WHITE GUILT (W. GUILT): Whew! We’re so glad you could make it after the big National Book Award win, Ta. Is it cool if we call you Ta?
TA-NEHISI COATES (T. COATES): No.
W. GUILT: What about Haazy?
T. COATES: No.
W. GUILT: We can dig that.
T. COATES: Please stop trying to fist bump me.
W. GUILT: Sorry. It’s a bad habit.
T. COATES: Why did you ask me here?
W. GUILT: Most of all, we wanted to assuage our own guilt, by apologizing.
T. COATES: For what?
W. GUILT: For everything, bro!
T. COATES: You have to be more specific.
W. GUILT : Centuries of forced labor, mass incarceration, Iggy Azalea. You know, all the things that we’ve done to “your community.”
T. COATES: I see.
W. GUILT: We’re really broken up over this. We can’t even sleep at night. I mean, we can, but it’s tough. Thank God for ZzzQuil.
T. COATES: …
W. GUILT: [WHISPERING] We were wondering if… maybe… you could… forgive us?
T. COATES: Excuse me?
W. GUILT: It’s not a big deal. Just write something along the lines of, “Look, white people have done some awful things, but there’s a bunch of them who mean well. I totally and completely forgive them on behalf of my entire race.” What do you say?
T. COATES: No.
W. GUILT: Just hear us out. We feel that we’ve taken some big steps in the right direction, and want some credit.
T. COATES: Like what?
W. GUILT: Well, Barack Obama is president.
T. COATES: And?
W. GUILT: And a lot of white people voted for him! Like, a lot.
T. COATES: Uh-huh.
W. GUILT: So you’ll write the article?
T. COATES: Absolutely not.
W. GUILT: What! How can you not take into account those white-people-suck movies made by guilt-ridden white filmmakers? Like Lincoln and the one where Cuba Gooding Jr. becomes a navy seal diver despite Robert DeNiro being a super racist. I think you’re forgetting a white woman eats feces in The Help.
T. COATES: … The Help?
W. GUILT: Good point. What about 12 Years a Slave?
T. COATES: It had a black director.
W. GUILT: We’re sorry. We should have known that.
T. COATES: Yes. I’m going to leave now.
W. GUILT: Will you at least think about it? Remember, to err is human but to forgive is divine.
T. COATES: OK, let’s bury the hatchet that has been lodged in the backs of black skulls over the last 200 years. So… when can we expect the conservatively estimated 1.4 trillion dollars in reparations?
W. GUILT: …
T. COATES: Yeah.