Post-racial America

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Post-racial America is a theoretical environment in which the United States is to be free from racial preference, discrimination, and prejudice. It was not until African American candidates began to run for office until debates emerged regarding race and politics.

    Colorblindness, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is defined as "treating people of different skin colors equally : not affected by racial prejudice." [1] The idea of colorblindness and the concept of everyone being colorblind started when the supreme court struck down a lot of the affirmative action policies. Because of this, we get political candidates like Clarence Thomas, who identified himself as being black for the purposes of getting a position on the supreme court, but then moving away from blackness after obtaining office. Colorblindness is a false consciousness because it leads you to buy into a system that does not exist or tat disadvantages someone. Colorblindness would essentially lead to white interpretation of black politics. One evidence of color blindness that led to false consciousness is the interpretation of Hurricane Katrina.
    Hurricane Katrina was a hurricane that struck the Gulf Coast of the United States of America in 2005. The city of New Orleans, Louisiana "was at particular risk because bout half the city actually lies above sea level. [I]ts average elevation is about six feet below sea level–and it is completely surrounded by water. [2] "Before the storm, the city’s population was mostly black (about 67 percent); moreover, nearly 30 percent of its people lived in poverty. Katrina exacerbated these conditions, and left many of New Orleans’s poorest citizens even more vulnerable than they had been before the storm." [3] White's interpretation of racial equality  was achieved as whites believed blacks needed to get over how the government treated the poor and those who are less fortunate as a result of Hurricane Katrina. As such, the government felt no remorse for preventing people from evacuating the city while encouraging others to come to the city. It can also be said that "poorer residents, whose homes may cost less to repair or rebuild have fewer alternative resource on which to draw and also have a harder time meeting program eligibility requirements based on income level and credit history." [4] Hurricane Katrina was seen as a catalytic moment. The citizens of United States of America believes that their country is not post racial, but that it is often presented in the media as being non racial, but the examples provided above; Hurricane Katina and the idea of colorblindness, proves otherwise.
    Racialized messages in campaigns contribute to the idea of post racial vs not racial attitudes. This is because throughout these campaigns, racial messages, racial cues and race appeals are in full effect. These attitudes range from using stereotypes to reinforce in equality and otherness, causing viewers to think in terms of underlying racial bias and to focus on people running for candidacy while using anti-stereo-typical messaging. 
    Black political participation; whether or not they participate in different ways
  1. BlackLivesMatter vs. #AllLivesMatter

One specific African American candidate is that of Mr. Barack Obama. Throughout this time period,race (human characterization) continued to play an important role in America's society. [5] Recent race based events throughout the country have left Americans gasping for a solution to these race based events. These events have only reinforced that race still remains in the United States and continues to define American people and perpetuate on the fact that they are not living in a post racial society. [6] An analysis of these events will only help both Americans and non-Americans alike in understanding how black public opinion, racial politics in the United States, the results of the campaign and the early days of the Obama presidency determine whether or not a post-racial America really exists [7]

Racialized politics in America[edit]

Before Barack Obama ran for presidential office and maybe even before he was known as the Senate of Illinois, "70 percent of black Americans believed the country to be unfair to blacks and the poor and that [all blacks; with the exception of black conservatives] were and are angry about what is perceived to be the political and moral blindness of white Americans. [8] Nearly all blacks still believed that racism was a problem in the United States of America...and as such, "a denial of the past and a refusal to discuss the ongoing injustices of the present will not, according to white Americans, lead to a blissful racial place in which everything is perfect." African Americans were much more skeptical than whites about Barack Obama's ability to attract sufficient numbers of white voters, and many were also unfamiliar with [the running candidate] even though he won a Senate seat in Illinois. [9]

'Post Racial America'[edit]

Some Americans believed that the election of Mr. Barack Obama as President of the United States would widen the acceptance of interracial marriage; which would signify that the nation had become post-racial.

President Barack Obama 2009-2016

[10] It is believed that "the idea of Americans living in a post racial society where all races are guaranteed the benefits of the "American Dream" and a society where race and racism no longer exists have almost disappeared in many minority communities." [11]

Many people question the point based on whether or not the United States of America is living in a post racial society; and many would respectfully reply with a hearty "No". This would essentially lead individuals to ponder upon the reason why race is so important in America and whether the American people can achieve a post racial society. According to Stephen Balkaran, there is no definite answer to solving America's post racial problem but America needs to prevail over the many obstacles in order for the United States of America to achieve the dream of a post racial America. [12]

Throughout the national campaign, it is said that current President Obama owes his win to the power of Black Nationalism. This was said because "it is more than likely that Senator Obama's support among African Americans would have remained divided without the continued...influence if black nationalism. [13]

Arguments Challenging Post Racial America[edit]

To say that racism is no longer an issue in the United States of America; seeing that Mr. Barack Obama, was elected president is far from being accurate. "The killing of a young African-American boy, Trayvon Martin, by an overzealous white Hispanic security guard who appears to have surrender to the dominant post-racial presumption that equates the culture of criminality with the culture of blackness" is a prime example of racism existing in the United States of America. [14] To support the claim that we live in a post-racial society does not support the fact that crimes such as these are still prevalent in a developed and thriving country. This goes against the norm because "crimes such as these are often isolated from a larger set of socio-economic forces that might provide a broader understanding of both the needless death of a 17-year-old black youth but also its relationship to a much more all-encompassing war on youth that is causing massive suffering and needless deaths among many young people in America." [15] Another example of post racism in America and "what happens when police shoot first and ask questions later" is the Death of Aiyana Jones. "In 2010 police tried to serve a search warrant to locate shooting suspect Chauncey Owens. After firing a flash bomb and entering the home, police officer Joe Weekley reportedly fired a shot that struck and killed Jones, who was only 7 years old at the time of her death." [16] With other severe and less severe cases present throughout America, it is quite clear that racism is far from.

Black Lives Matter Protester


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  4. ^ Dawson, Michael C. "The Obama Campaign and the Myth of a Post Racial America." Not in Our Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2011. 37. Print.
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  7. ^ Dawson, Michael C. "The Obama Campaign and the Myth of a Post Racial America." Not in Our Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2011. 63-91. Print.
  8. ^ Dawson, Michael C. "The Obama Campaign and the Myth of a Post Racial America." Not in Our Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2011. 63-91. Print.
  9. ^ Dawson, Michael C. "The Obama Campaign and the Myth of a Post Racial America." Not in Our Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2011. 63-91. Print.
  10. ^ Lee, Jennifer. "A Post-Racial Society or a Diversity Paradox?" A Post-Racial Society or a Diversity Paradox? N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2015.
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  13. ^ Dawson, Michael C. "The Obama Campaign and the Myth of a Post Racial America." Not in Our Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics. Chicago: U of Chicago, 2011. 63-91. Print.
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  16. ^'s_not_just_trayvon%3A_9_other_cases_that_prove_people_of_color_can't_safely_walk_the_streets_of_america

Further reading[edit]

  • Kaplan, H. Roy. (2011). The Myth of Post-Racial America: Searching for Equality in the Age of Materialism. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 1610480058.
  • Parks, Gregory. Matthew Hughey. (2011). The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America? Series in Political Psychology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199735204.
  • Rodgers, Walter. (January 5, 2010). A year into Obama’s presidency, is America postracial? Christian Science Monitor.
  • Tesler, Michael. David O. Sears. (2010). Obama's Race: The 2008 Election and the Dream of a Post-Racial America. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226793834.