This is probably the best essay I’ve read in a long, long time. Just read it.
Well written, but what he feels? That stinks. And I have believed that the ethnic, racial, age, sexual orientation, sexual identity, religious, and often gender attributes of a writer are mostly invisible to the reader. The focus is the content rather than the author. It stinks that any of the author’s physical attributes have anything to do with judging a writer’s work among peers. It would be interesting to see thought bubbles in that room of writers. What beliefs, opinions, and even fears does each one have about being there and about the others there.
And touching a person’s hair like that? It’s intrusive and intimate, and not appropriate for a professional acquaintance. Why did that person feel she was entitled to do that? Does she do that to other people, too, I wonder? I guess some people are more touchy types and may touch to create more closeness, but it doesn’t appear it was welcomed. Poor judgment.
One thing he mentioned, that I loved, stood out as almost gospel-like: “I’m not alone anymore, I thought. And if I’m not alone, I’m not invisible.” It’s something that may resonate with many, regardless of race, and perhaps should be what drives us to not let anyone feel alone or invisible. What should be visible is what is not literally visible – the heart and soul of the person, not the color of their skin.
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