Chats: Is Obama Black, Bi-racial, or Post-racial?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2013-03-16 16:43Z by Steven

Chats: Is Obama Black, Bi-racial, or Post-racial?

Zócalo: Public Square

Five Experts Comment on the Politics of Race

Richard Thompson Ford, George E. Osborne Professor of Law
Stanford University

Michael C. Dawson, John D. MacArthur Professor of Political Science; Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture
University of Chicago

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Professor of Sociology
Duke University

G. Reginald Daniel, Professor of Sociology
University of California, Santa Barbara

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

As the son of a black Kenyan and a white American, President Obama is biracial. As a symbol of our times, he’s also called post-racial. On his census form, he classifies himself as black. Whatever he is, the categories obsess many Americans. So in advance of Randall Kennedy’s visit to Zócalo, we put the question to some leading academics: Is Obama black, bi-racial, or post-racial?…

He’s Black…

…He’s Black, Unfortunately…

…He’s White, Unfortunately…

…He’s Race-neutral, Unfortunately…

…He’s All and None—But Let’s Give It a Rest…

Read the entire article here.

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Whoa, We Have a Black President

Posted in Articles, Audio, Barack Obama, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2011-09-13 04:50Z by Steven

Whoa, We Have a Black President

Zócalo: Public Square

Randall Kennedy Assesses Obama’s Triumphs—and Shortcomings—In Erasing the Color Line

Randall Kennedy, Harvard professor of law and author of The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency, had an assignment: to answer whether or not Obama has been erasing the color line. “By color line,” explained Kennedy, “I mean all of the sentiments, instincts, habits of mind, structures that wrongly stymie people because of race. Is Obama erasing that baleful aspect of political culture?”
In a word, said Kennedy, yes. But there was a caveat: the “Obama way” is to avoiding talking about race at every turn.
According to Kennedy, Obama’s most impressive feat was to treat making it to the White House as a realistic, tenable option. His legacy, Kennedy believes, will be the alteration of public psychology to a place of normalizing a black presidency. After four years, people will have accepted seeing a black man enter and exit Air Force One.
“It was so audacious because of the history of the U.S.,” he said.
As Kennedy reminded the audience, a crowd of a few hundred gathered in an auditorium in the Hammer Museum, African-Americans were largely excluded from politics until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. “Blacks were excluded by dint of terror throughout the deep South, excluded by dint of various legal shenanigans,” Kennedy said….

…Kennedy’s own criticisms of Obama only came up in the question-and-answer portion of the evening. Kennedy said he believes that Obama didn’t actively do enough to change the ideological landscape of the country and that he was sheepish about outwardly supporting liberal judges. Kennedy was most critical of Obama’s stances surrounding gay rights, finding it ironic that when Obama’s parents married across racial boundaries it was considered a felony in many places. Now Obama is pushing a “separate but equal” equivalent in the gay community…

Read the entire article here.
Watch the video and/or listen to the audio here.

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