Barack Obama and the Third Wave: the syntaxes of whiteness and articulating difference in the post-identity era

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-09-03 00:56Z by Steven

Barack Obama and the Third Wave: the syntaxes of whiteness and articulating difference in the post-identity era

Politics, Groups, and Identities
Volume 2, Issue 4, 2014
pages 573-588
DOI: 10.1080/21565503.2014.969739

Melanye T. Price, Assistant Professor
Africana Studies and Political Science Departments
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Emerging critiques of Third Wave Feminism and its employment of grammars of whiteness provide a framework for analyzing racial discourses emerging in the same social context. Like Third Wave Feminists, Barack Obama’s political ascendancy happens in a post-identity (post-racial, post-feminist) moment where members of ascriptive categories having achieved significant civil rights gains begin to assert their rights to live unconstrained by racialized and gendered histories and norms. Using the syntaxes of whiteness outlined previously by Rebecca Clark Mane, I critically analyze Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” speech. I argue that Obama does the following: he provides a racial analysis that is disconnected from historical context, suggests that prevailing isms are primarily relegated to the past, conflates oppositional racial experiences, and relies too heavily on his own personal narrative to justify claims. These discursive practices have damaging effects for our broader understanding of contemporary racial politics. Moreover, reliance on Obama’s perspective on American race relations makes it more difficult to argue and demonstrate that material inequalities are produced by structural injustice that continues to over-determine the lives of certain groups. Additionally, advocates and activists who continue to make identity-based claims are viewed as either holding on too tightly to the past or failing to understand the present.

Read or purchase the article here.

Tags: , ,

The PBS NewsHour Launches Year Long Conversation on Race, Diversity and Intolerance

Posted in Articles, Forthcoming Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-09-03 00:42Z by Steven

The PBS NewsHour Launches Year Long Conversation on Race, Diversity and Intolerance

PBS NewsHour

Media Relations Contacts:

Nick Massella, Director of Audience Engagement and Communications
James Blue, Senior Content and Special Projects Producer

WASHINGTON, DC (August 31, 2015) – Michael Brown. Freddie Gray. Eric Garner. These are just three names that have dominated news coverage in the past year. Different stories and different circumstances, provoking similar conversations about race on a national and international level. They underscore the reality that America’s deepest wound is far from healed.

Meanwhile, debates about immigration and citizenship have left many feeling alienated and angry on all sides of the issues. A recent New York Times / CBS News poll shows that the majority of Americans think race relations are bad.

With all of that in mind, the PBS NewsHour with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff has launched a yearlong series focusing on diversity, divisions and various efforts and ideas to bridge and heal these issues. This series includes a deep look at the enduring and painful issues we will call Race Matters. On broadcast and online, NewsHour will host conversations on finding solutions to the painful divides that continue to plague our communities.

Returning to the NewsHour to take a leading role in this project is special correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault. The series will take viewers throughout the United States to the Americans having tough conversations on these important issues and will feature experts on race relations and their proposals for how to address race-fueled issues. This is a periodic series that will air on the program frequently throughout the year…

Read the entire press release here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Are multiracial millennials leading the way towards an inclusive society?

Posted in Audio, Census/Demographics, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-09-02 01:25Z by Steven

Are multiracial millennials leading the way towards an inclusive society?

MPR News with Kerri Miller
Minnesota Public Radio
Tuesday, 2015-08-25, 14:00Z (09:00 CDT, 10:00 EDT)

Kerri Miller, Host

Jose Santos, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minnesota

Rainier Spencer, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Associate Vice President for Diversity Initiatives; Chief Diversity Officer
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

“Demographically, multiracial Americans are younger—and strikingly so—than the country as a whole. According to Pew Research Center analysis of the 2013 American Community Survey, the median age of all multiracial Americans is 19, compared with 38 for single-race Americans,” —Pew Research Center.

While the nation’s multiracial population is growing – does that make our culture more understanding of issues of diversity?

MPR News host Kerri Miller hosts an engaging discussion on this question with her guests, callers and online commenters.

Listen to the interview (00:41:36) here. Download the interview here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Politics, Opinion and Reality in Black and White: Conceptualizing Postracialism at the Beginning of the 21st Century

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-09-01 20:17Z by Steven

Politics, Opinion and Reality in Black and White: Conceptualizing Postracialism at the Beginning of the 21st Century

Revue de Recherche en Civilisation Américaine
Number 3 (March 2012): Post-racial America?

