From a Tangle of Pathology to a Race-Fair America | Dissent Magazine

A Quarterly of Politics and Culture


"Post-racialists often confirm their perspective by pointing to black and minority appointments to the nation’s elite positions, including the election of Barack Obama to the highest office in the land. Indeed, the president himself often perpetuates this “post-racial” trope. In his speech marking the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Obama described how “legitimate grievances” had “tipped into excuse-making” and “the transformative message of unity and brotherhood was drowned out by the language of recrimination.” “And what had once been a call for equality of opportunity,” he continued, “the chance for all Americans to work hard and get ahead, was too often framed as a mere desire for government support, as if we had no agency in our own liberation, as if poverty was an excuse for not raising your child and the bigotry of others was reason to give up on yourself.”