Shelby Steele writes, “Americans thought they were electing a president who would transcend grievance”:
President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court points to a dilemma that will likely plague his presidency: How does a “post-racialist” president play identity politics?
What is most notable about the Sotomayor nomination is its almost perfect predictability. Somehow we all simply know — like it or not — that Hispanics are now overdue for the gravitas of high office. And our new post-racialist president is especially attuned to this chance to have a “first” under his belt, not to mention the chance to further secure the Hispanic vote. And yet it was precisely the American longing for post-racialism — relief from this sort of racial calculating — that lifted Mr. Obama into office.
Meanwhile, look who’s back in the spotlight: “Al Sharpton emerges as Obama ally.”