49 Wake Forest L. Rev. 87 (2014)
Rodrigo's Equation: Race, Capitalism, and the Search for Reform

handle is hein.journals/wflr49 and id is 93 raw text is: RODRIGO'S EQUATION: RACE, CAPITALISM, AND THE
Richard Delgado*
I was hopping awkwardly up and down on one foot in an effort
to remove my remaining shoe while trying not to drop the pile of
notes and law review articles I had brought to read on the plane,
acutely aware of the impatient young couple behind me and the
glinty-eyed TSA inspector sizing me up nearby. Just then, as
though by magic, a familiar voice from behind caused me to start.
Professor! the voice said. Let me help you with those things.
I looked up to see the tall, smiling figure of my young prot6g6 and
Rodrigo! I exclaimed, slipping the tight shoe off with my finger
and fumbling to lower the handle on my new carry-on suitcase.2
What a sight for sore eyes! I bet we're going to the same place.
Realizing that I had merely stated the obvious and feeling more
than a little foolish, I shook his hand warmly and let him help me
ease my belongings onto the conveyor belt. On seeing two men of
color, separated by many years of age, enacting a fond greeting, the
inspector eyed us even more suspiciously than before, while the
couple behind seemed happier, realizing that I was getting help and
would not be slowing them down much longer. I motioned them to
go ahead of me.
I haven't seen you in ages, I said, as he deftly slipped his own
backpack onto the roller. Are you travelling alone? He nodded. I
* John J. Sparkman Chair of Law, University of Alabama School of Law.
J.D., U.C.-Berkeley (Boalt Hall), 1974.
1. See Richard Delgado, Rodrigo's Chronicle, 101 YALE L.J. 1357, 1357
(1992) (introducing Rodrigo, my young colleague, alter ego, and friend). For
details about Rodrigo's origins, interests, and career, see infra notes 6-19 and
accompanying text.
2. See Delgado, supra note 1 (introducing the Professor, Rodrigo's
mentor, interlocutor, and straight man). As I have constructed him, the
Professor is a senior man of color teaching law at a school in the state next to
the one in which Rodrigo teaches. See id. Both characters are entirely fictional
composites of many persons I have known and not to be confused with any one
person, alive or dead.

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