The Black Body lived in an American city; he had a name. What was his name? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that he read Ta-Nehisi Coates. That means he understood White people; he knew White people were out to get him, and that they were also too stupid to understand that they were out to get him. Since they were so stupid, theft, exploitation, and enslavement was the only reason they had anything they did. They became police officers just to shoot uppity Black folks and didn’t even understand why; they just followed the fundamental belief systems of America because they did not have the intelligence to act differently. He longed to be like Malcolm X, who had overcome his fears and became a controlled, intelligent man beyond fear.

His single mother had other plans; she beat him constantly so he would live in fear. These beatings were followed by stern warnings that he would wind up like his father if he didn’t watch out. His father was in prison; his mother was determined that he would not go down that path. She beat him for everything and anything, including reading, because everybody knows that police shoot uppity Black men. His mother thought it better that he would be stupid for that reason, and also because she could get more government money if he was identified as “retarded” like his older brother.

Alas, it was not to be. The Black Body was just too good in school. He always had the best grades among his elementary school peers. When he was twelve, the principal, along with her mother’s case manager, begged his mother to enter him in the charter school lottery. His mother kept answering that she would not spend any money, but the other ladies kept assuring her no money was required. After an hour of this, his mother finally signed the papers. When the names were drawn, he had won.

And so his story began.


The Alt-Right Hero was born in the same American city as the Black Body, but in a different neighborhood, which meant all the difference in the world, or maybe not. He had a name; what it was is not important. What was important is that he listened to Richard Spencer. This means he understood the Jews. He knew the Jews were the reason he couldn’t have all of the nice things he wanted because they controlled all the money. Jews were also the reason he never had a girlfriend, because the Jews made sure that girls only went out with Black guys. You see, Blacks were stupid, so the Jews could control them without them realizing they were being controlled. He longed to be like Erik the Red, who discovered Greenland and probably had lots of sex with the Native and White women alike. In school, it was mentioned almost daily how White men raped women all the time, especially women of color. He longed to be one of those White men of yore.

His mother had other ideas. She beat him if she caught him looking at pornography, or at least what she would call pornography, which could be a female cartoon character in a bikini. His father looked at pornography, which is why she left him. It was because he didn’t pay child support that they couldn’t have nice things and not the Jews. His mother had him thrown in prison because of it, but much to her chagrin, this did not make the child support checks forthcoming. She was still determined that he would not grow up like his father and had a switch to help her.

The Alt-Right Hero liked Star Wars, Marvel comics, and of course, the History Channel series Vikings. What he didn’t like was school. Sitting still just was not for him, and he had been on Ritalin for as long as he could remember. That was just the start. Lithium, Haldol, Resperidol, Prozac, and many other pharmaceuticals were a big part of his diet growing up. Learning the difference between the brand names and the actual names of the compounds made him feel very intelligent, even if his mother really didn’t care and neither did the schools. He was in special education soon after he was on medication.

And so his story began.


The Old Man was an orphan. He forgot his name; he didn’t much like it when he knew it, although he called himself “Joe Smith” in America. He guessed he was born in Austria, for the psychiatric clinic in Vienna was the earliest place he can remember. He remembers Herr Doktor A, who taught him how to conform to the will of others; conforming to the will of others was the most important thing. The objective was to drill him so he could anticipate the will of others in advance, and punishment was swift and severe when he failed. (This was his interpretation of what was happening and not Herr Doktor’s.) He saw other boys like him sent to the Am Spiegelgrund clinic, from where they were never to return.

Chess was the only thing that made sense to him. Herr Doktor A taught him how to play. During these sessions, Herr Doktor put the switch away and let him be himself. Despite his strictness, it was obvious Herr Doktor was on his side. Herr Doktor did not want him sent to Am Spiegelgrund.

He was not eligible to join Der Hitlerjugend as a boy, or to join Der Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei as a man; he was eligible to join the army and be sent to the Eastern Front where he was taken prisoner. He was sent to Donbass. He was not released at the end of the war. Despite conditions harsher than can be described, there was something he liked about this culture: they liked chess. It was a game played even among the slaves mining coal in the Ukraine. Since he learned from Herr Doktor how to socially conform, he was able to learn the Russian language; he learned it primarily from a lapsed Jew from St. Petersburg who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time like the rest of them. Before he was supposed to be released, the Jew died, and the Old Man, still a young man, took his papers. The failed Nazi assumed the identity of the failed Jew and it worked. He learned an esoteric principle of socialism, national and international alike: you can be anything you want if you have the proper papers. He was released to St. Petersburg and got a job in a factory. After many years, he found out he was related to an a Russian emigre in America named Алиса Розенбаум and hence was eligible for a visa. The Old Man, who was in fact old by that time, was bored of his adopted homeland and decided to leave. His “cousin” was passionate and intelligent but too earnest and self-serious for his tastes. He learned to drive and got a job as a cabbie; he also hustled people in the park to play chess. Making it in America was not much of a problem for a man with his experience.


The Black Body was in class: AP-C honors physics class. The charter school deemed it very important to enroll more African-Americans in that class, so that is what he took.

The teacher, Mr. Stanton, was discussing black-body radiation and asked for the definition.

