Did President Obama really better race relations in America?

Many people expected that the election of America's first black president in 2008 would finally close the ugly race chapter in American history.  Instead, there appears to be more emphasis on race, poverty, economic disparity, and on what divides us rather than what brings us together. 
 

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According to figures from the Southern Poverty Law Center, hate groups grew to a record high of 1,018 in 2011, up from 1,002 the year before over a series of increases.
 
The rise in hate groups might be fueled by the fact that Americans have become disappointed in America’s decline, and those sentiments have only been ignited through a combination of bad policy from Washington and political rhetoric on both sides of the aisle.
 
President Obama himself even admitted in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that his election would not solve racial tensions in America. While his pragmatic statement has proved to be right, this is also the same president who accepted a Nobel Peace Prize right before entering office for “breaking” the racial barrier.
 
But there’s another question that we’ve been grappling with since the end of the 2012 election — was this done for the sake of political advantage? 
 
If so, maybe now that the 2012 presidential election is over and there is no further political gain from the politics of division, there can be hope that we can write a new chapter on race relations in America.