Abstract

According to some academics and journalists, once the “millennials” dominate the political arena, many of the thorny social issues that have caused great debate and consternation among the American public will be resolved. This line of reasoning suggests that young people who embrace and personify a more inclusive society will eventually take over both policy-making and thought leadership, moving both in a more liberal direction. Yet data from the Black Youth Project and the Mobilization, Change, and Political and Civic Engagement Project suggest that deep divides still exist among young people, with black youth particularly suspect of the idea of a post-racial anything. Furthermore, significant and profound differences in how young whites, blacks, and Latinos think about such topics as racism, citizenship, and gay and lesbian issues continue to define American politics today as practiced by the young – even in the age of Obama.

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