4 S. Region Black Students Ass'n L.J. 1 (2010)
A Post Racial Era: How the Election of President Obama and Recent Supreme Court Jurisprudence Illustrate that the United States is Not beyond the Centrality of Race

handle is hein.journals/srebwsude4 and id is 9 raw text is: A POST RACIAL ERA?: HOW THE ELECTION OF
PRESIDENT OBAMA AND RECENT SUPREME COURT
JURISPRUDENCE ILLUSTRATE THAT THE UNITED
STATES IS NOT BEYOND THE CENTRALITY OF RACE*
NEUBIA WILLIAMS**
The election of President Barack Obama ignited a wave of academic,
political and social discourse in both the domestic and the international realms.
Inevitably, a large portion of the commentary in the media discussed, if not
focused on President Obama's race. In the wake of the election, the term post-
racial era has become more commonplace in the vocabulary of pundits and
ordinary citizens alike. This article will explore the different schools of thought
on race in the United States as they exist in the first year of Obama's presidency.
Specifically, this work will explore how the election of President Barack Obama
furthered the assumption that the United States is in a post-racial era, and
highlight how the legal system is embracing the post racial paradigm as a
substitute to regressing entirely to a colorblind analysis in cases where race is an
issue.
INTRODUCTION
The election of President Barack Obama ignited a wave of academic,
political and social discourse in both the domestic and the international realms.'
*C 2010 Neubia L. Williams
** Neubia Williams is a third-year student at Wake Forest University School of Law. The author
would like to thank her mother for always allowing her to have an opinion and encouraging her to
express it. Additionally the author thanks Shannon Gilreath for being a wonderful advisor, and for
helping her flush out initial thoughts.  Finally, the author thanks the faculty, staff and
administration of Wake Forest University School of Law for their encouragement.
' See, e.g., Jordan Blair Woods, Ensuring a Right ofAccess to the Courts for Bias Crime Victims:
A Section 5 Defense of the Matthew Shepard Act, 12 CHAP. L. REv. 389 (2008) (discussing that the
election of President Obama renewed the hope that the Matthew Shepard Act, which permitted an
interstate commerce jurisdiction basis for the federal government to prosecute bias crimes, would
pass in Congress in the next four years); Symposium, The School Desegregation Cases and the
Uncertain Future of Racial Equality: Demise of the Talented Tenth: Affirmative Action and the
Increasing Underrepresentation ofAscendant Blacks at Selective Higher Educational Institutions,
69 OHIO ST. L.J. 1229 (2008) (theorizing that bi-racial individuals of black and white Ancestry can
inspire Ascendants or those who descend from African Americans who entered the United
States under the slave regime, to achieve unprecedented success); Hasan Suroor, Op-Ed, Will
Obama Effect Change Europe's Racial Politics?, THE HINDU, Nov. 17, 2008, available at
http://www.thehindu.com/2008/l 1/17/stories/2008111755180800.htm (last visited Nov. 27, 2009);
Vivienne Chow, Police Officer Embraces Optimism of 'Post-Racial' Obama Era, SOUTH CHINA
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