When Barack Obama ascended to the White House in 2009 as the nation’s first Black president with the help of millions of first time voters, some pundits and commentators were quick to declare America, and its younger generations, colorblind.
But a recent study finds that many young people between the ages of 18 and 30 don’t believe American society has reached the “post-racial” state quite yet.
The study by the Applied Research Center (ARC), a racial justice think tank was compiled from in-depth conversations about race and racism with 16 economically and racially diverse focus groups of 18 to 30 year-olds. Black, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, Latino and Whites were interviewed.
According to the 40-page study, the majority of the “millennials” — young adults born after 1980–said race is still a significant factor in the nation’s criminal justice, education, employment, and immigration systems, but researchers noted that views about the extent of racism are based on the participants’ race.
“Contrary to widespread labeling of the millennial generation as ‘post-racial,’ young people actually see a lot of racial problems. Many are concerned that race continues to impact outcomes in society, and they want to talk about it,” ARC President and Executive Director Rinku Sen said in a statement. ”What’s more, the gap in perception between how white millennials and millennials of color see race points to continued racial conflict, demonstrating how important these conversations are.”