Guy Opperman is a British politician. He is unfortunately afflicted with a horrible condition you’re probably not allowed to name around me, one I call Negro Blindness.
It’s the terrible disease that causes a number of non-black people to believe that any black people with remotely similar physical characteristics look-alike. It’s often a stretch.
Yesterday, while on duty as a Conservative Party MP, Opperman was in the Commons Gallery attending a debate on the merits of drug decriminalization. That’s where he thought he saw Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli. Super Mario had finally broken his goalless streak, so perhaps Opperman thought he was looking for other ways to serve the community.
He was so sure of it that he tweeted out news of his sighting:
Problem is, Opperman actually saw this man, a 55-year-old dancer named Ken Hinds. Here’s Hinds (far right, in case you’re confused) doing his best Balotelli impersonation at Seychelles’ 2013 Carnival.
Luckily, Hinds is a “good sport” about this sort of thing and thought it was funny enough to pose for pics and comment on it.
“I had to disappoint [people asking if I was Balotelli] and say no – but he is a great man and I am only privileged to associated with man like that.”
Admittedly, there are occasions where people suffering from Negro Blindness can be funny: when it’s an honest mistake, or a comparison so off-the-mark it glides right past the possibility of casual racism and right into the realm of absurdity.
I don’t know where to put this one, but I do give respect to Opperman for not deleting his original tweet, despite everyone in Great Britain telling him he was an idiot. He just kept moving and went right along with his day.
When you’re wrong, be wrong loudly and stick by it. Lesson learned.