As we attempt to measure racial progress in America today and chart a path toward further progress, we should look to the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. Barack Obama has also offered an influential vision of race in America that is similar to and inspired by King's. This essay compares King's and Obama's respective visions for race relations in U.S. society. Both men profess a commitment to racial equality and integration as fundamental ideals; and both provide an astute analysis of the racial realities of his day. However, Shelby's comparison of their visions reveals moral deficiencies in Obama's political philosophy, particularly with regard to the proposed way forward and the worthy principles that would have to be compromised on by following his path. Liberal pragmatism in matters of race may yield some social benefits, but not without moral costs.

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