“The question of setting fair boundaries for debate may not be as important a problem as racism, but it is a major problem for the left. It also happens to be the problem that gave rise to Obama’s political career. The president’s transformation from regular student to national figure began at the Harvard Law Review, then torn bitterly between over race and what everybody called “political correctness.” In 1990, Obama was elected the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, and thus made the subject of national news coverage, because he alone was able to understand the perspective of both enemy camps.
One can see the contours of the same debate swirling around him today as president. There’s no contradiction between grasping the deep and continuing power of white supremacy in American politics and culture while still affording one’s opponents a basic presumption of fairness. One might even call this an important part of the definition of liberalism,” – Jon Chait.