Here is a useful post that Don Stryker found.
Excerpts below, but for the whole post click here
Tom Matlack asked his friend Steve Locke to write about race. He declined. Here’s why.
Thanks so much for asking me to contribute something to the Good Men Projec
t. It has been exciting to see how this project has gone from an idea to a reality.As much as I enjoy reading GMP and as much as I’d love to be a part of it, I don’t think I am able to write about race.
. . .
Black people can’t talk to white people about race anymore. There’s really nothing left to say. There are libraries full of books, interviews, essays, lectures, and symposia. If people want to learn about their own country and its history, it is not incumbent on black people to talk to them about it. It is not our responsibility to educate them about it. Plus whenever white people want to talk about race, they never want to talk about themselves. There needs to be discussion among people who think of themselves as white. They need to unpack that language, that history, that social position and see what it really offers them, and what it takes away from them. As James Baldwin said, “As long as you think that you are white, there is no hope for you.”
. . .
Tom, I have never, not once, thought of you as white. I think of you as a father, a husband, a brilliant businessman, a feminist, a Quaker, and most of all as a friend. You have never treated me as whiteness demands that you treat me. I don’t want to talk about race because if I do, I stop being an artist, an educator, a godfather, a gay man, and most of all, human.
So I appreciate the offer, Tom, I really do. I just don’t think I can write about it. I can write about art if you like. I know a lot about that.
Love to Elena and the kids, and to you, my man.
Reprinted with permission
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