We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

In his review of Lawrence Otis Graham’s Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class (“The Wrong People,” 5/21), Ta-Nehisi Coates reveals that “[b]lack identity, like any ethnic identity, is more than a matter of simple genealogy; it also involves culture and politics. Fighting against white racism is at the heart of black identity…” Because the black elite of Graham’s book are not interested in this struggle, Coates concludes, “They are not a black elite, but a white elite in a Hershey wrapper.”

I admit that I have been sadly misinformed on this matter. I had always thought that black identity (as well as Asian, Hispanic, Anglo, etc.) encompassed a wide variety of traits and interests, some of which are not shared by the entire group. I also had no idea that black America’s wealthy “bluebloods” were not really black, but white. They just look black. (If I may take this one step further, might I suggest that there is some sort of conspiracy going on here. Perhaps a future X-Files episode will deal with this alarming situation.)

At any rate, I wish to thank Mr. Coates for setting me and my fellow Asian-Americans straight on this matter. (Yes, like true African-Americans, true Asian-Americans also think as one.)

Again, thank you so very, very much.

Woodley Park

via the Internet