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1 
 
                                                          ​INTRODUCTION 
 
The issue of race is one, which permeates ...
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believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with                              ...
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US welfare system. These are some of the many areas in which race becomes an                             
issue. This...
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  1. 1. 1                                                              ​INTRODUCTION    The issue of race is one, which permeates American society. Socially, culturally,                        economically and politically it has been divisive and controversial. In many cases,                        even though unspoken it is deeply embedded in the American psyche. Steven                        Lawson writes that “in 1903, when the African American scholar W.E.B DuBois                        wrote that ‘the colour line” would be the predominant issue of the twentieth century,                            he had no way of knowing that race would continue to vex American society He                             1 further argues that “four hundred years of first slavery, and then Jim Crow, ensured                            that racial inequalities remain embedded in the political, economic, social and                      cultural institutions even after the successes of the civil rights movement”  2 As Barack Obama was elected in November 2008 as the first black President of the                              United States, many were quick to proclaim that the United States had entered a                            “post racial” era. One can question what exactly a “post racial” America would look                            like. This term implies an era in which, American society has moved beyond its                            preoccupation with race. However the view that Obama’s election somehow signals                      the move of American society into some mythical “post racial” society should be                          met with appropriate scepticism.  This optimism is admirable and understandable, given the tumultuous nature of                        race relations in American history. Rejoicing in the glory of this mythical perception                          is however premature and also dangerous as it allows the numerous disparities,                        economic, social and political, which continue to persist between minorities and                      whites to be overlooked. To see Obama’s election as the culmination of a struggle                            for racial equality in American society would be to undermine previous progress on                          the issues of racial inequalities.  In his iconic speech on race in Philadelphia in March 2008, Barack Obama                          identified where the American people stood at this moment in history on race                          relations.  “It’s a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years. Contrary to the                            claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve as to                                  1   Lawson, xv, 2009  2  Lawson, xv, 2009 
  2. 2. 2    believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with                                a single candidacy.”   3 The Obama Presidency has put race back on the table as a topic of discussion. It                                has come at a point when America needs to move beyond this static state of                              discussion or non­discussion about race and how it affects American society. The                        current US Attorney General Eric Holder was severely criticised for remarks he                        made, by the media and by many Americans, as he stated in a speech to                              commemorate Black History month that “though this nation has proudly thought of                        itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to                                be a nation of cowards” He further added that “this nation has still not come to grips                                  with its racial past nor has it been willing to contemplate, in a truly meaningful way,                                the diverse future it is fated to have. To our detriment, this is typical of the way in                                    which this nation deals with issues of race.” Reactions to these comments have                         4 demonstrated that the issue of race is still one, which the American public is ill at                                ease having open discussions about.  While 21​st century America is far from the blatantly segregated society of its past, if                              a deeper look is taken, one can argue that much of the growing minority                            populations of the United States experience exclusionary and racist practices, in                      less overt forms. This paper is not an historical account of slavery, the Civil Rights                              Movement or any of the events, which have historically contributed to the place                          occupied by minorities in the United States. Its aim is to argue that the idea of a                                  “post racial” America in the wake of the Obama victory is premature. One only has                              to consider the plight of minorities in the healthcare system, the differences in                          earning between whites and members of minority groups, the state of the American                          penal system, the attitudes towards immigration and immigration policies, the                    differences in funding for inner city versus suburban schools, legalized forms of                        discrimination with regards to loans for home ownership, the state of inner city                          housing, racial profiling practices of law enforcement agencies and the state of the                          3   http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/18/us/politics/18text­obama.html?_r=1&ref= politics  4  http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/speeches/2009/ag­speech­090218.htm 
