That’s a concise articulation of how and why race does, alas, still matter. The president should say it more often—both to advance our national conversation about race and to support ambitious public efforts to dismantle those structural inequalities. “The object of national neglect” was steadily shoved to the edges of public policy at the 20th century’s close. Obama said last night that he does not embody the end of America’s struggle with race. He can, nonetheless, get us closer to that end by making the case for public responsibility as compellingly as he’s made the case for personal accountability.
Kai Wright is a senior writer for The Root.