Interesting article in The Atlantic Monthly.
It creates a picture of some of the ways the U.S. racial divide has manifested itself culturally in recent times, for example with hip hop on one side, and white trash studies on the other. I always wondered what the latter was about, and according to some professional students of American life, it has to do with the fear of losing whiteness that has been there since slavery.
If the rise of Obama points to changes in race relations, the article posits, it could be that Generation Y has crossed all kinds of divides, including racial ones, in the socially networked lives.
“Perhaps this is where the future of identity after whiteness lies–in a dramatic departure from the racial logic that has defined American culture from the very beginning. What [cultural historians] are describing isn’t merely the displacement of whiteness from our cultural center; they’re describing a social structure that treats race as just one of a seemingly infinite number of possible self-indentications.”
And perhaps Obama can embody and inspire a lasting set of values that express what it is to be American for everyone regardless of racial origin.