This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 17, 2011 - Imagine the 2008 presidential campaign as a Hollywood production. Barack Obama was cast as Martin Luther King Jr. incarnate -- healer of our collective wounds, symbol of racial progress and equality ... the embodiment of "the Dream."
The "feel good" movie served as epilogue to the tenuous civil rights movement. Electing an African-American president based on "content of character," not color of skin, signaled the dawn of a post-racial society. With King reincarnated occupying the White House, America was absolved of any need to address historic race-based social and economic ills.