Many commentators, both conservative and liberal, have celebrated the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States, claiming the election signified America has truly become a “post-racial” society. It is not just Lou Dobbs who argues the United States in the “21st century [is a] post-partisan, post-racial society.” This view is consistent with beliefs the majority of White Americans have held for well over a decade: that African Americans have achieved, or will soon achieve, racial equality in the United States despite substantial evidence to the contrary. Indeed, this view is consistent with opinions found in the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and elsewhere—attitudes that even the tragic events following the Katrina disaster had nothing to do with race.
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