Pulling the Race Card From the Deck

Stanford's Richard Thompson Ford looks at black and white and sees gray

It's just before noon, and Sam's Grill rapidly fills with the power-lunch crowd. The clientele of this venerable Financial District eatery are unmistakably old-school, graying white men in business suits who order Manhattans and veal chops from tuxedo-clad waiters. Even here in San Francisco, a guy in line for a table jokes loudly about a gay acquaintance being "light in his loafers." Richard Thompson Ford steps in