Originally published October 15, 2012 at 12:32 p.m., updated October 22, 2012 at 12:19 p.m.
"RACE 2012," a PBS Election 2012 special, is a conversation about race and politics that documents the changing face of America, and how that change may affect the country’s political future.
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.
Chat with Gwen: October 18, 2012
Join Gwen Ifill for her monthly webchat two days after the second presidential debate. Ask her anything on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 11 a.m. P.T. To ask your question before the chat, go to WASHINGTON WEEK's Facebook page.
Star in Your Own Political Ad
Fed up with political ads on TV? Why not make a better one -- starring you. NewsHour teamed with Mozilla to bring you a political ad maker. Craft your own video and customize it using photos from your Facebook page. Now it's time for you to approve this message.
Vote 2012 Map Center
Shields and Brooks: Are polls useful?
"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.
“RACE 2012 combines the serious, thoughtful analysis PBS audiences have come to expect, with an energetic, fast-paced and contemporary style that will appeal to younger and more diverse viewers,” says Donald Thoms, Vice President of Programming at PBS. “This engaging program offers new perspectives on today’s political landscape, addressing topics and issues that viewers care about deeply -- particularly in an election year.”
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.
Directed and produced by award-winning filmmaker Phillip Rodriguez, "RACE 2012" delves into a variety of issues including how immigrants are reshaping the American electoral landscape, white voters’ reactions to their declining numbers and diminished influence, and the economic imbalance between races.
For more information on "RACE 2012" and other PBS Election 2012 programming including PBS NEWSHOUR, WASHINGTON WEEK, FRONTLINE, NEED TO KNOW and other specials, visit pbs.org/election2012 and follow #pbsElection on Twitter.
The program is a presentation of Latino Public Broadcasting. Underwriters for "RACE 2012" include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Independent Television Service (ITVS), Public Television viewers, and PBS.