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The Race Factor

National Journal column
Obama embodies and preaches the true and vital message that in today's America, the opportunities available to black people are unlimited if they work hard, play by the rules, and get a good education.

Obama also understands the spirit that must infuse any solution to racial and political polarization. "There's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America," Obama said in his 2004 convention speech. "There's not a black America, and white America, and Latino America, and Asian America; there's the United States of America."
Yes, a shamefully large percentage of black children do not get good educations. But that is not because of residual white racism. Indeed, some of the nation's worst--and most lavishly funded--schools are run by black-dominated local governments. Nor is "white privilege," to borrow the jargon of race-obsessed professors, a major obstacle to black success today.

What of the fact that this son of a Kenyan father and a white Kansan, raised in Indonesia by his mother and stepfather, and in Hawaii by white grandparents, has not fully felt what it is to be a descendant of American slaves? None of that matters much. Obama's soaring success should tell black children everywhere that they, too, can succeed, and they do not need handouts or reparations. It should tell those white Americans who still don't get it that people with African blood can and regularly do achieve at the highest levels.
like thisIsaac Chotiner