Myrtle Beach, the location of the last GOP debate, is the only place I've been called a nigger in my face by a white person. Well, to be honest, it wasn't exactly in my face. Let me explain: I went down there in 91 for spring break. I went with a group of students from my small and dreary Pennsylvania college. I shared a room with this group. At the end of our first day there, I walked to a quiet spot near the crowded motel, lit a cigarette, and stared at the unbeautiful sea. A moment into the smoke, a white woman approached me and asked for a cigarette. I gave her one and hoped she would continue on her way for two good reasons: one, I really wanted be alone; two, she was ugly. But she stayed put and smoked and talked.

Suddenly from a passing car: "Hey, what are you doing with that nigger." On hearing this, what upset me most was the hicks actually thought I was romantically tied with this ugly woman. That was a deep insult. I wanted to yell: "I have nothing to do with this woman, I'm from the city, she is not my type, please feel free to save her from the nigger."

The car was gone before any word formed on my lips. I turned and saw the woman's face was the picture of mortification. She profusely apologized for her race—we're not all like that, times were changing, people would learn to live together. The more she apologized, the worse I felt for thinking bad things about her appearance. Life is so complicated.