Sometimes as a politically engaged, progressive white man, I don’t know what to do or say around my Black friends, especially now.

A Black woman friend of mine some time ago put it this way. “You and I have been friends for a long time. We’re here in this cafe listening to jazz, because that’s what we want to be doing. Let’s just drink our wine and enjoy the music.”

In her friendly way, she was suggesting I be quiet for a while. She was also giving me permission to be quiet for a while.

I think that’s important sometimes.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.