Once, long ago, there was an internet fight. Instead of being about race, it was about gender. And it started because there was a book, and that book was covered in penises male author names even though inside there were just as many female authors. The discussion/debate/wankfest became epic, but during the darkest part of it one of the people on the “other” side sent me an email asking if we could perhaps speak on the phone about the whole situation. We had that conversation, stuff was discussed in civilized manner, we both walked away still liking and respecting the other. I found that very valuable.
I often find person-to-person conversations about contentious topics valuable. I realize they are not always possible, but with the magic of the telephone or even my webcam-enabled Skype, they can happen.
So I’m making a limited-time offer — if anyone is interested in having a real and honest conversation with me about the issues raised in the current debate, be they from the core of it to the spiraling out of control reactions to rections to reactions, I am interested in having a conversation with you. If you’re in NYC, we can meet up for tea. If you’re in other places, we can arrange a time to call. I’m open.
If I have banned you from my blog or repeatedly expressed interest in never engaging with you again, then I ain’t talking to you anywhere else.
If you think that by talking to me you will gain Black Person Validation, don’t even bother. I am already trying to break certain people of the habit of treating me like a Special Black Friend, I don’t need to deal with it even more. I am not on top of the black chain of command or anything. So keep that in mind.
Contact link is at the top of my fluidartist blog (LJers, just click the permalink).
Update: As I was riding into work I wondered if I came off sounding like I am a person you should talk to, or should want to. Which is not the case. There are a lot of smart people involved, a lot of people who are feeling hurt, and a lot of folks willing to actually listen. I wasn’t even involved in a whole swath of the madness, so talking to me about it probably won’t help. If you’re keen for a conversation with a person over the phone or over tea, maybe try politely asking. You’d be surprised how many will say yes.
7 thoughts on “Taking A Stab At Sincerity”
Special Black friend? *tongue firmly in cheek* Thanks, but I’m trying to cut back.
I just consider you (one of) my Enviably Photogenic Friends if we’re talking about looks, and a brilliant woman with a sharp wit if we’re talking about what I see the rest of the time, which would be your words.
Tempest: If I was in NY I’d certainly take you up on that. I’ve always enjoyed (and learned a lot) from our individual conversation on controversial subjects. But besides that, I’d just love seeing you!
I would really like to talk to you sometime. Reading your blog and essays have taught me a lot–especially about how much I still need to learn. I don’t have Skype, but if we’re ever at the same con, I’ll buy you a drink and pepper you with questions.
What? Black People aren’t the Borg? You can’t speak for the collective??? Well, we’ll be getting you on the Special Friend bus later today. Resistance is futile!~
Good luck with this – I hope this works out well for you. It seems…brave – though I have no idea what the “argument” was (I work 60+ hours/week at my day job and I have small children). The fact that I make time to read you here and over at ABW speaks to how much you make me think (which I like). And to think, it all started with my crush on Captain Jack…
love & hugs from a total stranger,
I’ll be in New York mid-March. If you’re around at that time, would love to grab a coffee or a sandwich or whatever.
And no – you are not my “special black friend”, and I have zero interest in acquiring friends as though I were building up a collection of accessories. I like to think of you as simply my friend.
I’m not interested in having you as a Special Black Friend. I’m simply sorry that I’ve been an asshole dealing with you.
This is commendable. Person-to-person communication really does solve more problems when you can strip away all the stuff that comes with online communication. If you weren’t aware, however, (and I forgot entirely until I saw my FList) today may not be an optimal day to try to encourage sincere communication, at least from those people who read you primarily in LJ-landia. Not trying to be discouraging, just saying it might be useful to repeat this offer tomorrow or another day down the road.
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