'The Sellout,' By Paul Beatty

March 2, 2015 12:03 PM

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It's difficult to pin down the exact day when post-racial America was born. Maybe it was when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law, or when Thurgood Marshall was appointed the first African American member of the Supreme Court. Maybe it was when Barack Obama was elected president, or the first time a white person claimed to be "colorblind." It's honestly hard to tell, because as we keep seeing proved again and again, "post-racial America" is completely indistinguishable from what came before.

Enter the narrator of Paul Beatty's new novel The Sellout. When we're first introduced to him, he's sitting in front of the Supreme Court, openly smoking marijuana and being berated by a furious associate justice. His crime, as he explains it to a police officer: "I've whispered 'Racism' in a post-r...

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