Obama did not magically make racism disappear. And to state the year in response to any mention or discussion of racism is illogical and to believe that about forty years since the civil rights movement (1950s-68) racism would completely disappear without a trace is naive.
The fact is racism is alive and well. Statistics show that blacks are paid a lower wage than whites, Asians, and Hispanics for the same job and with the same qualifications. Studies show that blacks consistently face discrimination when applying for jobs and that racism is a major factor that leads to fewer job opportunities for blacks. Racial profiling by the police is still a major issue as well as the disproportionately high incarceration rate of black males. Many other studies and issues prove that racism has not disappeared yet people still act as though they believe it has.
The reason for people's denial of the existence of racism is complex. Part of it is the misconception of what racism is and what can be defined as racism. To many people, racism is only overt verbal or physical aggressions against an individual because of their race. Even then, it has to be explicitly and undeniably stated by the perpetrator of this racism that their acts were because they dislike or hate the victim's race. But in reality, racism has many forms and may be overt or covert. Even then, the perpetrator may not even admit to themselves, let alone to others, that their actions are based on racism. Because racism is such a sensitive topic and due to the stigmatization of the word "racism" and "racist", people shy away from such labels and from overt displays of racism in order to avoid this label.
Another part of it is the self-denial many people have about their own ideas about race. Prejudice is very common among people. Yet, in North America, many either lie to themselves (or to others) about their racist attitudes. Some might have very racist views and discriminate against certain races and yet they try to justify their views or attribute to anything other than racism.
Lastly, like any enduring and widespread discrimination that places certain groups into disadvantage and leads to stigmatization and injustice, racism is able to continue and maintain its hold over every facet of society through the suppression of discussions on race and racism. The ridicule of those who attempt to open such dialogue also aids in the preservation of widespread racism.
Regardless, it is best to acknowledge reality and to speak the truth in spite of what society seems to approve or disapprove of.