What I meant to say was, I only partially agree that race is an important aspect of an individual's identity.
In race's defense, I can only say that "difference" does what little it can to colour our lives in pleasant ways, but this seems more than a bit superficial - and all the more so when it is applied (as it so often is) as the core of an individual's identity, analogous to so many of America's sub-cultural phenomena that revolve around mass-appeal clothing franchises (self-identity-as-t-shirt).
I typically see matters of racial identity as more a force responsible for subverting individualism. Most social constructs have a tendency to espouse group-think, standing in opposition to individual soul-searching techniques of identity construction. If you're black, you act black; if you're white, you act white; fail to do so and up goes the collective eyebrows of the social cliques.
The brilliance of the classic individual or outsider is subsumed within the construct(s) of the social. So it would be if I were more concerned with "being American" than I were with "being myself", or just thinking all of the time about more important things as I do. Since the death of the real social movement there is now the matter of racial identity being at least partially manipulated and commidified by media or other powerful influences. A commercial for Ford trucks sells a particular American social identity and there are people that buy it for the purpose of establishing a self-identity. This could be likened to a sacrifice of authentic identity (via individualism) at the request of a the faux-social (i.e. capitalist spectacle). Clinging to any social identity informed by a mass, whether it's the media industry or the last vestige of a social (in this case, racial) climate, can create a total identity crisis, if only because these broad-image reality configurations are so deeply unsatisfying to the real human underneath all of the layers we have to maintain.
Honest identity can only be found in the genuine human experience, outside ideas of race or whatever else the identity-peddlers are pushing.