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Post Racial America in the Age of Obama

04/01/2015 08:53 am ET | Updated May 27, 2015

At no other time in our country's great history has an idea of a post-racial society caught the eye of many Americans; yet this vision has neither materialized nor even blossomed. Many argue the emergence of an African American candidate has fueled the debate regarding where race and politics fit in America. The increased expectations that America would transcend race and that racial attitude would undergo a fundamental change, despite this expectation it has not. Race continues to play an important role in America's society, recent race based events throughout the country have left us gasping for a solution for America's social cancer. These events have only reinforced that race continues to define who we are as Americans and perpetuate the fact that we are not living in a post racial society in the age of Obama.

As we all looked at the swearing of the nation's first African American president into office, the idea was that America was willing to put its ugly past behind and move towards a post racial society becoming a more racially tolerant nation. The idea that America in the post racial Obama's presidency would become a melting pot that we constantly reminded off and often embrace remains a distant dream. Despite this idea of a post racial society, race and racism continue to be alive and well in America and the fact that we are not living in a post racial era continues to be a major disappointment in our country.

As America slowly but surely confronts the issue of race, it becomes quite clear that race still matters in America. As we entered the 21st-century silent and not overt segregation exists in our school systems, employment, poverty, healthcare, prison system, immigrant communities, and other sectors of societies. It also permeates our society in ways we don't even realize and is defined in every American public policy. Integration of schools, hotels, workforce, parks, public places and other avenues of society has left a blind eye to many of hidden racial disparities that are prevalent in American society. Race and racism continues to perpetuate in our society despite having our first African American president and recent events throughout the country only reinforce the significance of race in America.

The idea of Americans living in a post racial society where all races are guaranteed the benefits of the American Dream and a society where race and racism no longer exists have almost disappeared in many minority communities. African Americans and other minority groups remain one of the most underrepresented communities in schools, workforce, and other sectors in the American society. The issue remains why are we not living in a post racial society? Why is race so important in America? Can we achieve a post racial society in America? There is no definite answer to solving our post racial problem but here lies some of our obstacles towards achieving the dream of a post racial America.

First, any discussion of race among Americans illicit a very cautious and complicated reaction; many of whom often shy away from any constructive dialogue. Second, admitting that we have a problem; a nation that is in denial and is sleepwalking will never wake up, and thirdly, many Americans refuse to acknowledge that racism is a societal problem which can be only resolved by having more open dialogue on race and discussion on diversity in America. Only conservations about the truth, the need for reconciliation and America's acknowledgment of its past wrongdoing can lead to a more racially tolerant society in the 21st century. Thus, here lies the problem of why post racial America has been lost in translation and why race still matters.

Race relations have taken away the best of who we are as Americans and what we can become as a society. Failure to talk about America's social cancer, failure to admit that race is a societal problem is what fuels the continuing significance of race in post Obama presidency. The election of our first African American president has demonstrated our great strides towards a racial harmonious society, where we respect all the contributions to our great country. Conversations about the America's past relationship with African Americans, the need for reconciliation, forgiveness, and America's acknowledgment of its wrongdoing can lead to a more racially tolerant country where the American dream can be enjoyed by all and then the idea of a post racial society can be achieved.

Race and race relations continue to define many of our public policies and play an important role in every sector of society whether we admit it or not. We should be very proud of our accomplishments, our strides towards a post racial society, our civil rights gains; but it is also important that we do not become complacent with this progress. Post racial America is far-fetched dream that continues to elude us and takes away the best of what America stands for.