The election of Barack Obama was supposed to herald the dawn of a post-racial age in America—a meaningless term without a grasp of what "racial" means. Most people assume that racism grows from the perception of human difference: the fact of race gives rise to the practice of racism. In this myth-busting reflection, the sociologist Karen E. Fields and the historian Barbara J. Fields argue the opposite: the practice of racism produces the illusion of race, through what they call racecraft. And racecraft is intimately entwined with other forms of inequality in American life. So pervasive are the devices of racecraft in American history, economic doctrine, politics, and everyday thinking that the presence of racecraft itself goes unnoticed. That the post-racial age has not dawned, the Fieldses argue, reflects the failure of Americans to develop a legitimate language for thinking about and discussing inequality across the board. That failure should worry all who care about democratic institutions.