The Colorblind Screen: Television in Post-Racial America, Paperback/Sarah E. Turner
Description The election of President Barack Obama signaled for many the realization of a post-racial America, a nation in which racism was no longer a defining social, cultural, and political issue. While many Americans espouse a "colorblind" racial ideology and publicly endorse the broad goals of integration and equal treatment without regard to race, in actuality this attitude serves to reify and legitimize racism and protects racial privileges by denying and minimizing the effects of systematic and institutionalized racism. In The Colorblind Screen, the contributors examine television's role as the major discursive medium in the articulation and contestation of racialized identities in the United States. While the dominant mode of televisual racialization has shifted to a "colorblind" ideology that foregrounds racial differences in order to celebrate multicultural assimilation, the volume investigates how this practice denies the significant social, economic, and political realities and inequalities that continue to define race relations today. Focusing on such iconic figures as President Obama, Le Bron James, and Oprah Winfrey, many chapters examine the ways in which race is read by television audiences and fans. Other essays focus on how visual constructions of race in dramas like 24, Sleeper Cell, and The Wanted continue to conflate Arab and Muslim identities in post-9/11 television. The volume offers an important intervention in the study of the televisual representation of race, engaging with multiple aspects of the mythologies developing around notions of a "post-racial" America and the duplicitous discursive rationale offered by the ideology of colorblindness.