  3. 3. 3    US welfare system. These are some of the many areas in which race becomes an                              issue. This paper attempts to examine some of the above­mentioned areas and                        give relevant examples to support the above argument.   In his perfect union speech Obama said that as Faulkner wrote, “the past isn’t dead                              and buried. In fact it isn’t even past.” While highlighting some of the racial                             5 disparities, an attempt will also be made at suggesting possible actions, which may                          be undertaken in an attempt to bridge the gap between races. The fact that Obama                              was elected by whites, blacks and an overwhelming part of the Hispanic electorate,                          to the White House, is also symbolic of how far the United States has come in its                                  efforts at reconciling its past. For while it does not symbolise a society where an                              individual’s race is no longer an issue, it should be seen as a starting point for                                making it appropriate to discuss and eventually encourage real and fundamental                      change within a society whose colour lines are drawn in very definite terms. It                            should also be used as a platform to encourage greater cultural understandings of                          those generally classified as the “other”.  The Obama Administration also has a real opportunity to challenge and ultimately                          change the nature of federal institutions and practices, which have continuously                      been allowed to discriminate against minorities. As Obama himself said, he is not                          naïve to think that things will change in one election cycle, neither should the                            overwhelming numbers of the electorate who voted for him. Expectations are high,                        but this one could argue is the first real opportunity that a progressive stand can be                                taken, in acknowledging the practices which continue to marginalize many                    minorities. A change in these practices can be a positive step towards changing the                            attitudes of the white American majority towards the growing minority population.              5   http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/18/us/politics/18text­obama.html?_r=1&ref= politics 
  4. 4. 4         ​THE CHANGING FACE OF AMERICA    In November 1993, TIME magazine produced a special issue on immigration. Its                        cover showed a computer­generated image of a woman who was a mixture of                          different races. They boldly proclaimed her the new face of America. Today the                          American population stands at approximately 300 million. Of this about thirty                      percent are ethnic minorities who are defined as peoples of colour. Dominic Pulera                         6 argues that” The United States is presently undergoing a fundamental demographic                      shift unlike any other in history. It is shifting from a predominately white country to                              one, where people of colour are increasingly numerous and consequently                    becoming more visible” This fact she argues accounts for why race affects the                           7 lives of Americans more than before.  As race becomes more visible as the demographics of the United States change,                          the issue of immigration has become one of the most controversial and debated                          issues within American society. It is estimated that the United States is home to an                              estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants. In 2006 mass demonstrations                 8 occurred in Washington and Los Angeles staging protests for the support of                        immigrant rights. The immigration debate has also galvanised those on the right                        who want the government to change current immigration policy, in favour of a hard                            line approach to illegal immigrants who they see as criminals.  Hu­DeHart warned that a “phenomena to watch in the matter of race and race                            relations in the 21​st​  century is the resurgence of American Nativism”  9 In the early 90’s American Nativism was reflected in Proposition 187 of California.                          The economic conditions of the time, concerns about the moral and social decline,                          a widening gap between the rich and the poor and a general cynicism with political                              and social institutions led to the voter approved Proposition 187. This proposed                        6  Hu­DeHart, 80, 2001  7  Pulera, 9, 2002  8   http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/two­million­join­protests­a s­immigrant­debate­grips­us­473636.html  9  Hu­DeHart, 93, 2001 
