Exactly how can we be in post-racial America when nearly 40 percent of black children under the age of 5 live at or below the poverty line?Yes, how, indeed?
How are we in post-racial America when the level of school segregation for Hispanics is the highest in the forty years and segregation of blacks is back to levels not seen since the late 1960s?
How are we in post-racial America when the gaps in wealth, income, education and health care have widened over the last eight years?
Barack Obama's victory was something, but not everything, and we need to be clear about the serious and daunting task that lays ahead in terms of racial justice. The challenge before us is to put substance to the symbol. We must not get so lost in our self-congratulation over the election of our first black president that we forget the persistent chasm of caste and class in our society today, a yawning gap that will require sustained attention, organized political action and significant resources if it is to be bridged.