When I was in college and involved in the jazz community in Seattle, I helped to arrange a concert in my home town. Some of the musicians who traveled to the interior of the state to perform in that conservative agricultural community were black. One of my closest childhood friends came to the concert. Afterward, I took him to a party for the musicians. In the course of the socializing, I danced with a newer friend, the pianist Patti Bown. When I returned to the table, my old buddy told me, with considerable heat, that he was ashamed I had touched a black woman, although that was not the term he used to describe her.
I had not thought about that evening in decades. It came back to me last night as I listened to the next president of the United States speak to the world. I hope that my friend was watching, too.Related