The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America?

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2012-10-03 18:49Z by Steven

The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America?

Oxford University Press
January 2011
336 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardback ISBN13: 9780199735204; ISBN10: 0199735204

Edited by

Gregory Parks, Assistant Professor of Law
Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, North Carolina

Matthew Hughey, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Connecticut

The United States has taken a long and winding road to racial equality, especially as it pertains to relations between blacks and whites. On November 4, 2008, when Barack Hussein Obama was elected as the forty-fourth President of the United States and first black person to occupy the highest office in the land, many wondered whether that road had finally come to an end. Do we now live in a post-racial nation?

According to this book’s contributors, a more nuanced and contemporary analysis and measurement of racial attitudes undercuts this assumption. They contend that despite the election of the first black President and rise of his family as possibly the most recognized family in the world, race remains a salient issue-particularly in the United States. Looking beyond public behaviors and how people describe their own attitudes, the contributors draw from the latest research to show how, despite the Obama family’s rapid rise to national prominence, many Americans continue to harbor unconscious, anti-black biases. But there are whispers of change. The Obama family’s position may yet undermine, at the unconscious level, anti-black attitudes in the United States and abroad. The prominence of the Obamas on the world stage and the image they project may hasten the day when America is indeed post-racial, even at the implicit level.

Features

  • Draws on a growing body of scholarly literature on implicit racial bias.
  • Discusses the implications of the entire First Family’s rise to prominence, not simply the President’s.

Contents

  • Contributors
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Measuring Racial Progress in America: The Tangled Path of Race – by Matthew W. Hughey (Commentary: Constraint and Freedom in the “Age of Obama” – by Kenneth Mack)
  • Chapter 2: Implicit Bias: A Better Metric for Racial Progress? – Leslie Ashburn-Nardo, Robert Livingston and Joshua Waytz (Commentary: The Erasure of the Affirmative Action Debate in the Age of Obama – by Ian Ayres)
  • Chapter 3: Black Man in the White House: Ideology and Implicit Racial Bias in the Age of Obama – by Kristin Lane and John Jost (Commentary: Black Man in the White House: A Commentary – Marc H. Morial)
  • Chapter 4: Obama-nation?: Implicit Beliefs about American Nationality and the Possibility of Redefining Who Counts as “Truly” American – by Nilanjana Dasgupta and Kumar Yogeeswaran (Commentary: As American as Barack Obama – by Lawrence Bobo)
  • Chapter 5: Does Black and Male Still = Threat in the Age of Obama? – by Jennifer A. Richeson and Meghan G. Bean (Commentary: Threat, Fantasy, and President Obama – by Eddie Glaude, Jr.)
  • Chapter 6: Michelle Obama: Redefining Images of Black Women – by Shanette C. Porter and Gregory S. Parks (Commentary: First Lady Michelle Obama: Getting Past the Stereotypes – Julianne Malveaux)
  • Chapter 7: Barack, Michelle and the Complexities of a Black “Love Supreme” – Clarenda M. Phillips, Tamara L. Brown and Gregory S. Parks (Commentary: The Obamas: Beyond Troubled Love – by JenĂ©e Desmond-Harris)
  • Chapter 8: Malia and Sasha: Re-envisioning Black Youth – by Valerie Purdie-Vaughns and Rachel Sumner (Commentary: Re-envisioning Black Youth: A Commentary by Marc Lamont Hill)
  • Chapter 9: Obama and Global Change in Attitudes about Group Status – by George Ciccariello-Maher and Matthew Hughey (Commentary: Commentary on Obama and Group Change in Attitudes about Group Status – Michael Dawson)
  • Chapter 10: The Role of Race in American Politics: Lessons Learned from the 2008 Presidential Election – by Thierry Devos (Commentary: The State of the Post-racial Union – by Farai Chideya)
  • Chapter 11: Obama’s Potential to Transform the Racial Attitudes of White Americans – by Jack Dovidio, Samuel L. Gaertner, Tamar Saguy and Eric Hehman (Commentary: Black Behavior and Moral Dissonance: Missing Mechanisms in Theorizing the Obama Effect – by Richard O. Lempert)
  • Chapter 12: New Bottle, Same Old Wine: The GOP and Race in the Age of Obama – by Russell J. Webster, Donald A. Saucier and Gregory S. Parks (Commentary: New Bottle, Same Old Wine: A Response – by Melissa Harris-Lacewell)
  • About the Editors, Contributors, and Commentators
  • Index
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Race in America: Restructuring Inequality: Intergroup Race Relation

Posted in Barack Obama, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Reports, Social Science, United States on 2011-08-20 00:20Z by Steven

Race in America: Restructuring Inequality: Intergroup Race Relation

Center on Race & Social Problems
School of Social Work
The University of Pittsburgh
2010
29 pages

Editors:

Larry E. Davis, Dean and Donald M. Henderson Professor of Social Work and Director of the Center on Race and Social Problems
University of Pittsburgh

Ralph Bangs, Associate Director
Center on Race and Social Problems
University of Pittsburgh

The Third of Seven Reports on the Race in America Conference (June 3-6, 2010)

Despite significant progress in America’s stride toward racial equality, there remains much to be done. Some problems are worse today than they were during the turbulent times of the 1960s. Indeed, racial disparities across a number of areas are blatant—family formation, employment levels, community violence, incarceration rates, educational attainment, and health and mental health outcomes.

