Visible Man

Colson Whitehead – The New York Times

Copyright The New York Times
… It makes the head spin, this talk of who’s elitist and who’s not. I’m confused, myself. For years, they said you can’t have this because you’re black, and then when you get something the same people say you got that only because you’re black. I mean, here I am, The Guy Who Got Where He Is Only Because He’s Black, and yet the higher up you go in an organization, the less you see of me.
It’s as if Someone Out to Prevent Me From Getting What I Worked For is preventing me from getting what I worked for. If only there were something — a lapel pin or other sartorial accessory — that would reassure people that I can do the job.
Some people say Barack Obama and I get everything handed to us on a silver platter. But we don’t let it bother us. We’re taking those silver platters and making them our canoes. Then we’ll grab our silver spoons and paddle to a place where people get us. North Carolina, maybe. Or Indiana. I hear Oregon is nice this time of year. We’ll paddle on, brother, paddle all the way to the top. …
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