André Leon Talley Clarifies the Meaning of Racism

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Andre Leon Talley. Photo: Charles Norfleet/Getty Images

At the 92Y yesterday, André Leon Talley was characteristically entertaining, dropping stories about Karl Lagerfeld giving him $50,000 for his 50th birthday ("And I never slept with him!") and how he came to peace with his personal style (“I decided if Marc Jacobs can wear a lace dress, I can wear a caftan or anything I want"). But as audience member Bethann Hardison, co-founder of the newly minted Diversity Coalition, looked on, he also delivered this statement:

You have to make people aware that they may not be racist but they are doing racist acts.

And there goes everyone's favorite excuse. He got a standing ovation.