  5. 5. 5    action would have forced many public agencies including schools, healthcare                    providers, law enforcement agencies and any social services providers to be able                        to determine the immigration status of anyone they suspected to be illegal, and if                            found to be illegal, deny them service and report them to the Immigration and                            Naturalization Service (INS). In 1996,” Congress also moved to cut off food stamps                          and welfare benefits to lawful immigrants and refugees irrespective of how truly                        needy they might be” . It also wanted to impose a thirty­day deadline by which                           10 anyone entering as an asylum seeker had to adhere. This proposal was simply                          unrealistic.  The social and economic situations of 1994 are not dissimilar to those in 2009. A                              report by the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) has recorded an increase in the                            number of race hate groups and a growing number of Nativist movement groups. In                            2008, 926 hate groups were active in the United States, up more than 4 percent                              from 888 in 2007. An increase of more than 50 percent since 2000 when there                              were 602 groups. The report suggests that not only are these groups fuelled by                           11 the worsening economic conditions, and the immigration of non­whites to America,                      but the election of Barack Obama has served to galvanize many of these far right                              groups.  One such group is the Minuteman Project, a US border patrol organization                          founded in 2004. Its founder Jim Gilchrist says the group found its roots in his                              frustration with the US government to enforce its immigration laws. This group has                          fostered several spin­off militant and vigilante groups, who have taken the law into                          their own hands. Many of these groups carry out armed patrols along the                          US­Mexico border. The underlying rhetoric of all of these groups while focused on                          the issue of preventing illegal immigration across the US border is extremely racist.                          Because of the association of illegal immigrants along racial lines, real tensions                        exist between white America and Hispanic, Mexican and Asian minorities who are                        seen to be abusing the US welfare system and taking jobs away from Americans.  An article in The Nation about the resurgence of American Nativism states, “ For                              the first time since the backlash against civil rights, white supremacist groups are                          10  Ong Hing, 3, 2006  11  http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=1027 
  6. 6. 6    flourishing. So are the far more popular “mainstream” anti­immigration groups, like                      the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which has approximately                    200,000 dues paying members” The only difference in the rhetoric of the more                           12 mainstream organizations like FAIR is the “political correctness” of the language.  When considering American attitudes to immigration, it is impossible to not to                        consider the United States in its post 9/11 context. Ong Hing argues that” for                            anti­immigrant forces in the United States, 9/11 provided a once in a lifetime                          opportunity to use the tragic events to draw linkages with every aspect of their                            Nativist agenda” John Tirman argues that “September 11​th has transformed the                       13 landscape of global security, none more than borders and immigration. The                      topography of citizenship, belonging, and suspicion instantly changed for Arab and                      Muslim communities in the United States.” The is no doubt that the linking of the                             14 American national security effort to the “lax” immigration measures of the                      government has allowed much of white America to see its Arab/Muslim community                        as the enemy from whom they are under attack.  The US government has also been complicit in engaging in activities, which have                          led to the detention and surveillance of individuals based on their Arab/Muslim                        ethnicity. Under the Patriot Act passed six weeks after 9/11 the United States                          government has tremendously expanded its powers, and preventive detention has                    been a common practice. Although it is understandable that measures were                      warranted for a greater protection of the “home front”, that these practices were                          increasingly discriminatory and based on racial profiling practices further                  encourages racial divisiveness within American society.  The United States is a country built by immigrants. In the 21​st century however                            immigration has been racialized. Increasingly immigrants are seen as those who                      will work for less pay thus taking jobs from Americans. They are seen as Muslim                              fundamentalists who want to carry out heinous acts against the American                      population, or as non­white, non­English speaking people who are intent on                      12  http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060828/editors3  13  Ong Hing, 141, 2006  14  http://borderbattles.ssrc.org/Tirman/printable.html 
  7. 7. 7    changing the fabric of American society. Race is very much an issue present within                            the immigration debate.        AMERICAN APARTHEID    Segregation is normally a word associated with the tumultuous phase of the Civil                            Rights Movement and an America of the past. Seitles argues however, that “In                          actuality the word segregation, continues to characterize the present lives of many                        minorities in America”   15 “Most Americans vaguely realize that urban America is still a residentially                      segregated society, but few appreciate the depth of black segregation or the                        degree to which it is maintained by ongoing institutional arrangements and                      contemporary individual actions.” A December 2007 report on discriminatory                   16 practices in the United States further argues, “Residential segregation is an                      insidious and persistent fact of American life. Discrimination on the basis of race,                          while on the decline according to some estimates, continues to pervade nearly                        every aspect of the housing market in the United States.”  