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The American Subplot: Colson Whitehead's Post-Racial Allegory in Zone One

The American Subplot: Colson Whitehead's Post-Racial Allegory in Zone One Grace Heneks The American Subplot Colson Whitehead’s Post- Racial Allegory in Zone One When Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, many people declared that the U.S. had become a post-racia l1 society. The conservative radio host Lou Dobbs, for example, said in 2009 that “We are now in a 21- century st post- p artisan, post- racia l society that is being led by those who are racial and those who are partisan” ( e Th Lou Dobbs show , November 12, 2009). 2 The Black novelist Colson Whitehead echoed these statements in a 2009 satirical op- ed for the New York Times. Mocking the idea of a post- racia l society, Whitehead claimed that in “officially” becoming one, the U.S. had “eradicated racism forever” (par.1). As the self-de clared Secretary of Post- R acial Affairs, Whitehead asserted that people of color simply suffer from a “branding problem,” and coined a new politically co - r rect term for people of color: “People Whose Bodies Just Happen to Produce More Melanin, and That’s O.K. or PWBJHTPMMATOK” (par. 4). He joked that his next official action would be to tackle popular culture, including http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

The American Subplot: Colson Whitehead's Post-Racial Allegory in Zone One

The Comparatist , Volume 42 – Nov 19, 2018

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Grace Heneks The American Subplot Colson Whitehead’s Post- Racial Allegory in Zone One When Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, many people declared that the U.S. had become a post-racia l1 society. The conservative radio host Lou Dobbs, for example, said in 2009 that “We are now in a 21- century st post- p artisan, post- racia l society that is being led by those who are racial and those who are partisan” ( e Th Lou Dobbs show , November 12, 2009). 2 The Black novelist Colson Whitehead echoed these statements in a 2009 satirical op- ed for the New York Times. Mocking the idea of a post- racia l society, Whitehead claimed that in “officially” becoming one, the U.S. had “eradicated racism forever” (par.1). As the self-de clared Secretary of Post- R acial Affairs, Whitehead asserted that people of color simply suffer from a “branding problem,” and coined a new politically co - r rect term for people of color: “People Whose Bodies Just Happen to Produce More Melanin, and That’s O.K. or PWBJHTPMMATOK” (par. 4). He joked that his next official action would be to tackle popular culture, including

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 19, 2018

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