Originally published on Youthradio.org, the premier source for youth generated news throughout the globe.
Everyone wants one. Few people have them. Even fewer people distribute them. I am talking about the "Hood Pass." First a definition--a "Hood Pass" is a term used to describe validation in the black community, more specifically in the rough neighborhoods. So the rumor goes...a person equipped with a hood pass could venture off into an unknown black neighborhood without fear of having their pockets turned inside out or having guns drawn on them. But here's a bit of truth--there's no pass that will allow you access to every black neighborhood without being scrutinized.
Plus, the passes don't always last. They can be revoked. Now, I didn't get the memo that musician John Mayer had a hood pass, but it seems someone validated this musician in the black community. In a recent interview with Playboy magazine, Mayer made some comments about black women and flirted with the N-word, as many Caucasians with hood passes do. This is the fastest way to get a hood pass revoked, especially in February (Black History Month).
It works both ways. Many black entertainers have received validation within the mainstream white American population. They've found financial success. But black entertainers seem to fall faster within the mainstream. Think Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, and Kanye West. They are all examples of the fickle nature of these mainstream passes.
But you have to wonder what will happen to John Mayer? His remarks caused a media sensation. He apologized (which really just came across as protocol). But, I doubt he will lose any endorsements or invitations to awards shows. Then again, I doubt I'll see him in the hood either.
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