17 Carr and Nandinee argue “the denial of access to housing is arguably the single                            most powerful tool to undermine and marginalize the upward mobility of people.”                       18 In American society housing is a central part of the American Dream. For many                            minorities adequate housing is a part of the dream that remains highly unattainable.                          Inadequate housing has been linked to perpetual and concentrated poverty,                    inadequate and unequal educational opportunities, limited access to social and                    economic resources, generally placing those in the situation at a disadvantage.  15    ​http://www.law.fsu.edu/Journals/Landuse/Vol141/seit.htm     16 Massey, Denton, 1, 1993  17 www.ushrnetwork.org/files/ushrn/images/linkfiles/CERD/17_Housing%20Dis  crimination.pdf   18  Carr, Nandinee, 2008, 1 
  8. 8. 8    It is argued that the United States government’s policies and practices are                        historically responsible for the creation and perpetuation of the racially segregated                      patterns, which exist today. A 2000 periodic report states, “For many years, the                          federal government itself was responsible for promoting racial discrimination in                    housing and residential segregation.” Some of these policies included, mortgage                   19 insurance programmes through the Federal Housing Administration, which                transformed the American housing market from one which was inaccessible to                      people outside the upper classes to one which had a wider base, which was                            however all white. African Americans were also excluded from GI Bill loan                        programmes, which were administered through the Veterans Administration. These                  loans guaranteed housing to millions of Americans, but persistently endorsed the                      use of race restrictive covenants, which guaranteed the racial homogeneity of the                        suburbs.  “Public housing policies have contributed significantly to the establishment and the                        entrenchment of residential segregation and concentrated poverty throughout the                  United States.” These usually high­rise, densely populated buildings are a feature                       20 of many American cities. For many minorities especially African Americans, these                      “projects” or “ghettos” are home. Many of these inner city projects are plagued by                            violence, crime, drugs, inferior educational access, inadequate access to                  healthcare and an endless list of social inadequacies, that serve to perpetuate high                          levels of concentrated poverty. Many of these ghettos came about as their white                          residents left these areas for the suburbs in a phenomenon known as “white flight.”                            As their white residents left, the ghettos were left to fester in poverty. Writing in                              1965 Kenneth Clark argued “America has contributed to the concept of the ghetto                          by the restriction of persons to a special area and the limiting of their freedom of                                choice on the basis of skin colour.” Today people of colour constitute 69 percent                           21 of public housing residents 46 percent are African American and 20 percent are                          Hispanic, and of this population 29 percent are below the poverty level. Only 8                            19  Ibid 18  20  Ibid 18  21  Clark, 11, 1965 
  9. 9. 9    percent of households living in public housing have incomes above 20,000 dollars.                       22 The Fair Housing Act passed in 1968 prohibits discrimination by landlords, and                        realtors as well as by municipalities, banks and any other lending institutions or                          insurance companies, whose discriminatory practices might make housing                unavailable to persons based on their race or colour, religion, status, sex or any                            such criteria. However studies conducted as recently as 2000 have revealed that                       23 while the blatant “block busting techniques and outright door slamming behaviour of                        the 1950’s and 60’s have faded away, housing discrimination persists in more                        subtle forms and continues to be a barrier for minority households in both rentals                            and sales markets.”  24 Many of these discriminatory practices take the form of credit denials and loans                          with excessive interest rates and fees. While in recent years the federal                        government has taken steps to actively increase minority homeownership, many                    lending institutions have undermined them by pushing home purchase and                    refinance loans, which specifically target people of colour. An example of this is the                            practice of sub prime lending. Many financial institutions now have sub prime                        lenders, and usually direct minority borrowers to these lenders even if they meet                          the criteria for a regular loan with lower interest rates. A recent study of Citigroup,                              which includes Citi, the groups sub prime lender, found that Citi in North Carolina                            charged higher interest rates even to borrowers who could have qualified for                        regular loans. Tim Wise states that in the process more than 90,000 mostly black                            borrowers were roped into predatory loans, resulting in repayments of more than                        327 dollars per month more for mortgages, than those getting loans from prime                          lenders. This practice of predatory lending has meant that the amount of                       25 foreclosures on property amongst minorities with the collapse of the economy has                        been phenomenal.  22  Ibid 18  23  http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/housing/housing_coverage.php  24  Gould, I. ed (Carr, Nandinee) 265, 2008  25  Wise, 2009, 47 
