conduct ourselves. At comic book conventions if you see a black man walking with a white girl it means nothing. For that matter, if you see a white girl walking with a Wookie we don’t bat an eye.
My view of race is just that. My view. I’m sure that there are racists who go to comic book conventions just like they are everywhere else. There is probably some therapist reading this right now that can put a zillion holes in my extremely hopeful hypothesis. I know that there are ‘”experts” who will see this article as just another fluff piece about unity and give many reasons why the races can never be unified.
Really, smart ass? Tell that to my Asian lady or to the million interracial couples on this planet. I could care less that some experts will say I’m wrong, that comic book conventions are hate-free zones. I know how I feel when I’m at one and it feels good.
Too bad we can’t extend the reach of the convention to beyond its doors and make it last more than a weekend.
Michael Davis will be at the New York Comic Convention the week after next. He’ll be the black guy.