Maniac kept trying, but he still couldn't see it, this color business. He didn't figure he was white any more than the East Enders were black, He looked himself over pretty hard and came up with at least seven different shades and colors right on his own skin, not one of them being what he would call white (except for his eyeballs, which weren't any whiter than the eyeballs of the kids in the East End.)
Which was all a big relief to Maniac, finding out he wasn't really white, because the way he figured, white was about the most boring color of all." (16.15-16)
Grayson had a way of jumping into a subject without warning; it was during Maniac's dessert that he abruptly said, 'Them black people, they eat mashed potatoes, too?'
Maniac thought he was kidding, then realized he wasn't. 'Sure, Mrs. Beale used to have potatoes a lot, mashed and every other way.' (24.4-5)
He knew he should be feeling afraid of these East Enders, these so-called black people. But he wasn't. It was himself he was afraid of, afraid of any trouble he might cause just by being there. (38.4)