As part of an attempt to redress these race-related problems, the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and Center on Race and Social Problems organized the conference Race in America: Restructuring Inequality, which was held at the University of Pittsburgh June 3–6, 2010. The goal of the conference was to promote greater racial equality for all Americans. As our entire society has struggled to recover from a major economic crisis, we believed it was an ideal time to restructure existing systems rather than merely rebuilding them as they once were. Our present crisis afforded us the opportunity to start anew to produce a society that promotes greater equality of life outcomes for all of its citizens.

The conference had two parts: 20 daytime sessions for registered attendees and three free public evening events. The daytime conference sessions had seven foci: economics, education, criminal justice, race relations, health, mental health, and families/youth/elderly. Each session consisted of a 45-minute presentation by two national experts followed by one hour of questions and comments by the audience. The evening events consisted of an opening lecture by Julian Bond, a lecture on economics by Julianne Malveaux, and a panel discussion on postracial America hosted by Alex Castellanos of CNN.

This report provides access to the extensive and detailed information disseminated during the intergroup race relations sessions at the conference. This information will be particularly helpful to community and policy leaders interested in gaining a better understanding of race relations and finding effective strategies for improving these conditions.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • In the Mix: Multiracial Demographics and Social Definitions of Race
  • Coming Together: Promoting Harmony among Racial Groups
    • Obama and the Durable Racialization of American Politics Lawrence D. Bobo
    • Somewhere Over the Rainbow?: Postracial and Panracial Politics in the Age of Obama Taeku Lee
  • The White Way?: Discussing Racial Privilege and White Advantage
    • Where and Why Whites Still Do Blatant Racism: White Racist Actions and Framing in the Backstage and Frontstage Joe Feagin
    • The Future of White Privilege in Post-Race, Post-Civil Rights, Colorblind America Charles Gallagher

Race: Changing Composition, Changing Definition

Presenter: Howard Hogan, Associate Director for Demographic Programs, U.S. Census Bureau

Moderator: Pat Chew, Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh

America’s categorization of race is more of a definition of how America chooses to see individuals and less the result of how people categorize themselves. Our concept of race in the United States has evolved over the country’s history. In America’s first census in 1790, the country viewed itself racially as comprising only three groups: Whites, slaves, and others. American Indians were not identified as a distinct group for this census. As immigration increased, our racial composition changed rapidly, and it was for this reason that in 1850 and 1860, the United States felt that it was necessary to gather information on the birthplaces of individuals. The term “Black” was first used as a census race category in the census of 1850, and the term “Negro” did not appear as a census race category until 1930…

…The concept of race and identification of racial origin continue to serve a role in the United States with regard to monitoring and enforcing civil rights legislation for employment, educational opportunities, and housing. It was for this reason the U.S. Supreme Court, in the 1980s, declared Judaism to be a race for purposes of antidiscrimination. Data on race also are used to study changes in the social, economic, and demographic characteristics and changes in our population. But there is no reason to assume that it will get easier for OMB and the U.S. Census Bureau to make the kind of distinctions they need to be able to collect this information…

Obama and the Durable Racialization of American Politics

Presenter: Lawrence D. Bobo, W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University

Moderator: Lu-in Wang, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh

There are some in American society who are unable to assess issues of racial discord because they accept the concept that the United States has become a postracial nation. There are others who consider postracialism to be a politically neutralizing falsehood that veils how the racial divide is constructed and maintained in American society. The prevalence of racial dissonance has waned over time in comparison to the racial conflicts America faced in the past. However, in order for this recuperation to continue, American society has to be forthright about current race relations conditions and open to developing new ways to improve relations in the future. The United States has adopted a new contemporary form of racism, because the blatant Jim Crow discrimination of years past is not as socially acceptable. The characteristics of this contemporary form, called laissez-faire racism, are the widespread and consequential harboring of negative stereotypes and the collective racial resentment of African Americans. Laissez-faire racism is very prevalent in today’s society despite the belief by many that the United States has transitioned into postracialism, spearheaded by Barack Obama’s presidential election. However, the majority of White voters chose not to vote for Barack Obama for president. An overwhelming majority of minority voters chose to vote for him.

There are several reasons why America has not reached the point where the color line between Blacks and Whites has become blurred beyond recognition. First, only 14.6 percent of U.S. marriages in 2008 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity, and only 11 percent of these mixed marriages were White-Black. Second, only 7 million (2 percent) of the U.S. population in 2000 marked more than one race on the census. One-quarter of these were Black. Third, Black-White wealth gaps have grown, even among educated Blacks.

In order to relieve some of the racial discord in society, progressive dialogue on the current realities of race relations in the United States is needed, as well as structural and cultural change…

…The anti-Black cultural project of “erasing Blackness” has not destabilized the core racial binary. Although many believe that miscegenation—the mixing of races through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation—an overwhelming majority of Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians still marry within their racial group.

Miscegenation

Many Americans buy into the notion that miscegenation is causing the end of the Black and White races and that eventually the color line between Whites and Blacks will become blurred beyond recognition. The data show:

  • African Americans are the least likely of all races to marry Whites.
  • Although the pace of interracial marriage increased more rapidly in the 1990s than it did in other periods, the social boundaries between Blacks and Whites remained highly rigid and resistant to change.
  • Although interracial marriages have increased greatly in recent years, they still only account for 15 percent of marriages in the U.S.
  • Only 7 million Americans (2 percent) identified more than one race when given the option to do so on the 2000 Census. Of those 7 million, one-quarter identified having any mixture with African Americans.
  • Biracial African American-White individuals have historically identified themselves as Black and typically married other African
    Americans…

Read the entire report here.

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