In Adam Gussow’s piece entitled “Starting the Conversation” I was shocked to see the following sentences at the end of the first paragraph: “The history, the feelings, the music.  They’re a black thing.  And when whites get involved, as they always do, black people suffer.”

Imagine if someone wrote:  “The history, the feelings, the music.  They’re a white thing.” About say, classical music.

Or if someone wrote “And when {name an ethnic group} move in, as they always do, everyone else suffers.”  

Would you publish such comments?  I doubt it.  This magazine has become so predictable. It is cover-to-cover woke virtue signaling and is doing nothing to promote the “unity” that the Left claims to desire.  Division by race is becoming the norm at the Ivy Leagues and I find it both sad and alarming.  It is not progressive and I think the PAW should do more to broaden its articles to include pieces that do not just cater to Leftist alumni.

And as for the overall message of the article, it seems to me that Black blues musicians have the freedom to choose whether and to whom they sell their music and also the venues in which they choose to play.  To imply anything else is to engage in a kind of racist thinking that Blacks are incapable of making and taking responsibility for their own business decisions.  And by his own message, isn’t Mr. Gussow is engaging in cultural appropriation by playing blues harmonica?  By what right does he, a white man, play “the blues”?  Is his involvement in the blues causing Black people to “suffer”?

I highly doubt anyone would claim that the blues are not “a black thing” and find this whole piece to be an exercise in strawmanning.  

Dallas Brodie ’84
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada