RACE 2012, a Conversation About Race and Politics in America, a PBS Election Special, uses the current presidential election as a lens through which to explore America’s rapidly changing racial landscape.
As recently as 1980, 80 percent of the United States was white, but results of the 2010 Census depict a rapidly changing nation, with the country’s non-white population growing to more than 35 percent. As ethnic and racial minorities continue to grow, these communities’ impact on America’s future—particularly as it pertains to politics and leadership—is increasing. RACE 2012 helps viewers gain a better understanding of America’s changing racial landscape through the lens of politics and the people who are, have been, or will be driving the country’s conversation about race.
Fast-moving and non-partisan, RACE 2012 draws insights on racial political history from analysts, strategists and activists on both sides of the aisle, including author/legal scholar Randall Kennedy, author Rich Benjamin, Tea Party activist Ana Puig, former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, journalist Ronald Brownstein, and many others.
The film looks at pivotal moments in the history of race in the U.S., notably the Founding Fathers’ passage of a naturalization act and an immigration reform signed into law by President Johnson in 1965. The reform triggered an immigration wave that was drastically different than the wave of European arrivals in the 1890s. The program spotlights today’s racially charged and politically divisive debate over the integration of racial minorities into what has been America’s predominantly white society. RACE 2012 offers thoughtful insight and analysis on the paradigm shift taking place in the country and questions the model by which we view identity politics.
Additionally, RACE 2012 looks at the current political landscape, exploring how the two major political parties in the U.S. engage with the racial and ethnic communities that are growing in size and influence, particularly the Latino community.