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Abstract

Everyone seems to be talking about race. From the protests that erupted in cities across the country over the failure of grand juries in Missouri and New York to indict police officers in the killing of two unarmed black men, to the racially charged statements made by the owners of professional sports teams; and the college fraternity members captured on film singing a racist lynching song; race exploded into the nation’s collective consciousness. Even the Starbucks Coffee chain’s recent “Race Together” campaign, intended to promote discussion about race, sparked a controversy and was quickly withdrawn. These and other events have propelled race to the top of the national media and policy agendas and made it the topic of dinner table and water cooler conversations throughout the United States. Still, broad disagreement remains, particularly between whites and racial minorities, over what these events mean with respect to contemporary race relations.