  10. 10. 10    Steering is also a common discriminatory practice used by realtors. It is defined by                            the Supreme Court as “a practice by which real estate agents preserve and                          encourage patterns of racial segregation in available housing, by steering members                      of racial and ethnic groups to buildings occupied primarily by members of such                          racial and ethnic groups and away from those inhabited primarily by other races                          and groups.” This process is a direct violation of the Fair Housing Act, but                           26 continues to be one of the most persistent practices of realtors. It is evident that                              there remains widespread residential segregation, however it should also be noted                      that everyday decisions by potential homeowners are also a factor, for while                        segregation is not just a legacy of the past, it must be recognised that many people,                                white and minority alike, may prefer to stay within their own ethnic communities.                                          26  Ibid 18, page 12 
  11. 11. 11                      TOXIC LAWS    Environmental racism can be defined as “racial discrimination in environmental                      policy making and the enforcement of regulations and laws; the deliberate targeting                        of people of colour communities for toxic and hazardous waste facilities; the official                          sanctioning of the life threatening presence of poisons and pollutants in                      communities and the history of excluding people of colour from the leadership of                          the environmental movement.” Some have broadened the definition to include                   27 governmental, institutional or industry action, or their failure to act, which has a                          negative environmental impact that disproportionately affects individuals,              communities or groups based on race or colour.  Westra and Lawson argue “more recently people have recognized that in the                       28 United States, poor people, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native                    Americans, suffer disproportionate exposure to environmental pollution.” Policies                for dumping and the situation of landfill sites by state governments have                        increasingly targeted minority groups. Many of these groups offer little political                      resistance, to these facilities being situated within their communities. Some have                      argued that these policies are based more along the lines of the fact that these                              minority communities are poorer than those of white Americans. Westra and                      27  ​http://www.wcc­coe.org/wcc/what/jpc/echoes/echoes­17­02.html  “Environmental Racism: Old Wine in a New Bottle”  28  Westra, Lawson (ed) “Faces of Environmental Racism: Confronting Issues  of Global Justice” introduction pg xviii 
  12. 12. 12    Lawson however argue that national studies conducted have shown that, race                      seems to be more of a deciding factor than income.  29 Results from the influential 1987­2007 United Church of Christ Study has shown                        that the “proportion of minority members in communities with commercial waste                      facilities is double of communities without such facilities. Also, where two or more                          such facilities are found, the proportion of minority members is nearly triple that in                            otherwise comparable communities.” The study further found that “the best                    predictor of where to find hazardous waste was to classify communities by race and                            not by income or real estate values.” Research has also shown that in cases                           30 where environmental justice has been achieved for members of minority groups                      settlements are always a great deal less than those awarded to white Americans.  Robinson states that in the United States “three out of five African Americans live in                              communities with uncontrolled toxic waste sites, Native American lands and sacred                      places are home to extensive mining operations and radio active waste sites. Three                          of the five largest commercial hazardous waste landfills are located in                      predominately African American and Latino communities.” Inevitably this means                  that the residents of these communities suffer adverse health effects, including                      reduced life expectancy rates, high infant mortality rates, conditions such as                      asthma are prevalent among children and various forms of cancer are common.                        These communities also tend to be less economically viable, with substandard                      housing, and extremely high levels of poverty.  Within the United States agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)                      have been set up to monitor these issues and to ensure that these types of                              discriminatory practices do not occur. However Robert Bullard argues, that                    “agencies like the EPA were not set up to address environmental policies and                          practices that result in unfair outcomes.” Rather, he believes that within the                         31 current environmental paradigm, is “institutionalized unequal enforcement practices                where human health is ultimately traded for profit, it has legitimated human                        exposure to harmful substances, promoted risky technologies such as incinerators,                    29  Ibid 28  30  Ibid 28  31  Bullard, R Ibid 28 Chptr1 pg3 
