As a black man, my participation in this country’s society consists of mandatory social indoctrination, which demands that I accept that vital aspects of my identity are bad, morally wrong, incorrect, or otherwise unacceptable. No more.

Ever since I can remember, it’s been obvious to anyone who has encountered me that I’m not a part of what society considers America’s default race—I’m not white. I’m something else. Some other. I refer to myself and identify as black because I am—and society treats me as such, usually without exception.