Dr. Richard Turner
Participation year
Project title

Barack Obama: The Notion of a Post-Racial Society


President Obama’s office has triggered conversation regarding the concept of a post-racial society. Political pundits and media have spawned debates concerning the relevance of race in a U.S. society in which the president is Black and the population in about 2045 is projected to be majority non-white. Ironically, by examining Obama’s journey to the White House as well as recent racial controversies, the idea of a post racial society is merely a myth. “Post” meaning after and racial meaning “pertaining to race” implies that a post-racial society would be one in which society has progressed beyond the limitations of institutional racism. The following characteristics (with respect to race) in the United States society would be nonexistent if it reached a post-racial plateau: Segregation in terms of education, high incarceration rates, tolerance of historically racist and violent organizations such as the KKK, and an overwhelming distribution of wealth to whites. Unfortunately, the United States is not at that stage despite the first black president who is the epitome of the “mixed” race and “post-racial” generation that helped him achieve his election. Neither his election nor the “diverse” generation born after the civil rights era is sufficient evidence to conclude that the U.S. is beyond race.

Antoine  Gary
Univ of Connecticut