Connecticut Law Review Volume 41 - Issue 5

Commentary Introduction

There are those who believe that in 2011 we finally live in a post- racial, colorblind society. But since the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, events have shown that there is nothing “post” about the country’s consciousness of race. We have seen unprecedented questioning of Obama’s birth certificate, even though his white opponent in the 2008 election was not born in the United States and faced no such gauntlet of scrutiny. We have seen Congressman Joe Wilson yell “You lie!” in a never-before-seen display by a congressman at a sitting President during Obama’s healthcare address. We have seen Shirley Sherrod forced to resign over a speech given at a NAACP event because a blogger deceitfully edited her words beyond recognition. We have seen Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates arrested while entering his own home as if he were a burglar. And if those events were not enough to convince us that race still permeates the very structure of our country, still others continue to spring from the country’s racialized ground. What of the recent media attention focused on First Lady Michelle Obama’s recent dance performance at a Washington D.C. area middle school where she “did the dougie”? And what of the conservative press’s seeming obsession with the Obamas’ hosting of rapper Common at the White House where he was visiting for a poetry reading?

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