The rise of racial consciousness among moderns (especially youth) is likely inevitable. The racialization of Africans, Asians, and Latinos is virtually complete, and a younger racially aware vanguard of white millenials is awakening across the West.
In a world in which every other aspect of one's personal identity can be altered or erased, one's race stands as the sole consistency in life. The other components of collective identity have become transient. Religion, geography, family, culture, occupation, relationships, state, and even gender can be ignored, changed, or hidden. Race alone remains unalterable.
Over half the "churched youth" from most religious traditions abandon their faith after adolescents. The majority of adults settle outside their hometowns, and many beyond their home states. Families are spread out over long distances and play little part in their member's day to day lives. When family members do not get along, they simply ignore one another. Culture has become a personal choice related to one's individual preferences. Job losses and occupational instability have destroyed consistent employment identity. Gender can be surgically or cosmetically concealed in a society in which neighbors barely know one another.
In the midst of twenty-first century social chaos, race remains the only element of one's collective identity which cannot be hidden nor changed. A person of northwest European extraction will never pass as an Afroethnic or East Asian. Regardless of personal preference or geographical residence, a person's race is immediately apparent to everyone they come into contact with. Even an Amazonian tribal savage with no concept of racial distinctions can instantly recognize the racial "other" from the native population even if he does not understand the origin of the distinction.
Race will never supersede eternal religious identity in importance, but it has begun to rise above it in terms of collective human interaction. With the degradation of every other form of identity, racial consciousness must ascend.