I don't know how to respond to Thomas Garvey beyond what 99 says here. I thought what Thomas wrote was ugly and uncalled for, mean spirited and also revealing of some attitudes that I think people should take note of and remember the next time they read a review he's written of a black artist's work. Guy Yedwab makes a big mistake in this post by assuming that Garvey-- who has proven time and time again to be nothing but a not particularly bright (if well read) internet troll-- is speaking in good faith. Trolls aren't interested in good faith conversation, they're interested in provoking and upsetting people for private enjoyment. A successfully provocative troll tactic on Garvey's part is his mindreader act, which he's applied to a lot of people... me, Lydia R. Diamond, 99 and a few others, including now, RVC Bard. This mindreader act takes on a particularly ugly and condescending tone when done in the context of a white man doing it to a black woman, and as much as Thomas wants to use homophobia in the black community as a shield on this one, it doesn't really fly for a few reasons. While gay marriage polls poorly in the black community in general, blacks in DC are the reason why gay marriage scored a major victory there, the black vote was grossly misrepresented in initial exit polling in Prop-8 and.. well... RVCBard is openly gay (Thomas doesn't seem to realize this, saying that "her people" are his "oppressors"... I suppose it didn't occur to him that a person of color could be gay).
As a result of not realizing that Garvey is, in fact, a garden variety troll, Guy seems to think that it would be better if 99 were less angry and tried to keep engaging with Garvey in "conversation". And used the f* word less. Well, all due respect to Guy, whose blog I really like but fuck that. You can't have any conversation with everyone. I've had more productive conversations about race in America with elderly white southerners who enjoy telling black jokes than I'm ever going to have with Thomas Garvey. And it wasn't because we agreed on much. It was because there was room for two people discussing things in good faith to move forward, to understand each other better, and to develop a vocabulary together where real conversation could be had.
The fun thing about having Garvey around for the past year is that if you just engage with him long enough, he always gives the game away, by saying idiotic things like "new plays are the achilles heel of the american theatre" when he never seems to actually see theatre outside of Boston (a city not exactly known for good theatre), or declaring rather passionately that white men have written most of the good plays while simultaneously arguing against any steps that might change that going forward without any understand of why that's problematic. But honestly? It's just not that fun anymore.