Annette Gordon-Reed on a Post-racial America

Gordon-Reed:    Okay, so now we can stop talking about this race thing, we got a black president, it’s over, but, gosh, you can’t have a black… you can’t let him miss this opportunity and you can’t let black people miss this opportunity out of that fear, you know.  I mean and I can remember, you know, sort of thinking in the beginning or actually reading in the beginning and lots of people didn’t want him to run because they thought he might be killed, and so let’s not vote for him because if he does really well, but you can’t be ruled by fear like that.  You have to take what comes, you can, it’s a good thing.  It would be good thing if he gets to be president.  And there might be this downside, there might be people who say that, you know, racism is over but you have to fight against that.  You can’t, you know, miss an opportunity for one individual to become a figure of history like that and for all of us to participate in that out of your fears, which is that something we’ll deal with when we cross that bridge, when we come to it.  But don’t say he shouldn’t win because of out of your fear of what will come next.  I mean, we have some capacity to control or to work on what comes next.  Just go step at a time, I think it’s the best way to do this, but I understand the sentiment because it’s definitely going to be there. 

Question: What work remains to be done in race relations?

Gordon-Reed:    It’s chiseling away those subconscious notions about race education, sort of closing the education gap between black and white students.  You know, certainly, the financial stuff that’s going to affect everybody but that really would be the big, the next challenge is to try to have a racial politics that will spur people to sort of to understand that this is not… it’s not all over if we have a black president or even we don’t get a black president.  That’s something else to think about what happens if he loses, but, really, chipping away an unconscious racism and also poverty, structural poverty that disproportionately affects black people.  Black people aren’t the only poor people in the country, but there needs to be some way of linking, I think, I mean for blacks to make common cause with people who are… we’ve always wanted to do that.  I was mainly lower class white who have not wanted that, but really try to address economic issues in this country so that blacks can be raised as other people raised as well.

Annette Gordon-Reed says the work is not over yet.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Extreme opponents of GM foods know the least science, but think they know the most

New research on the public's opinion about genetically modified foods illustrates an alarming cognitive bias.

(Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Mind & Brain
  • A recent study compared the public's scientific literacy with their attitudes on GM foods.
  • The results showed that "as the extremity of opposition increased, objective knowledge went down, but self-assessed knowledge went up."
  • The results also suggest that, in terms of policy efforts to boost scientific literacy, education about a given topic alone isn't going to be enough.
Keep reading Show less