Lisa Veroni-Paccher, MCF, Civilisation américaine
Université Bordeaux Montaigne

With the election of the first black president, commentators and pundits said that Americans could now believe that African Americans had achieved racial equality, or at least that they would achieve it in their lifetimes. As Barack Obama used a universalist message and adopted a racially transcendent strategy which might seem at odds with his self-definition as an African American, he came to be defined as a postracial candidate, in a postracial America. The promise of an electoral victory indeed called for a strategy that would avoid race-specific issues, while at the same time reassured voters that their interests would be best served. This article argues that postracialism can thus be understood and used as an effective electoral strategy aiming at downplaying the individual and collective roles race and racism play in structuring group hierarchy and interaction, so that black or other nonwhite candidates can appeal to white voters. Using recent public opinion data, this paper will then attempt to understand how the contemporary political environment transforms the use of race as a political and/or social construction and whether it matches the evolution of black public opinion as it relates to understandings of race and racism.


  • I. Postracial Politics: Deracialized Electoral Strategies as Necessity
  • II. Race, Racism, Racial Equality and Public Opinion: Postracial America as Desire
  • III. Postracialism Real or Dreamed? Beyond the black/white dichotomy
  • Conclusion

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,

The Politics of Race and Class in the Age of Obama

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-09-01 14:35Z by Steven

The Politics of Race and Class in the Age of Obama

Revue de Recherche en Civilisation Américaine
Number 3 (March 2012): Post-racial America?

Myra Mendible, Professor of English and Department Chair for Language and Literature
Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida

This essay explores the revival and misappropriation of identity politics in the age of Obama. I argue that Obama’s presidency has exposed the fault lines of American society, evoking deep-seated apprehensions about race, immigration, and America’s role in a post-9/11 world. As a result, it has generated a range of discursive strategies intended to both disguise and deploy racialist ideology. In particular, my analysis focuses attention on three developments in the wake of Obama’s election: the emergence of “whiteness” as an endangered identity; the prevalence of “class” as a code word for “race”; and the reconfiguration of “passing” and miscegenation tropes in political discourse. I consider the ways that these rhetorical sleights-of-hand exploit post-racial discourse in order to dismantle decades of progressive civil rights legislation in the United States.


  • Post-Racial America: New Myth for a New Age?
  • “Passing” for “Black”?
  • Is White the New Black?
  • Exploiting the “Obama Effect”

Read the entire article here.

Tags: ,

In Conversation: Quentin Tarantino

Posted in Articles, Arts, Barack Obama, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-09-01 02:03Z by Steven

In Conversation: Quentin Tarantino


Lane Brown, Culture Editor

Midway through postproduction on his eighth movie, the Western THE HATEFUL EIGHT — about a band of outlaws trapped in a saloon during a blizzard — the director discusses the country’s legacy of white supremacy, Obama, and why he doesn’t worry about a Transformers future.

We’re five months from the release of The Hateful Eight. How close to finishing are you?

We’ve got a little bit more than an hour finished right now. I just got back from seeing an hour of the movie cut together…

Hateful Eight uses the Civil War as a backdrop, sort of like how The Good, the Bad and the Ugly does.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly doesn’t get into the racial conflicts of the Civil War; it’s just a thing that’s happening. My movie is about the country being torn apart by it, and the racial aftermath, six, seven, eight, ten years later.

That’s going to make this movie feel contemporary. Everybody’s talking about race right now.

I know. I’m very excited by that.


Finally, the issue of white supremacy is being talked about and dealt with. And it’s what the movie’s about.

How did what’s happening in Baltimore and Ferguson find its way into The Hateful Eight?

It was already in the script. It was already in the footage we shot. It just happens to be timely right now. We’re not trying to make it timely. It is timely. I love the fact that people are talking and dealing with the institutional racism that has existed in this country and been ignored. I feel like it’s another ’60s moment, where the people themselves had to expose how ugly they were before things could change. I’m hopeful that that’s happening now.

You supported Obama. How do you think he’s done?

I think he’s fantastic. He’s my favorite president, hands down, of my lifetime. He’s been awesome this past year. Especially the rapid, one-after-another-after-another-after-another aspect of it. It’s almost like take no prisoners. His he-doesn’t-give-a-shit attitude has just been so cool. Everyone always talks about these lame-duck presidents. I’ve never seen anybody end with this kind of ending. All the people who supported him along the way that questioned this or that and the other? All of their questions are being answered now…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , ,

Conservatives Are Missing the Point of Black Lives Matter

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-08-31 01:03Z by Steven

Conservatives Are Missing the Point of Black Lives Matter

The Atlantic

Adrienne Green, Editorial Fellow

Courtesy of Shaun King

Those that questioned Shaun King about his race think that it’s relevant to the movement. They’re wrong.

Shaun King, a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, responded last week to accusations published by some conservative websites that he has lied about being biracial, and about being the victim of racially-motivated attacks.

“The reports about my race, about my past, and about the pain I’ve endured are all lies,” he wrote on Thursday in [an] article for Daily Kos, the liberal news site where he works.

Both The Daily Caller—which referred to King as “the facebook pastor”—and cited a police report from 1995, which listed King’s identity as white. King, who claims the incident that resulted in the police report was an example of racial tensions that had surfaced at his school, offered harrowing details about the brutality he says he faced.

