Timothy Noah, master of self parody
Posted by Ron Coleman on August 6, 2008
I kept checking to make sure this wasn’t just something I missed on April 1st, but no:
When white people are invited to think about Obama’s physical appearance, the principal
attribute they’re likely to dwell on is his dark skin. Consequently, any reference to Obama’s other physical attributes can’t help coming off as a coy walk around the barn. A whole genre of humor turns on this reality. A Slate colleague informs me that an episode of the TV sitcom Happy Days (“Fonzie’s New Friend”) had its 1950s-era characters nervously discussing the fact that a black man in their midst was so … skinny. Was it true that skinny people liked fried chicken? That they were good at basketball? And so on.
No, really. Seriously.
I feel like a bit, fat idiot.