Life Lessons With Jawn Murray.

Today’s lesson:  “I’m sorry you feel that way” is NOT an apology.

Okay.  Hypothetical situation. Let’s say I hit you in your face with a 2 x 4.   It hurts.  You cry and ask for an apology.  I say,”I’m sorry that hurt you.”  What exactly am I apologizing for?

Essentially, I’m saying that I’m sorry that your face was hurt by that big ass piece of wood you were hit with as opposed to ‘I’m sorry that I hit you in the face with a big ass piece of wood.’  In that apology, I take no responsibility and admit no involvement in your face being hurt by a big ass piece of wood.  In fact, I’m kind of blaming you for being hurt by it.  Maybe you should try having fewer nerve endings in your face next time.

That’s pretty much what this dingleberry Jawn Murray did on the interwebs last week.  Who is Jawn Murray, you ask?  He’s (apparently) a writer for AOL’s Black Voices and some kind of contributor to the Tom Joyner Morning Show or something.  Apparently he got his undies in a bunch because some people aren’t excited about Tyler Perry’s adaptation of ‘For Colored Girls’ (heaven forbid that all black people don’t fall to their knees and polish King Perry’s cock&balls with words of praise), and to express his angst, he turned to twitter and started talking sideways about black women, instructing their nappy asses to go get perms.  And also, lives.

So, yeah.  Lots of women, black women, with natural hair were pretty pissed at being verbally attacked (imagine that!).  So what does he do?  Well first he locks his Twitter page and hides like a real man.  And then he decides to take to YouTube to ‘apologize.’  In the video, he claims that the comments were a joke that “fell flat.”

Remember that illustrative example from earlier?  About being hit in the face with a big ass piece of wood?  Let’s apply it here.  Mr. Murray is essentially saying, ‘I’m sorry that your feelings were hurt by that joke I made,’ INSTEAD of saying ‘I’m sorry that I made a hurtful joke.’  (Let me also state that claiming that you were just playing around after you stick your foot in your mouth is soooooooo wack!).  He took not one single, solitary iota of blame or responsibility for what he said.  He didn’t acknowledge that what he said was wrong, or why it was wrong, or apologize for the actual words that were said.  He’s only sorry that we took it the way we did.

Now I don’t give two shits about this dude.  I didn’t know about his existence prior to today.  I don’t care what he thinks about me, in particularly and personally, but it’s the principle of the matter here. I mean, goodness gracious, I’m soooo tired of the never ending ‘shit on a black woman’ holiday that seems to be lasting a little too long online.  And to see it coming from other black people is just nauseating.  Like damn, can I get a freaking break??  It’s bad enough I get my ass kicked by racism every day, but then I gotta come home to my own and STILL get it?

Remember Don Imus?  It wasn’t alright when he did it. Nor should it be excused when a man of color does it.

AND ALL THIS OVER SOME DAMN TYLER PERRY!!  If this is what TP fans are like, let me add that to my list of reasons to keep my fucking distance.  Whatever people like Jawn Murray are repping, I want no part of it.  This includes AOL’s BLACK Voices.  Why am I gonna listen to some man writing about some black voices when he apparently doesn’t give a shit about half the black population?  I’ll pass. (I told them so, too–you can do that same by contacting Tariq Muhammad of AOL Black Voices at

Brokey McPoverty

Brokey McPoverty, aka Tracy Clayton, is a writer and humorist from Louisville, KY. She currently writes for BuzzFeed and lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter.

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  • Newbie

    I can understand why people are upset, it was a terrible joke. I wouldn’t be opposed to his firing if he worked for a reputable publication, but he writes for Black Voices. It’s one the worst ‘black culture blogs’ out, in my opinion. On a daily basis they publish articles that are 10 times more offensive to me than what Jawn said. In my opinion people should be pushing for the entire site to be shut down, but I guess getting an irrelevant gossip writer fired is much more important. We’ll see how that works out.

  • Darth Paul

    BVAOL in general is dubious. I have no love for that site.

    Also, reactive “apologies” are for fools. If I’m offended, I’m not interested in expressions of displacement, regret, or contrition. I’m interested in what’s going to prevent that offense from occurring again. In this particular case, nothing will. Can’t you see how much attention he got? Sh!t talk is gold lately.

  • LJ

    Hmph!!! This made me mad and I GOT A PERM. What a creep!

  • Lavern

    What he said is totally unacceptable. How can we say something when we are put down by another race, we how own black men are during the same thing and we allow it.
    Get rid of him!!! Come on people, if he’s allowed to continue lets Boytcott!!

    • how does one boycott a website?

      • brent

        An interesting question. The old media model was of course, to not listen/watch the radio/tv station and to boycott their advertisers. With web advertising that is not so straightforward because the advertising sources are so disperse and decentralized. Web advertising is purchased in such a way that most advertisers don’t really know or even care much where their advertising appears. So I guess boycott is not really much of a possibility anymore. Sad. I feel as if something has been lost.

  • Val

    There is no price to pay for this stuff. DL Hughley parroted Don Imus on The Tonight Show and he’s still working. So now every loser thinks they can get away with it too. And it looks like they can.

  • Hey, we give this stuff power by giving a damn about it. We also give the institutions that employ these people power by asking for the writer’s head, but if a random blogger makes a similar comment and no one notices. It’s as if the writer is legitimized because he writes for “somebody.” Look, we’re all on this WW thing saying dumb stuff (thanks to social media) so the ‘shock’ and ‘awe’ whenever someone says anything that a particular group finds offensive is becoming passé. It isn’t the statement, but the rationale behind the statement that is of significance. When we get our “undies in a bunch” we do nothing but feed the beast. The people who make these comments are very well aware of the nature of the responses their comments will likely provoke. Hell, they can probably write our responses for us. It’s becoming tiresome. The 24/7 news cycle is dominated by “Did you hear what he/she said? It was so offensive!” type stories instead of “Did you see what the leaders of this or that nation did?” type of stories.

    • brent

      I agree and more than that, I think the people who cause offense often manage to weasel out of it by kinda sorta apologizing for their language but not for the sentiments behind their choice of words. Its always kind of surreal to me. You’ll see say, Dr. Laura, take a beating over her particular nomenclature and eventually offer some mealy mouth apology by saying essentially that she should having chosen different words when expressing her racial animus. The problem is that for just about every one who drives the discourse, avoiding certain words is enough to get along.

      I am always reminded of an episode of the Boondocks whenever I think of this top. Its an episode where Riley is inadvertantly called a “niggah” by his school teacher and decides to turn it into a media circus. So a reporter is interviewing the school principal who makes it clear that there is a strict policy against such word usage.

      Principal: We completely disallow the use of that word. Instead we substitute phrase like the “N-Word” and the “S-Word.”

      Reporter: Whats the “S-Word?”

      Principal (underneath his breath): Spearchucker

      Reporter: How often do you have to use the word “Spearchucker?”

      Principal: No. Thats what I am saying. We don’t ever have to use it. We use “S-Word” instead.

      I swear I feel like that bit of dialogue captures our national discourse on racially “offensive” words perfectly.

  • Much ado about nothing, im my opinion. He wrote a stale, lame comment to his twitter followers. Those offended have just given it life and amped up his profile. Not worth raising a nappy hair of this head.

    PS I am happy to be nappy! So not offended by the word.

  • haiba

    I’m a big believer in the brain to mouth filter, and clearly, this imbecile doesn’t have one.