One thing that I always can rely on when testing social experiments in person is the unknowing compliance of my wife.
As I sat next to her in the hair salon today, both of us sitting in the chairs with those ridiculous metal domes (but only she was getting her hair done), I was reading the newspaper and saw a story about kids in a local middle school getting into a fight over race. The story painted the white child as instigating the black child, because the former mentioned in no specified context that the latter was, in fact, black. Whether or not this was grounds for the black child to punch the while child is another discussion entirely, but that's not what I want to say.
With the recent election of Barack Obama, I've heard constantly on the news that now we live in a "post-racial America". From the moment they began to say that, I already knew it was quite a load. The oppression still exists, the institutions are still strong, the only difference is that now, we have a mixed-race president. The other things didn't suddenly go away, and it seems to me that the people stating that this is evidence of a "post-racial America" are doing nothing but supplying more ammunition for microinvalidation.
I decided, however, that this was obvious, and I'd much rather make a more obvious point. I showed the article to my wife, who was now preparing to lower the dome, and let her look over it. After she finished, I asked her, "What do you make of this?"
She scanned over it again, then passed the paper back to me and said "Looks don't matter".
The irony almost made me sick, and the woman who was sitting next to my wife at the time gave me this look that I thought was understanding.
We still place emphasis on appearance. We can't look over the little things in order to place emphasis on something that is already huge.
A mixed-race president doesn't delete oppression.
And there's still time, dad, and viewers.
Remember: We haven't had another Catholic president since JFK.