Quotes from “The Sellout” by Paul Beatty

the key to doing boring tasks is to think about not so much what you’re doing but the importance of why you’re doing it.
‘I’m so fucking tired of black women always being described by their skin tones! Honey-colored this! Dark-chocolate that! My paternal grandmother was mocha-tinged, café-au-lait, graham-fucking-cracker brown! How come they never describe the white characters in relation to foodstuffs and hot liquids? Why aren’t there any yogurt-colored, egg-shell-toned, string-cheese-skinned, low-fat-milk white protagonists
sharing the same brain but not the same thought process.
I understand now that the only time black people don’t feel guilty is when we’ve actually done something wrong, because that relieves us of the cognitive dissonance of being black and innocent, and in a way the prospect of going to jail becomes a relief. In the way that cooning is a relief, voting Republican is a relief, marrying white is a relief—albeit a temporary one.
okum: An Anthology of Afri
It’s the acceptance of contradiction not being a sin and a crime but a human frailty like split ends and libertarianism. Unmitigated Blackness is coming to the realization that as fucked up and meaningless as it all is, sometimes it’s the nihilism that makes life worth living.
I’m high as hell, but not high enough not to know that race is hard to “talk about” because it’s hard to talk about. The prevalence of child abuse in this country is hard to talk about, too, but you never hear people complaining about it. They just don’t talk about it. And when’s the last time you had a calm, measured conversation about the joys of consensual incest? Sometimes things are simply difficult to discuss, but I actually think the country does a decent job of addressing race, and when folks say, “Why can’t we talk about race more honestly?” What they really mean is “Why can’t you niggers be reasonable?” or “Fuck you, white boy. If I said what I really wanted to say, I’d get fired even faster than you’d fire me if race were any easier to talk about.
A long time ago, my father taught me that whenever you see a question on the cover of a news magazine, the answer is always “No,” because the editorial staff knows that questions with “Yes” answers would, like graphic cigarette warnings and close-ups of pus-oozing genitalia that tend not to deter but encourage smoking and unsafe sex, scare the reader off
Foy gave me the same sorrowful look the missionaries must’ve given the jungle heathen. A look that said, It doesn’t matter if you’re too stupid to understand God’s love. He loves you regardless, just hand over the women, the distance runners, and the natural resources.
facing off with a man with four advanced degrees who spoke ten languages, none of them black except French.
You’d rather be here than in Africa. The trump card all narrowminded nativists play. If you put a cupcake to my head, of course, I’d rather be here than any place in Africa, though I hear Johannesburg ain’t that bad and the surf on the Cape Verdean beaches is incredible. However, I’m not so selfish as to believe that my relative happiness, including, but not limited to, twenty-four-hour access to chili burgers, Blu-ray, and Aeron office chairs is worth generations of suffering. I seriously doubt that some slave ship ancestor, in those idle moments between being raped and beaten, was standing knee-deep in their own feces rationalizing that, in the end, the generations of murder, unbearable pain and suffering, mental anguish, and rampant disease will all be worth it because someday my great-great-great-great-grandson will have Wi-Fi, no matter how slow and intermittent the signal is.
If Stevie had a Latin motto, it’d be Cogito, ergo Boogieum. I think, therefore I jam.
Anything to take my mind off the heat, the endless cotton fields, and the thought of how bad slavery must have been for someone to convince themselves that Canada wasn’t that far away
And although like most black males raised in Los Angeles, I’m bilingual only to the extent that I can sexually harass women of all ethnicities in their native languages, I understood the gist of the message. Those kids were fucked.
Someone in California sneezes, you don’t say “Gesundheit” but “Too many Mexicans
As a historical erasure it was quite an effective tactic, because no one knows anything definitive about Hitler other than he was the quintessential asshole, humorless, and a frustrated artist, though you could say that about almost anyone.
“Don’t worry, these things are like all-terrain vehicles and damn near amphibious. Between the mudslides and L.A.’s shitty sewage system, a bus has to be able to slog through anything. If we’d used Metro buses to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-day, World War II would’ve ended two years earlier.”
But if you really think about it, the only thing you absolutely never see in car commercials isn’t Jewish people, homosexuals, or urban Negroes, it’s traffic.
“It’s not even an emotion. What does being offended say about how you feel? No great theater director ever said to an actor, ‘Okay, this scene calls for some real emotion, now go out there and give me lots of offendedness!’ ”
Sometimes I think that there’s no such thing as measurable intelligence and that, if there is, it definitely isn’t a predictor of anything, especially for colored people. Maybe morons can’t become brain surgeons, but a genius can be either a cardiologist or a postal clerk. Or a bus driver. A bus driver who made some fucked-up choices.
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)