President Obama and the Long March

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-07-29 00:59Z by Steven

President Obama and the Long March

The New York Times

The Editorial Board

President Obama’s speech before the Democratic convention in Philadelphia Wednesday night was, of course, an occasion to celebrate the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state and the first woman to receive the presidential nomination of a major political party.

His presence on the podium was also a valedictory for an exceptional man and president who will be remembered for eloquently defending the founding precepts of the country — even as he used those precepts to expand the mandate of inclusiveness and broaden the definition of what it means to be an American.

From that standpoint, the Obama presidency has been transformative — perhaps even miraculous. But the very idea of a black man in the White House was too much to bear for white supremacists, birthers and the antigovernment militia groups that have only grown more savage over time. The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, traded openly on these impulses, amping up the racism, xenophobia and religious bigotry that have poisoned public discourse in this nation.

Wednesday night’s beautiful and emotional speech came 12 years after Mr. Obama, then a Senate candidate from Illinois, delivered the keynote address at the Democratic convention in Boston that brought him into the national spotlight. As he did then, Mr. Obama laid out his personal history, the son of a black Kenyan and a white American, and sounded the theme that has been common to his orations ever since: that the progress of American history is toward the creation of one people — “out of many, one.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-02-21 23:52Z by Steven

Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide

William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins)
384 pages
Trimsize: 6 in (w) x 9 in (h) x 1.21 in (d)
Hardcover ISBN: 9780062305251
Paperback ISBN: 9780062305268
E-book ISBN: 9780062305275

Joy-Ann Reid

Barack Obama’s speech on the Edmund Pettus Bridge to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches should have represented the culmination of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of racial unity. Yet, in Fracture, MSNBC national correspondent Joy-Ann Reid shows that, despite the progress we have made, we are still a nation divided—as seen recently in headline-making tragedies such as the killing of Trayvon Martin and the uprisings in Ferguson and Baltimore.

With President Obama’s election, Americans expected an open dialogue about race but instead discovered the irony of an African American president who seemed hamstrung when addressing racial matters, leaving many of his supporters disillusioned and his political enemies sharpening their knives. To understand why that is so, Reid examines the complicated relationship between Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton, and how their varied approaches to the race issue parallel the challenges facing the Democratic party itself: the disparate parts of its base and the whirl of shifting allegiances among its power players—and how this shapes the party and its hopes of retaining the White House.

Fracture traces the party’s makeup and character regarding race from the civil rights days to the Obama presidency. Filled with key political players such as Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and Al Sharpton, it provides historical context while addressing questions arising as we head into the next national election: Will Hillary Clinton’s campaign represent an embrace of Obama’s legacy or a repudiation of it? How is Hillary Clinton’s stand on race both similar to and different from Obama’s, or from her husband’s? How do minorities view Mrs. Clinton, and will they line up in huge numbers to support her—and what will happen if they don’t?

Veteran reporter Joy-Ann Reid investigates these questions and more, offering breaking news, fresh insight, and experienced insider analysis, mixed with fascinating behind-the-scenes drama, to illuminate three of the most important figures in modern political history, and how race can affect the crucial 2016 election and the future of America itself.

Tags: , , , , ,

No, Bill Clinton, we’re not ‘all mixed race’ – and you of all people should know that

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-02-17 02:17Z by Steven

No, Bill Clinton, we’re not ‘all mixed race’ – and you of all people should know that

The Independent
London, United Kingdom

Remi Joseph Salisbury

If you’re claiming you’re ‘colour-blind’, you’re not being progressive. You’re part of the problem

In a seemingly fear-fuelled attempt to halt the rapidly growing popularity of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton has once more turned to her husband – her “secret weapon” – to move along the discussion. Except it’s all gone terribly wrong.

At a rally in Memphis on Friday, Bill Clinton demonstrated his ineptitude in offering any meaningful contribution to political debates about racial equality when he argued that “we are all mixed-race people”.

This comment – an attempt to downplay the significance of race – represents a lack of respect towards, and disregard for, the lives of people of colour living in the United States.

Bill Clinton has had a lot of opportunities to think about race. He might have thought about the centrality of race to prejudice in US society when his “tough on crime” stance saw him introduce the 1994 crime bill. When this bill supported a burgeoning prison-industrial complex that disproportionately incarcerates African Americans, often for non-violent and petty crimes, he might have stopped to think about race…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Obama, Blackness, and Postethnic America

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2012-02-06 00:45Z by Steven

Obama, Blackness, and Postethnic America

The Chronicle of Higher Education

David A. Hollinger, Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History
University of California, Berkeley

The Obama candidacy challenges our notions of identity politics

In their support for Hillary Rodham Clinton over Barack Obama, prominent black leaders have made it clear that black skin color itself is not as big a deal in American politics as it once was. The spectacle of John Lewis, Charles B. Rangel, and Andrew Young, among others, trying to persuade black Americans to vote for a white woman rather than the first black man with a real chance at the White House is a striking example of how the Obama campaign has become a postethnic phenomenon.

There are plenty of other signs as well. In a society long accustomed to a sharp black-white color line — and to relying on the rule of “one drop of black blood” to locate that line — commentators are discussing the choices of identity available to the mixed-race Obama. In a recent video on The New York Times Web site, Glenn C. Loury and John H. McWhorter, two prominent black intellectuals, casually reviewed Obama’s range of options. Yet it was not so long ago that the lightskinned Colin Powell declared matter-of-factly: “When you look like me, you are black.”…

…Obama’s mixed ancestry, however, is not what most generates the new uncertainty about blackness. Much more important is the fact that his black ancestry is immigrant rather than American-born. Before getting to that, however, let me clarify the postethnic flavor of the support for Clinton on the part of a substantial segment of the black political establishment…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,