Does having an African-American President mean America is Post-Racial?


27 thoughts on “Does having an African-American President mean America is Post-Racial?

  1. I do not think that having Barack Obama as president grants us the right to say we are “post-racial”. The issue of racism is still quite real for people in many areas around the United States, but I do agree that it has progressed dramatically in the last 50 years.

  2. Having an African-American president does not mean that America is “post-racisim”. Not every American citizen that voted in this election voted for Obama. Some literally only voted for Senator McCain to keep Obama out of office. Being in an interracial relationship, I still see racism today popping up all over the place. The issue of racism is getting better, but it still exists in our world today.

    • Thank you for your comment Alyssa! What are some ways you and your partner educate those around you who do not understand or embrace your interracial relationship?

  3. For me, having an African-American president is only an index of the continuing progress this country has made–not a sigal that the US is by any means “post-racist.” Even with the progress that has been America’s in the realms of race relations though, one still understands that we have so much work ahead of us as a nation.

    And, one more thing: I’m inclined to agree with the idea that we shouldn’t strive to be “post-racial” but “post-racist.” I think it’s a little quixotic to think that we can actually get pass the social construc of race. But then again, why should we efface or abandon our being, our distinctive histories, cultures and traditions–things inextricably linked to race? We shouldn’t, I contend, jettison difference in service of some romantic vison of human harmony. We are different and we are the same. I think we should strive for a “post-racist” country–one where the highlight of difference isn’t enacted for the sole purpose of the “power to divide.”

    “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.” ~Audre Lorde

  4. I graduated from RIT in 1979, and never obtain a yearbook. Many African Americans students protested by not buying the yearbook, because of a picture of a RIT fraternity dressed in KKK robes. I would like RIT to revised the 1979 yearbook without the picture of the students dressed in KKK robes. Is that possible? I don’t think having a black president will change the racist attitudes of many people here in the USA.,

    • Mr. Hines:

      I agree. Ideas are, perhaps, the most powerful entities known to man. Ideas about the world, human life, meaning or purpose, these constructs are very powerful. The long history of the idea of race is no different.

      The ascension of an African American man to the highest office in the U.S.–and thereby the highest office in the world, if we’re honest–will not erase or otherwise minify the idea of race, racism, or xenophobia. There is no messianic election that can, in itself, usher in that kind of social and ideological transformation. It takes people, on a large scale, to make the choice to put off any idea. Race and racism are no different.

  5. I have to say that Obama is not fully African American. He is a interracial man. His mother is White…why can’t anyone see that? Jesse Jackson is Black…Bill Cosby is black. These 2 men have Black parents. Until people get it right about Obama’s racial status, please do not dicuss it. It’s ridiculous.

  6. Fg:

    Maybe President Obama is “fully African American,” but he the first part African American man to hold the position. He certainly looks it, though I understand that phenotype doesn’t always tell the whole story. We call him African American because part of him really is–really comes from that history. And in American, whether a good practice or not, it has generally been accepted that having so-called “Black blood” in fact made one Black/African American. Wikipedia has a great page on it here:

  7. Some of the most intelligent people ever met in my life are Black and I love them dearly. In answer to your question of “Post Black Presidents..” I hope that if Obama is the any example of what we can expect from black presidents in the future,… that this be “post Racial” and “Post Black Presidents”

    It’s the mixture of races that makes us the most powerful nation in the world… Something for which we do not apologize and Mr. Obama seems to be reminded.

    Where? Are the true Americans when you need them ? Candie Rice ?
    Cowlin Powell ?

    Ricardo Viet Nam Vet.

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