One of the greatest achievements of President Barack Obama is how little we talk about him now as the first black president.
Four years ago, candidate Obama was very much seen as the great hope of the Joshua generation of black leaders to complete the civil rights revolution wrought by the Moses generation of Martin Luther King and his contemporaries. Obama himself honored his elders, and sought to carry forward the mantle honorably.
It is a huge measure of his success that now his supporters, like me, point to his solid record of practical achievements in righting the ship of state from the disaster of the previous administration, and making dozens of improvements in how government functions. Likewise, Obama's opponents attack him for many things, but only rarely for his blackness.
To be sure, Barack Obama's election to the presidency brought the racists out of the woodwork of American politics. And some of his most vociferous and poisonous opponents are motivated by racism, which they sometimes foreground in their attacks.
NOTE: I am not saying that all opponents of Pres. Obama are racists. Most of just Republicans, opposing the Democrat, in the most ordinary of ways.
I think that anti-black racism is the original sin of America. I therefore believed four years ago that in electing a black president, American had taken a giant step forward. And in electing a hugely accomplished meritocrat, married to another hugely accomplished meritocrat, who were devoted parents, committed church members, patriotic citizens - in short, just what we usually want our First Family to be - the Obamas made it clear that there were plenty of African-Americans ready and able to take their place in the leading classes of ordinary, bourgeois America.
Barack Obama was elected as, among other things, the first black president, and that mattered a great deal. But he will be re-elected (I believe) as just the president, and that matters more.