When Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States later this evening, there will be no end to the self-congratulations from liberals and even from some conservatives; for months now, they've been calling this election "historic" (the headline on CNN this morning read "Polls Open as America Makes History") and in a sense it is. Barack Obama's candidacy would have been unthinkable a generation ago. But a society is not emancipated from racism until a candidate's skin colour is as irrelevant as his or her eye colour.
Of all the manacles that humanity has forged for itself over the eons, the belief that the human species is organized into a caste system called "race" has been the most damaging and the most destructive. Our generation is uniquely privileged: we need no longer be burdened by this belief if we choose to let ago; we can now demonstrate for certain what ought to have been obvious all along: that race is a manacle forged in the mind and not in our natures, that there is one race: the human race.