Post-racism verses the “real” Americans

In light of claims that we have reached a place of post-racism, Latoya at Racialicious aptly points out multiple examples of how this is actually untrue. In light of the events of Hurricane Katrina, the Jena 6, the Jersey 4 and the Duke Rape case, all highly public moments where racism proved to be a relevant factor, we can hardly claim to be in a post-racial country.

But the very nature of our conversation about whether or not America is post-racial proves that, in fact, it’s NOT. Just look at the competing narratives on the right and the left about what role race has played in this election. Last week I suggested that Colin Powell put his support behind Barack Obama at least partially because of race, whether he said it out loud or not, and that this support is understandable given the history of racism in this country. In response, there were some suggestions that perhaps this act was in itself racist. I want to talk about what comments like these tell us about how we understand race, especially in the context of this election.

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