How personal is this for McWhorter?
I was lucky as a black Urkel: Having inherited my mother's sharp tongue, I did not get called "white" for liking school. But I do recall one Asian kid who gave me a hard time for being "smart" once in eighth grade. Somehow I came up with "Okay, Rex"--yes, Rex, go figure--"but one day you're going to be asking me for a job." That did get to him somehow, and I received no slapping-up, beating-down, or snapping-upon.
But I still wish I could have said something about Barack Obama.