Identitarian Discourses

I read the identitarian discourses surrounding Obama differently. The posing of these questions around identity betrays our subconscious recognition that we are not there yet—we remain burdened by a default racial calculus. Even the semantics of being post-racial reveals the persistence of race and racial constructions. We do not even have terminology, let alone the ideological substance, to take us beyond racial fixity. These questions further indicate our quest for a racial healing that we know has not yet been achieved. Hence the racial schizophrenia. We aredeeply conflicted. It is unclear what is reality versus what is merely our distorted perception. It is my ultimate conclusion that our distorted racial perception is our reality.

Camille A. Nelson, “Racial Paradox and Eclipse: Obama as a Balm for What Ails Us,” Denver University Law Review, Volume 86, Obama Phenomena: A Special Issue on the Election of President Barack Obama (2009): pages 743-783.

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