As the votes were tallied for the 2008 presidential election, conservative pundit William Bennett weighed in on the election’s significance. “I’ll tell you one thing it means, as a former secretary of education,” Bennett said on CNN. “You don’t take any excuses anymore from anybody who says, ‘The deck is stacked.’”
Bennett, who is white, suggested that if Barack Obama could become president, so could any black man. Implicit in the argument was that systemic racial discrimination was no longer keeping black men and women from success.
Bennett is far from alone in arguing that a single black American’s success is proof that impenetrable racial barriers no longer exist. In fact, it’s a common view, according to a recent study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
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