Finally, a Thin President

Colson Whitehead in the New York Times:

Screenhunter_01_nov_09_1000I never thought I’d see the day. What were the chances that someone who looked like me would come to lead the most powerful nation on earth? Slim.

Skinny Black Guys of my parents’ generation pinned their hopes on Sammy Davis Jr. His was a big-tent candidacy, rallying Skinny Black Guys, the Rat Pack and the Jewish vote in one crooning, light-footed package. He won South Carolina, but he never gathered momentum. In the end, the Candy Man couldn’t.

No one stepped up for a long time. Michael Jackson was black and skinny, but also pretty weird, and after a while he wasn’t even black any more, although he did retain his beanpole silhouette. We thought we had a winner in Chris Rock, but then he started in with his infamous “There are Russians, and then there are … Georgians” routine and we decided he was too raw for the national stage. So we waited. Some lost faith. Others gorged themselves on protein shakes, believing that America might accept a black mesomorph. And some of us kept hoping. We were hungry for change, if not brunch.

More here.