The more things change, the more they stay the same

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Thinking Twice: RACE
The Stanford Review

C. Matthew Snipp, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity
Stanford University

Last week, we inaugurated our first African American president, and coincidentally our first mixed race president, and our first Hawaiian president. The first of these three events captured the public imagination while the other two have passed with barely a comment, and for good reason. Few Americans know the sordid history behind the acquisition of Hawaii. Fewer still have parsed what it means to be multiracial in America. But most Americans are well aware of the travails of African Americans, from slavery to Jim Crow to the Civil Rights movement.

Trolling the news outlets since the November elections yields two seemingly dissonant messages. One is that Obama’s election signals a new era in race relations—that we are living in a “post-civil rights” era, an era of “color blindness.” The New York Times recently published a glowing story about an interracial couple who suddenly have found it less awkward to have to conversations with their friends about racial differences. In contrast, others are quick to point out that racism is alive and well in America, and that Obama’s election will mean little for changing the racial partition that has existed in this country since its inception….

Read the entire article here.