A Korean girl replied, “Electromagnetic radiation that depends only on the temperature of the emitter.”

Mr. Stanton replied, “Correct, and what equation describes the distribution of black-body radiation?”

“The Planck Equation,” said the same student.

“Correct again. Now, class, look in your Google classroom notes to find the Planck Equation and use it to tell me the peak frequency of a black body radiating at 5000 K.”

“It looks like this line,” said the Black Body.

“No, that is the frequency distribution, not the specific peak frequency,” said the teacher.

That was his life in his Charter School physics class. He was such an academic superstar in elementary school. What had happened? He knew it was institutional racism. He got the White teacher fired for the racist comments above; his classmates hated him because they said they disliked changing teachers mid-year. They thought the African-American woman who played Khan Academy videos to be an inferior teacher who would not prepare them for the exam like Mr. Stanton could. He knew it was because they couldn’t acknowledge their privilege. He stared them down like Malcolm X for the rest of the year.


The Alt-Right Hero tried out for the basketball team, but he was White. The coach was White too, but he had a long nose, so he knew what that meant.

The coach cut the Alt-Right Hero from the team. He knew it was because he was White. He knew Jews only thought Blacks could play.

The Alt-Right Hero went back into the locker room and shat in the urinal in protest. He was caught and placed in in-school suspension.


The Black Body walked up to the Old Man sitting in the park with his chessboard. He asked if he could play. The Old Man obliged.

The Black Body found himself down four games to none. He was disappointed. He told the Old Man, “You can concentrate on this game because you’re White. I always have to look out for police who might shoot me at any moment. “

“I have been shot at,” the Old Man replied.

“Whatever. At least you weren’t a slave for 400 years.”

“I have been a slave and not even I am 400 years old, so I doubt you are telling the truth. You can’t be older than 16,” the Old Man told him.

“I meant my people. White people like you never suffered. You have only caused the suffering of others. How could you have been a slave?”

“I was a slave in the coal mines of Donbass in the Ukraine. I was in a prison camp there,” said the Old Man

“So you’re a Jew? Well, your people have only suffered for twelve years and mine have suffered for 400!”

The Old Man sighed and groaned. The Black Body told him “Fuck off!” and left.


The Alt-Right Hero walked up to the Old Man sitting in the park with his chessboard. He asked if he could play. The Old Man obliged.

The Alt-Right Hero found himself down four games to none. He was disappointed. He told the Old Man, “Well I guess I suck at chess, but I’m really good at basketball, even though I was cut from the team because the coach is a Kike who only thinks Niggers can play.”

The Old Man replied, “I remember watching a basketball game back in ‘88 where a team full of Whites beat a team full of Blacks. I was disappointed in the outcome, for by that time I had come to embrace the values of this country, which was represented by the losing side.”

“You were rooting for the Niggers. Are you a Kike—I mean, a Jew? Do you remember those camps they put you in?”

“I was in a prison camp,” said the Old Man.

“Do you have one of those tattoos like other old Jews have?”

“No, they didn’t have those in the camp I was placed,” the Old Man responded.

“You’re a phony, like the rest of the Kikes. I’m sure all those camps were fake. In fact, you probably cheated me in chess just like you cheat everybody out of everything,” the Alt-Right hero said before walking off.


The Black Body was walking home after school. He was approached by a White police officer. Other Blacks were on the street to and got their cell phone cameras ready. This was it; he was about to be shot, but at least it would be recorded. He would be a martyr for his people like Tamar Rice and Michael Brown. However, he decided to do something different that people would really remember, so he unzipped his zipper and pissed all over the cop while the onlookers recorded it on their cell phones.

He was not shot. He was arrested. He was tried. He was convicted. He was sentenced to the local juvenile detention facility. He did not become a martyr to his people, but he became a YouTube sensation.


The Alt-Right Hero was in in-school suspension. It was not fair. He sneaked some matches in his school bag. He was determined to live the life of a Viking Berserker, so when the teacher had to leave the room, he started a fire in the trash can right after he shat in it.

Following the fire department, the police were called. He was arrested. He was tried. He was sentenced to the local juvenile detention facility.


The Black Body met the Alt-Right Hero in the local juvenile detention facility. One of them called the other a Jew and they fought.

Who started it? Who won? What happened to them?

Who cares?

They had identities, not lives.


The Old Man began teaching chess to three young boys in the park. They had names. One was White and named Henry; one was Black and named James; the third was Mexican and named José. Those things didn’t matter to them. It was all about the game. The Old Man taught them as much about chess as he could, but that was only the beginning. The boys learned much more history than their teachers knew. A few of their teachers thought the Old Man’s stories were fake until the boys showed him evidence that substantiated his claims.

They also talked of literature. The boys were inspired to read Kafka, Chekhov, Solzhenitsyn, Pasternak, and many others, often trying to learn the native languages. The Old Man helped them with that, too, and José taught the Old Man some Spanish in return.

They had lives, not identities.

When the Old Man died, the boys and their families were present at his funeral. The boys learned that the world was a bigger and more complicated place than they had realized, but they also learned they had the tools to master it. Their parents were just happy they could spend time away from screens and yet not get into IRL trouble. What those boys were to become was the Old Man’s legacy; it was the only one he ever needed.