  13. 13. 13    exploited the vulnerability of economically and politically disenfranchised                communities and delayed cleanup actions.” Because of all of these factors, low                       32 income and minority communities will continue to bear greater health and                      environmental burdens, while the more affluent and white communities receive the                      bulk of the benefits.   When the policies of the EPA were investigated finings showed that penalties                        applied under US hazardous waste laws at sites, which had greater white                        populations were approximately five hundred percent higher than penalties at sites                      with greater minority populations, this disparity correlated with race alone and not                        income. Also despite all the federal laws meant to protect citizens from pollution i.e.                            air, water, and waste. Any penalties imposed for breaking these laws were forty six                            percent higher in white communities than in minority communities. Also under the                        EPA’s Superfund cleanup programmes, sites of hazardous waste in minority areas                      take longer to be placed on the National Priority List (NPL) than those in white                              areas.   33 It has been proven that waste sites are more likely to be present in minority                              communities, however a special case for examination is that of the Native                        Americans and their reservations. Gaylord and Bell notes, that “tribal lands, like                        other impoverished areas, have been affected by discriminatory environmental                  practices” Native American reservations present an interesting case as they are                     34 defined as ‘quasi sovereign’ nations. Because of this they are subject to less                          stringent environmental regulations than those imposed at the state and federal                      level. This has meant that increasingly these reservations have become the targets                        for risky technology. More than one hundred industries ranging from solid waste                        landfills to hazardous waste incinerators and nuclear waste storage facilities have                      targeted reservations. Sierra Jeffries writes, “ The targeting of sovereign Indian                      nations to host waste that not one of fifty states is willing to accept is based on past                                    and current federal Indian policy and the socioeconomic conditions of the                      reservation system.” She further explains, “Tribal sovereignty offers an opportunity                    32  Ibid 31  33  Ibid 31  34  Gaylord, Bell, Ibid28 Chptr2 
  14. 14. 14    to avoid state, local and at times federal jurisdiction, laws and environmental quality                          control.”  35 By targeting these reservations, companies avoid much of the bureaucratic                    processes. There are no strict procedures when it comes to application for permits,                          little or no public input, and little or no governmental oversight procedures. The                          EPA does little in terms of providing funding on reservations relating to                        environmental services. Because of the poor socioeconomic conditions on many of                      the reservations, many of these large firms know that the Indian tribes accept the                            income provided from leasing of these lands to host these waste facilities.                        Reservations therefore in the United States are commonly used for the storage of                          nuclear waste, a practice that would never be sanctioned regardless of how                        isolated the community was, if the residents were white Americans.                                        35  Jeffries, S “Environmental Justice and The Skull Valley Goshute Indians’  Proposal to Store Nuclear Waste” pg414 
  15. 15. 15                     ​IN CONCLUSION    What this paper has tried to argue is that the practices, which sustain the                            inequalities experienced by minorities, are very much entrenched in the social and                        political institutions of the United States. The election of Barack Obama to the                          White House has more than anything given hope to all minority groups across the                            United States, that his understanding of the challenges faced will inspire changes                        that will somehow benefit their situations. While the significance of his election                        should not be underestimated, changes to these practices will be tremendously                      difficult, for he himself operates as a minority within a vastly complex political                          structure. The majority of which is predominately white and middle class, and he                          must be perceived as acting in the interest of all Americans and not just minorities.  While policy and institutional changes are crucial, also of importance is a general                          change in the attitudes of white Americans to the growing minority population. It is                            predicted that by 2050 the minority population will have overtaken that of white                          America, and that Spanish will be just as commonplace as English as the language                            spoken in the United States. Many Americans remain very protective of their                        country and are resentful of the fact that it is heading in a direction that will                                ultimately change the face of America to something unrecognisable to most. This                        accounts for the negative attitudes to Hispanic immigrants, who are employed in                        much of the unskilled labour market across the US.  These changes in attitudes can only be achieved if major industries like the media                            industry consciously changes its portrayals of minority groups, as much of the                       
