On Tuesday evening I took myself to the Ruby Diamond Concert Hall in Tallahassee to hear New York Times columnist, Charles M. Blow, speak as part of the Golden Tribe Lecture Series. As someone who faithfully follows Mr. Blow’s twitter account, I was eager to be in the audience.
Mr. Blow does not mince words. He does not give the simple answers to issues of social justice that we crave. He does not pat us on our respective backs for seeking those answers from him, having grown weary of white folks relying on African Americans to come up with those answers. In effect he said that we all have access to the same reading material that he does. We can see for ourselves the white privilege inherent in our society. That the calls to action are there, but largely unheeded.
My allergies kicked in right in the middle of Mr. Blow’s talk. My nose started running, and I was frantically searching for tissues in my purse to stem the flood and to catch any sneeze-related fallout. I mostly succeeded. Don’t ask.
Afterwards, back at Doright Manor, I sat in the darkness on the couch, blowing my nose and sneezing, hoping I wasn’t disturbing Studly Doright. I wondered if perhaps my allergic reaction was a physical response to Mr. Blow’s message. Was I fighting to understand or was I in denial? Probably a bit of both.
I have some reading to do, starting with this:
If you have an opportunity to hear Charles M. Blow speak, I encourage you to go and to really listen. Take your tissues, just in case.