Since America’s racial disparities remain as deep-rooted after Barack Obama’s election as they were before, it was only a matter of time until the myth of post-racism exploded in our collective national face.
–Peniel Joseph, The Chronicle of Higher Education (July 27, 2009)
In electing me, the voters picked the candidate of their choice, not their race, which foreshadowed the historic election of Barack Obama in 2008. We’ve come a long way in Memphis, and ours is a story of postracial politics.
–Congressman Steve Cohen, Letter to the Editor, The New York Times (September 18, 2009)
Race is not going to be quite as big a deal as it is now; in the America of tomorrow . . . race will not be synonymous with destiny.
–Ellis Cose, Newsweek (January 11, 2010)1
Are racial divisions and commitments in the United States just as deep-rooted as they were before the 2008 presidential election, largely eliminated, or persistent but on the decline? As the epigraphs show, one can easily find each of these pronouncements, among others, in the American public media. Believing any one of them–or any other, beyond the anodyne claim that this is “a time of transition”–is likely to be a mistake, since there will be almost as much evidence against as for it. Instead, it is more illuminating to try to sort out what is changing in the . . .
- 1Peniel Joseph, “Our National Postracial Hangover,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 27, 2009; Steve Cohen, Letter to the Editor, The New York Times, September 18, 2009; Ellis Cose, “Red, Brown, and Blue,” Newsweek, January 11, 2010.