From David Samuels’s profile of Obama in this month’s Harper’s:
He is living rent-free in an building historically occupied strictly by whites, fighting his battles and taking their money, yet in all this he is invisible—and he knows it. He is invisible because people refuse to see him. What they see is a reflection, in mirrors of distorting glass—a figment of their imaginations. He knows that even an invisible man has a socially responsible role to play, yet his sense of the limits of that role have caused him to overstay his hibernation. He is heir to a habitual and sometimes crippling sense of constraint that is partly his fault and partly ours.