Wow, that's depressing.
Well, it could be, but hipster neighborhoods are really fun and nice. I wouldn't worry about that especially.
I worked in a bookstore when the first book came out. Several times a day, people would freak out and make their friends buy it.
There are only two ways that people take pleasure from it. One is the recognition of yourself. The other one is recognizing a pretentious asshole: "Hey look, there's you!" You described the latter.
I also noticed people who weren't white identifying with the book.
I'm talking as much about class as I am about race. Anybody who's not white who grew up in an upper-middle-class environment anywhere gets the joke right away. [In the US] there's something about this class that's still seen as "white."
Do you think it still holds true that people don't want to talk about class in America?
Yes. People don't want to talk about class or race in America. It's understandable — it's a tough conversation to have. Realistically, if you want to change as a white person, you're going to have to make some not-fun sacrifices. Trading in a Mercedes for a Prius? We like that sacrifice. That's good times. But legitimate, real sacrifices where jobs and college admissions will be denied you simply because of a need to level the playing field, those are not fun to make.
Christian Lander reads at Harvard Book Store this Saturday, January 22
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