Nothing about this political vision was new. It was the power of Obama’s biography that gave the rhetoric new appeal.
Recovering black radicalism
Race in the United States is marked by a fundamental paradox. On the one hand, there has been considerable progress: segregation enforced by the rule of law is a thing of the past, and segregation at the level of mainstream culture, though persistent, is considered a scandal. On the other hand, today’s postracial America of Kimye and Pharrell is still the era of the New Jim Crow and entrenched black poverty. Diversity in elite universities exists alongside de facto residential segregation, and a black president administers a minority-dominated prison system.
September 2, 2008
Today, one can and should hope for an American dream that truly includes all Americans.