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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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Rhyme and Reason

Rhyme and Reason

“Post-Race” and the Politics of Colorblind Racism

(p.39) 2 Rhyme and Reason
The Colorblind Screen

Roopali Mukherjee

NYU Press

This chapter looks at the evolution of the term “post-racial” and traces the discursive and rhetorical career of the term “colorblindness” to demonstrate how the conservative Right's appropriation of the ideology of colorblindness led to an embrace of a post-racial ideology. Embracing this postracial ideology in turn enables a nationwide racial apathy and leads to problematic policies and politicized rhetoric. Barack Obama's epochal significance took shape as the culmination of post-racial ideas: the farcical denouement of colorblindness as universal paean of the U.S. racial narrative. Against staggering evidence of abiding, and indeed deepening, ethnoracial inequalities impacting education, income and wealth, housing, health care, voting, and incarceration, the Obama moment organizes the “truth,” however improbable, of a new America in which race has become the difference that makes no difference at all.

Keywords:   post-racial ideology, colorblindness, conservative Right, racial apathy, Barack Obama, U.S. racial narrative, race, ethnoracial inequalities

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