Sure, the original article discusses race at some length (the edited one less so). But when I mention being propositioned by a prostitute in my neighborhood, I also mention that she was African American. As the professor pointed out, among other things, I (1) didn't really know whether she was African American, African, or where she was from, (2) seemed to link her race with my repugnance for her proposition, (3) offered fodder for the old mythologies regarding black women's sexuality, and (4) showed my incipient vulnerability to thinking racially by mentioning her race at all, especially when the bulk of the article does not mention the race of women (or most of the men) I discuss there.
Of course, I would like to say "No, no, no!" And in fact, her second and third critiques, while understandable, did not ring true to me the writer. The truth of it is that if anything I find women of a darker persuasion more attractive than women of a pale persuasion. That such feelings themselves betray a certain racialist framework I do confess, with a sigh.
But the professor's first and fourth critiques rang very true, her fourth most of all. Why mention the woman's color? What purpose did it serve? What did it tell the reader about me and my own universe? As I told her in an email, the lesson I take from this experience is that I am more than ever a white male still in transit regarding issues of both race and gender equality.
Finally, the online article in its original version (quite a bit longer than the CBE Mutuality version) has been edited by me here to remove the mention of the prostitute's race. I am currently unable to change it on another site (Cornerstone Magazine) due to a foul technical glitch locking me out of the article database (sigh!). And as a historical note only, the article was originally given as a 2005 seminar at the annual Cornerstone Festival's "Gender Revolution" tent.