  16. 16. 16    negative stereotypes are further perpetrated and enforced because of what is                      reported on the TV in newspapers. By framing issues such as immigration and                          crime along racial lines, many white Americans generalize and make judgements                      about minority groups based on what the see or read. The media has a                            responsibility to be fair and just in the portrayal of these groups, for doing otherwise                              only increases the fear of what may be unknown to many. Sometimes even the                            most rational people are prone to misconceptions.  What is real is the poverty and lack of opportunities for many minority groups. This                              cycle of poverty is further exacerbated by the unfair housing practices, which                        condemn many children living in inner cities to poor health and education facilities.                          It is a cycle that perpetuates crime and violence within minority communities. It is a                              cycle that exacerbates drug use and gang activity. It is a cycle that produces some                              of the highest rates of Aids and HIV in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.                                  It is a cycle that has seen the level of incarceration of African American and                              Hispanic men skyrocket in recent years. It is a cycle responsible for single parent                            families, whose mothers are working to feed their children, while the children raise                          themselves. These things all form the reality in which much of America lives.  Healthcare is one of the major problems for minorities in the United States, as                            many people are without health insurance. This means that many people die of                          diseases and conditions that should be treatable because they cannot afford                      treatment. Barack Obama has pledged to fix the healthcare system so that all                          Americans can afford to be healthy. What this will mean is tackling major insurance                            giants who profit tremendously from the system the way it is. This will not be an                                easy task, but it is a start in reforming a system where so many are left out, and                                    with disastrous consequences.  The United States is not ‘post­racial’. It will take a lot more than the election of a                                  minority to the White House for this claim to be valid. What it is, is a society in                                    change, in its demographics, hopefully in its policies and its institutions, which have                          for so long been resistant to changes that will benefit and cease to exploit its                              minority populations. The “American Dream” has lost its significance to many                      minority groups. Many feel marginalized and that the promise of a good life in the                             
  17. 17. 17    land of opportunity is not a dream that they can afford to have. Barack Obama has                                rekindled this dream for many, for while his story is unique to him, the sight of a                                  black man holding the most powerful political office in the world is not something                            that many thought would happen in their lifetime.  This is a time where a real change can be made for the lives of those who thought                                    that it was impossible. It is a change that needs to happen in the United States,                                because white America can no longer deny its minority voice. It is a change that will                                be forced to happen because America is moving in a direction where the division of                              people along racial lines will be impossible in the future. So while America’s new                            ‘post racial’ status might not be applicable, the fact that race is open to honest                              discussion, might be one of the triumphs of the Obama Administration.                                           
  18. 18. 18      BIBLIOGRAPHY    Carr, JH. Nandinee KK. (Ed) ​“Segregation: The Rising Costs For America” 2008,                        Routledge.    Clarke, K.  ​“Dark Ghetto: Dilemmas Of Social Power” 1965, Torchbooks    Lawson, S (ed) ​“One The 21st Century: The Report Of President Bill Clinton’s                          Initiative on Race in America” 2009, Yale University Press.    Loury, G. ​“The Anatomy of Racial Inequality” 2002, Harvard University Press    Massey, D. Denton, N ​“American Apartheid: Segregation and The Making of The                        Underclass” 1993, Harvard University Press.    Ong­Hing, B ​“Deporting Our Souls: Values Morality and Immigration Policy” 2006,                      Cambridge University Press.    Pulera, D ​“Visible Differences” 2002 Continuum Press.    Stokes, C. Melendez, T. Rhodes­Reed, G. ​“Race in 21st Century America” 2001                        Michigan State University Press.    Westra, L. Lawson, B ​“Faces Of Environmental Racism: Confronting Issues of                      Global Justice” 2001, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing    Wise, T. ​“Between Barack and A Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age                              of Obama” 2009, City Lights Books     
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