“In March of 1995, it all boiled over and a racist mob of nearly a dozen students beat me severely, first punching me from all sides,” King wrote. “When I cradled into a fetal position on the ground they stomped me mercilessly, some with steel-toed boots, for about 20 seconds. That day changed the entire trajectory of my life.”

In an attempt to defend his identity and silence his critics, King offered up a complicated family history, identifying his biological parents as a white mother and “light skinned black man,” who, The Washington Post reports, is not the man listed on his birth certificate

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

The Wrongs of the Right: Language, Race, and the Republican Party in the Age of Obama

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-08-31 00:38Z by Steven

The Wrongs of the Right: Language, Race, and the Republican Party in the Age of Obama

New York University Press
May 2014
232 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780814760543

Matthew W. Hughey, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Connecticut

Gregory S. Parks, Assistant Professor of Law
Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

On November 5, 2008, the nation awoke to a New York Times headline that read triumphantly: “OBAMA. Racial Barrier Falls in Heavy Turnout.” But new events quickly muted the exuberant declarations of a postracial era in America: from claims that Obama was born in Kenya and that he is not a true American, to depictions of Obama as a “Lyin African” and conservative cartoons that showed the new president surrounded by racist stereotypes like watermelons and fried chicken.

Despite the utopian proclamations that we are now live in a color-blind, postracial country, the grim reality is that implicit racial biases are more entrenched than ever. In Wrongs of the Right, Matthew W. Hughey and Gregory S. Parks set postracial claims into relief against a background of pre- and post-election racial animus directed at Obama, his administration, and African Americans. They provide an analysis of the political Right and their opposition to Obama from the vantage point of their rhetoric, a history of the evolution of the two-party system in relation to race, social scientific research on race and political ideology, and how racial fears, coded language, and implicit racism are drawn upon and manipulated by the political Right. Racial meanings are reservoirs rich in political currency, and the Right’s replaying of the race card remains a potent resource for othering the first black president in a context rife with Nativism, xenophobia, white racial fatigue, and serious racial inequality. And as Hughey and Parks show, race trumps politics and policies when it comes to political conservatives’ hostility toward Obama.


  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. The Grand Old Party and African Americans: A Brief Historical Overview
  • 2. Unsweet Tea and Labor Pains: The Tea Party, Birthers, and Obama
  • 3. A Fox in the Idiot Box: Right-Wing Talking Heads
  • 4. Political Party, Campaign Strategy, and Racial Messaging
  • 5. The Social Science of Political Ideology and Racial Attitudes
  • 6. Unconscious Race Bias and the Right: Its Meaning for Law in the Age of Obama
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Index
  • About the Authors
Tags: , , , , ,

Hispanic Or Latino? A Guide For The U.S. Presidential Campaign

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-08-28 16:42Z by Steven

Hispanic Or Latino? A Guide For The U.S. Presidential Campaign

National Public Radio

Lulu Garcia-Navarro, South America Correspondent

My parents are Cuban and Panamanian. I grew up in Miami. I travel broadly in Latin America but reside in Brazil, which speaks Portuguese, not Spanish.

So what am I?

This may seem an irrelevant question to many, but as the American presidential season kicks into high gear there’s been a lot of confusion about how to refer to people alternately called Hispanics or Latinos.

Donald Trump, who’s made immigration central to his campaign, has sometimes used the catchall phrase “the Mexicans.” And his verbal confrontation this week with Spanish-language broadcaster Jorge Ramos — a Mexican-American — lit up social media.

I feel the need to jump into the fray because it will save me from writing lengthy corrections to others on my Facebook feed. Now, I’ll just be able to post this link. There are a lot of misconceptions out there.

Latino And Hispanic Don’t Refer To Race Or Color: As in the U.S., there are many races in Latin America owing to the history of the region. The indigenous peoples of the region were conquered and colonized by white Europeans, who then forcibly imported millions of black Africans and enslaved them. In Brazil, you also have a huge Japanese community, and there are many Chinese descendants in Peru. One of Peru’s former presidents was of Japanese descent…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,

Who Cares for Health Care?

Posted in Forthcoming Media, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Live Events, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2015-08-27 01:03Z by Steven

Who Cares for Health Care?

Breaking Through: TEDMED 2015
Palm Springs, California
2015-11-18 through 2015-11-20

Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

Physician, heal thyself … and while you’re at it, how about healing your field? Every cure starts with accurate diagnosis, so this series of cautionary tales reveals surprising perspectives and under-appreciated challenges facing our health care system. Stories include a renowned patient advocate’s struggle to balance patient empowerment with patient safety; a quality care pioneer’s determination to define empathy as a business asset; a civil rights sociologist’s mission to combat subtle racism within medicine; and a senior economist’s ranking of health as an existential value.

Global scholar, University of Pennsylvania civil rights sociologist, and law professor Dorothy Roberts will expose the myths of race-based medicine.

Tags: , , , ,