There’s nothing quite like being on vacation halfway around the world and trying to explain American-style racism. As an African American, I am expected by the locals to be an expert on these matters. The backstory of every nation features different players, but the narrative is essentially the same: one group contests the humanity of another group or groups to gain power and privilege.

Part of what makes

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from TIME

TIME3 min readPolitics
Signs You Can Retire In 2018
MANY FOLKS TIME THEIR retirement to coincide with milestones—35 years on the job, say, or reaching age 65 or saving $1 million. But more than a number, you have to be ready, financially and psychologically. You may have dreamed of this moment for yea
TIME3 min read
Carmen Yulín Cruz
The mayor of San Juan, whose urgent demands for U.S. aid after Hurricane Maria shot her to political stardom, on what’s ahead for Puerto Rico
TIME7 min read
From Versace To Tonya, Toxic Certainty In Tabloid Stories
THE NEW FX SERIES THE ASSASSINATION of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story has a famous fashion designer in its title—but the show is much more interested in his killer. Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss), before he goes to kill Versace in Miami in 1997,