Can I just say? I'm not mad at Tony Hoagland for writing a racist poem. I like a lot of Tony Hoagland's poetry. And someone has likened his faux pas in this poem as him having spinach in his teeth, which Claudia Rankine has merely pointed out, and which requires merely that he say oh, excuse me, and attends to his toilette. I'm okay with that.
Alls I want to do is make sure some white person (Jewish girl) on the intenest says very clearly, I don't feel this way at all. I don't feel more us v them with Black people than I do as a New Yorker with New Jerseyans, and I married one of them, a Hobokenite! Odds are, given our friends and neighbors, one of my two small children will marry a brown person and I will have tan grandchildren. Also true for many other Americans living in happening towns. The future is ours together and it is mocha baby, cope with it. Drink it in. Add some booze. Turn up the music. Dance. You are allowed to write whatever you want but if you make my girlfriends uncomfortable I'm going to bother you about it. And if they leave because they feel freaked by the bad vibe, I'm going with them.
ps Did you just come in? I'm talking about this.
pps I don't know Claudia Rankine though I think we met after a reading she gave once.
ppps Even though I don't know her, it means a lot to me that she doesn't leave the room. Whenever I try to deal with the "where are all the women at" and "where are all the brown people at" problem, and my efforts are not well received, I tend to back off into oblivion. So I worry that others, too, will "leave the room", just wander off and pay attention to the parts of life that don't make you fight for crumbs. So I'm putting up a little flag that says I agree with you, for what it's worth, what that poem says is gross and for many many white people (insert blur quotes) not at all true.