Despite claims from
pundits and politicians that we now live in a post-racial America, people seem
to keep finding ways to talk about race—from celebrations of the inauguration
of the first Black president to resurgent debates about police
profiling, race and racism remain salient features of our world. When faced
with fervent anti-immigration sentiments, record incarceration rates of Blacks and
Latinos, and deepening socio-economic disparities, a new question has erupted
in the last decade: What does being post-racial mean?
The Post-Racial Mystique explores
how a variety of media—the news, network television, and online, independent media—debate,
define and deploy the term “post-racial” in their representations of American
politics and society. Using examples from both mainstream and niche media—from prime-time television series to specialty Christian media and audience
interactions on social media—Catherine Squires draws upon a variety of
disciplines including communication studies, sociology, political science, and
cultural studies in order to understand emergent strategies for framing
post-racial America. She reveals the ways in which media texts cast U.S.
history, re-imagine interpersonal relationships, employ statistics, and
inventively redeploy other identity categories in a quest to formulate
different ways of responding to race.