You know … that guy


Colson Whitehead on … well, you know.

Most folks don’t know much about me, apart from the feeling of injustice that hits when I walk into the room with my easy charisma and air of entitlement. I understand. It’s weird when your government passes legislation, like equal opportunity laws, that benefits one single person in the country — me, The Guy Who Got Where He Is Only Because He’s Black.

People think I have it easy, but it’s surprisingly difficult being The Guy Who Got Where He Is Only Because He’s Black, what with the whole having to be everywhere in the country at once thing. One second I’m nodding enthusiastically in a sales conference in Boise, Idaho, and the next I’m separating conjoined triplets at the Institute For Terribly Complicated Surgery in Buchanan, N.Y., and then I have to rush out to Muncie, Ind., to put my little “Inspector 12” tag in a bag of Fruit of the Loom.

It’s exhausting, all that travel. Decent, hard-working folks out there have their religion and their xenophobia to cling to. All I have is a fistful of upgrades to first class and free headphones. Headphones That Should Have Gone to a More Deserving Passenger.

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