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Playing Chess with Monkeys: 10 Little Race Stories begins in the 1980s and 90s—the era before President Barack Obama came into public view. These ten stories capture the thinking and behavior of Americans twenty years after the Civil Rights movement, setting the scene of Obama’s rise. It tracks the latest resurgence of white supremacy from a groundswell in 2000 with the election of George W. Bush to the tsunami the world has witnessed in the wake of the election and re-election of President Barack Obama.

Word from the Author

Far too many young people of color, like their white age peers, have been raised in ignorance of that part of our shared past. Their reality has been distorted and masked by the mantra they learned while growing up: “We’re all the same.”

Of course, those who can see and think for themselves know full well that’s a crock. They are not blind to the abysmal social, political, and economic inequities all around us.

Those fortunate few understand “We’re all the same” is language of aspiration—how we hope the world will one day be—and not yet language of description— how the world actually is today. They are the hopeful, young, mostly people of color. But they are also white allies who peeled off from their parents and voted for President Obama’s vision in 2008 and again in 2012. They are open to making “We’re all the same” be true.

Young folks of conscience, integrity, and any hope for a just future have their work cut out for them.

In the face of such intransigence, young critical thinkers understand we have only one choice for an inclusive future: to keep aiming the blowtorch of reason on race Neanderthals already in late-stage meltdown.