Racism in America and elsewhere is definitely an issue, as it is imbedded and is engaged in with many as a reflex, even without them knowing that what they are doing or saying is racist. This is a matter of education.
However, I think that far beyond merely the question of racism, we must confront a few more issues which stagnate the collective growth of society in general and this society in specific:
-The spectre of xenophobia that has run rampant in the guise of patriotism in America. It's horrifying to know how close one whose stock in trade is the aforementioned almost became Vice-President of the United States.
-The mob mentality that feeds itself from the irrational fears of a few, grows and spreads to the masses and causes factions to take sides against one another along ideological lines. We see this all over the so-called (once objective) news media, which has morphed into battling swarms of commentators and op-ed alarmists, each convinced that they hold the deliverance of truth...whatever that happens to have manifested itself as that particular day.
-The superiority complex America and Americans have developed regarding any and everything they (either individually or collectively) define as "American." This falls right in line with the xenophobia I mentioned above, as the mere concept of being critical of anything "American" suddenly makes one "anti-American" (in spite of the fact that the spirit of dissent is written into the Constitution and when engaged in, has been responsible for every major step forward this country has ever taken).
I think that sadly, America is ready for an African American President...but many Americans are not.