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The Colorblind ScreenTelevision in Post-Racial America$
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Sarah Nilsen and Sarah E. Turner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479809769

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479809769.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Colorblind Screen

Sarah Nilsen

Sarah E. Turner

NYU Press

This introductory chapter briefly describes how despite the significant shift towards racial attitudes in the United States during the past four decades—highlighted by the presidency of Barack Obama—race relations are far from reconciled. In twenty-first-century America, overt racism has been replaced by significant social changes in public attitudes towards race, yet racism persists amid divisions over appropriate social policy responses and racial inequality. In the country's determination to project the image of a colorblind America, the reality of the country's racialized differences and inequities are overlooked. The social contradictions manifested in the celebration of Obama's presidency and the disregard for the socioeconomic inequities illustrates the tensions that define post-racial America. The chapter argues that colorblind ideology must be understood as the outcome of a rhetorical strategy deployed in the wake of the modern civil rights movement as politicians continue to utilize “colorblindness” as a political tool to legitimize racism.

Keywords:   racial attitudes, United States of America, Barack Obama, racism, racial inequality, colorblind America, post-racial America, civil rights movement

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