Obama's not post-racial, and he's not downplaying the role of race in our society. But he is redefining the majority, and that honors the civil rights leader.
Moreover, Obama's choice to "black identify" helps broaden the collective notion of blackness. On "60 Minutes," Obama articulated this when he explained that the realization that the black experience was not singular but multifaceted helped him resolve his identity. "The African American community, which I now very much feel a part of, is itself a hybrid community. It's African. It's European. It's Native American. So it's much more difficult to define what the essential African American experience is, at least more difficult than what popular culture would allow."