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What has Barack Obama’s election victory got to do with race? A closer look at post-racial rhetoric and its implication for antiracism education

What has Barack Obama’s election victory got to do with race? A closer look at post-racial... Our charge in this article is that it is becoming almost impossible to speak about race after Obama’s election victory because for many Canadians and Americans, the election of Barack Hussein Obama as the first African American President of the United States ushered the US into a post-racial era. This thinking not only obfuscates any discussion about race and racism but also ignores the historical and contemporary evidence of racism in the United States. For those of us living in Canada, we cannot help but examine the post-racial rhetoric and its implications for antiracism education in Canada and the United States. The article asks these questions: if race is analytically reductive and has no intellectual validity, then what is the social significance of race in the era ushered in by Obama’s election victory. How do we address the limits and possibilities of defining race as an ascribed status linked with physical characteristics of skin colour and pigmentation while engaging race and social difference in a power and conflict analysis? How do we contextualize concepts such as ‘race,’ ‘racism,’ and ‘post-raciality’ to the broader process of institutional and structural transformation in the era ushered in by Obama’s election victory? Our article invites complex and multiple discussions on these questions and their implication for antiracism education in Canada and the United States. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Race Ethnicity and Education Taylor & Francis

What has Barack Obama’s election victory got to do with race? A closer look at post-racial rhetoric and its implication for antiracism education

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References (81)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1470-109X
eISSN
1361-3324
DOI
10.1080/13613324.2011.645576
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Our charge in this article is that it is becoming almost impossible to speak about race after Obama’s election victory because for many Canadians and Americans, the election of Barack Hussein Obama as the first African American President of the United States ushered the US into a post-racial era. This thinking not only obfuscates any discussion about race and racism but also ignores the historical and contemporary evidence of racism in the United States. For those of us living in Canada, we cannot help but examine the post-racial rhetoric and its implications for antiracism education in Canada and the United States. The article asks these questions: if race is analytically reductive and has no intellectual validity, then what is the social significance of race in the era ushered in by Obama’s election victory. How do we address the limits and possibilities of defining race as an ascribed status linked with physical characteristics of skin colour and pigmentation while engaging race and social difference in a power and conflict analysis? How do we contextualize concepts such as ‘race,’ ‘racism,’ and ‘post-raciality’ to the broader process of institutional and structural transformation in the era ushered in by Obama’s election victory? Our article invites complex and multiple discussions on these questions and their implication for antiracism education in Canada and the United States.

Journal

Race Ethnicity and EducationTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 2013

Keywords: race; racism; post-raciality; antiracism

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