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.