Feature

How Obama is changing racial attitudes

In all the &ldquo;cacophonous commentary&rdquo; about this president, &ldquo;it&rsquo;s striking how seldom race is mentioned as an issue or even an attribute,&rdquo; said Eugene Robinson in <em>The Washington Post.

Eugene Robinson
The Washington Post

The most amazing aspect of the Obama presidency, said Eugene Robinson, is “what we’re not talking about.” In all the “cacophonous commentary” about this president, “it’s striking how seldom race is mentioned as an issue or even an attribute.” This is “nothing short of transformative.”

It’s not that our nation has suddenly bridged its racial divide or achieved a state of colorblindness. But Obama is showing the way to a different future. “Watching him in action, as he shoves out the chief executive of General Motors or exchanges small talk with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, we witness a daily demonstration of the irrelevance of race.” Stereotypes fade each time we see the tightly knit Obama family together at the White House.

Just three months into a historic presidency, it’s clear that Obama will ultimately be judged on the long list of ambitious goals he’s set for himself and the nation, including pulling out of the deepest recession in 80 years. Clearly, this will not be a merely “symbolic” presidency. “We focus on Obama’s ability, not his color. In doing so, we are a better nation.”

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