What I’m about to say has nothing to do with the above photograph. The photograph is beautiful. The horse has turned its back on us. That’s all we need to know.
The play I saw a few weeks ago by David Mamet is not about horse races. It’s about race in the way most Americans prefer to think about it: black & white people. (Or black vs. white people, for that matter.) How someone can write a play about race in America in 2010 and continue to act like our population consists entirely of black and white people is beyond me. But that’s not what this post is about.
The play starring James Spader, David Alan Grier, and Kerry Washington is about a law firm that agrees to defend a wealthy white man who’s accused of raping a young black woman. Taboos and chaos ensue. The play certainly was entertaining, even thought-provoking in its examination of white guilt. By the end, I felt it had more to do with guilt and shame than one might expect. I liked that. James Spader and David Alan Grier gave brilliant performances. Kerry Washington is really pretty.
And even though I absolutely enjoyed the play (Mamet’s dialogue is poetry), I walked out of the theatre wondering if the play was relevant. I still hadn’t made up my mind until a few days ago when someone posted the following comment on this blog:
How can any fool call this black supremacist kow towing anything but…Yes its propaganda of racism…to kick white ass, kiss black ass, cringe before black racist thugs, swoon before the black criminal who stole the white house?
All you scum who lick up black spittle will soon know what kick ass really is.
So many of us despise, you lying little despots and hypocvritical two-faced extensions of all you claim to be against, hate you even more!
Now the insane racist, black racists, are in charge of the insANE asylum. Each of you deserve the ass kicking you will receive.
Me? I’ll kick YOUR black supremacist commie ass , ideologically and publicly.
Your days of tyranny are numbered .
Bring it on snake!
I’m not quite sure what sparked this person’s outrage aside from the fact that I’m a black person who often talks about poets of color. (Oddly enough, he doesn’t seem bothered by my being gay. I guess racism & homophobia don’t always go hand in hand.) What matters is that this person’s comment has reminded me why I write, why plays like “Race” still serve a purpose, and why I need to continue doing what I do.
And for that, I am grateful. Whoever you are out there, thanks for the pep talk.
I’m going to write now.