Again with the Frederick Douglass holograms!

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So, so awesome...Here is Maureen Dowd on Obama:

Everywhere I go, some white person is asking some black person how they feel.

I saw one white customer quiz his black waitress at length at a chic soul food restaurant downtown, over deviled eggs and fried chicken livers, about whether she cried when Barack Obama won. She said she did, and he said he wept like a baby.

And

I saw three white women asking a black bartender at the Bombay Club, across Lafayette Park from the White House, if he was happy and what he thought about Jesse Jackson's flowing tears at Grant Park, given his envious threat to cut off a sensitive part of Obama's anatomy. "I think the tears were real," the bartender said.

And:

I saw a white-haired white woman down the block from me running out to strike up a conversation with a black U.P.S. delivery guy, asking him how he felt and what this meant to him.

And:

I heard my cute black mailman talking in an excited voice outside my house Friday, so I decided I should go ask him how he was feeling about everything, the absolute amazement of the first black president. If you don't count what Toni Morrison said about Bill Clinton, that is.

Hmm...waitress, bartender, UPS man, mailman. I'm sensing a pattern here. Is Maureen Dowd only concerned with black people who bring shit to white people? Wait? No?

It's cool that President-elect Cool has gotten everybody chatting, even if it's awkward small talk. And it's fun, after so many years of unyielding barriers, to feel sentimental.

"When suddenly CNN revealed its wall-sized announcement of the outcome, I experienced a blissful and unembarrassed rush of racialism," Leon Wieseltier wrote in The New Republic. "Only a hologram of Frederick Douglass would have excited me more."

But is it time now for whites to stop polling blacks on their feelings?

I'll have to call my friend Gwen Ifill tomorrow and ask her how she feels about that.

OK, so we have Gwen Iffill. I guess that breaks the mold. Still, Maureen may want to give it a week before she makes that call. I mean, I bet Gwen has a lot of "friends" calling her this week.

There is so much more snapping to be done here. (Dude, white folks are wishing for holograms--HOLOGRAMS--of Negroes!) But I'm a gentleman, and this is like taking a candy from a baby--a saucy, red-headed baby--but a baby nonetheless. Seriously though, sometimes it's OK to just give a pound, mutter "respect, respect," and keep it moving. When in doubt, just keep it moving.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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