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Identity Politics

The Big Idea for Friday, February 24, 2012

The 2008 election of US president Barack Obama unleashed a torrent of media hyperbole about “post-racial America,” a theoretical environment devoid of racial tension or discrimination. An op-ed in the New York Times pointed out the dangers of this rhetoric, arguing that “the [‘post-racial’] concept becomes a shield against uncomfortable but necessary discussions, allowing people to say or think, “Why are they complaining about racism? We’re post-racial.”

Racial, cultural, and religious tensions are alive and well in the United States and elsewhere, and they continue to shape the lives of individuals and the fates of nations. Acknowledging them directly – through humor, debate, and legislative action – is the only means we have of moving beyond them. In his book How To Be Black, Baratunde Thurston employs Jonathan Swift-grade satire to advance the discussion of race in America. Newark’s mayor Cory Booker argues that racial diversity and cultural difference is part of what makes America great. And blogger Kris Broughton explores the bigot’s default defense: “I have black friends.”

 

Perspectives

  1. 1 If You Don't Read This, You're Racist.
    Jason Gots Think Tank
  2. 2 Is There Such a Thing as "Post Racial" Music?
    Keerthi Chandrashekar Think Tank
  3. 3 Cory Booker on Race in America
    Cory Booker
  4. 4 Why Does Having Black Friends Matter So Much To Racial Bigots?
    Kris Broughton Resurgence
 

Identity Politics

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