Race and the Obama Phenomenon: The Vision of a More Perfect Multiracial Union

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-07-25 04:22Z by Steven

Race and the Obama Phenomenon: The Vision of a More Perfect Multiracial Union

University Press of Mississippi
2014-07-17
432 pages
6 X 9 inches
3 B&W photographs
Hardcover ISBN: 9781628460216

Edited by:

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

Hettie V. Williams, Lecturer of African American History
Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Essays that explore how the first black president connects to the past and reimagines national racial and political horizons

The concept of a more perfect union remains a constant theme in the political rhetoric of Barack Obama. From his now historic race speech to his second victory speech delivered on November 7, 2012, that striving is evident. “Tonight, more than two hundred years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward,” stated the forty-fourth president of the United States upon securing a second term in office after a hard fought political contest. Obama borrows this rhetoric from the founding documents of the United States set forth in the U.S. Constitution and in Abraham Lincoln’sGettysburg Address.”

How naive or realistic is Obama’s vision of a more perfect American union that brings together people across racial, class, and political lines? How can this vision of a more inclusive America be realized in a society that remains racist at its core? These essays seek answers to these complicated questions by examining the 2008 and 2012 elections as well as the events of President Obama’s first term. Written by preeminent race scholars from multiple disciplines, the volume brings together competing perspectives on race, gender, and the historic significance of Obama’s election and reelection. The president heralded in his November, 2012, acceptance speech, “The idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like . . . . whether you’re black or white, Hispanic or Asian or Native American.” These essayists argue the truth of that statement and assess whether America has made any progress toward that vision.

Contributions by Lisa Anderson-Levy, Heidi Ardizzone, Karanja Keita Carroll, Greg Carter, Frank Rudy Cooper, Marhsa J. Tyson Darling, Tessa Ditonto, David Frank, Amy L. Heyse, David A. Hollinger, George Lipsitz, Mark McPhail, Tavia Nyong’o, David Roediger, Paul Spickard, Janet Mendoza Stickman, Paul Street, Ebony Utley, Ronald Waters

Contents

  • Preface / Hettie V. Williams and G. Reginald Daniel
  • Foreword: Race Will Survive the Obama Phenomenon / David Roediger
  • Introduction: Understanding Obama and Ourselves / George Lipsitz
  • Part I: Race, Obama, and Multiraciality
    • 1. Race and Multiraciality: From Barack Obama to Trayvon Martin / G. Reginald Daniel
    • 2. By Casta, Color Wheel, and Computer Graphics: Visual Representations of Racially Mixed People / Greg Carter
    • 3. Barack Obama: Embracing Multiplicity—Being a Catalyst for Change / Janet Mendoza Stickmon
    • 4. In Pursuit of Self: The Identity of an American President and Cosmopolitanism / Hettie V. Williams
  • Part II: Obama, Blackness, and the “Post-Racial Idea”
    • 5. Barack Hussein Obama, or, the Name of the Father / Tavia Nyong’o
    • 6. The End(s) of Difference? Towards an Understanding of the “Post” in Post-Racial / Lisa Anderson-Levy
    • 7. On the Impossibilities of a Post-Racist America in the Obama Era / Karanja Keita Carroll
    • 8. Obama, the Instability of Color Lines, and the Promise of a Postethnic Future / David A. Hollinger
  • Part III: Race, Gender, and the Obama Phenomenon
    • 9. From Chattel to First Lady: Black Women Moving from the Margins / Marsha J. Tyson Darling
    • 10. The “Outsider” and the Presidency: Mediated Representations of Race and Gender in the 2008 Presidential Primaries / Tessa Ditonto
    • 11. Obama’s “Unisex” Campaign: Critical Race Theory Meets Masculinities Studies / Frank Rudy Cooper
    • 12. “Everything His Father Was Not”: Fatherhood and Father Figures in Barack Obama’s First Term / Heidi Ardizzone
  • Part IV: Race, Politics, and the Obama Phenomenon
    • 13. Barack Obama’s Address to the 2004 Democratic Convention: Trauma, Compromise, Consilience and the (Im)Possibility of Racial Reconciliation / David Frank and Mark Lawrence McPhail
    • 14. Barack Obama and the Politics of Blackness / Ronald W. Walters
    • 15. Barack Obama’s White Appeal and the Perverse Racial Politics of the Post-Civil Rights Era / Paul Street
    • 16. Barack Obama’s (Im)Perfect Union: An Analysis of the Strategic Successes and Failures in His Speech on Race / Ebony Utley and Amy L. Heyse
  • Epilogue: Obama, Race, and the 2012 Presidential Election / Paul Spickard
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Attorney General Holder is right: Racial animus plays role in Obama opposition

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-07-24 06:33Z by Steven

Attorney General Holder is right: Racial animus plays role in Obama opposition

Southern Poverty Law Center
2014-07-16

Morris Dees, Founder, Chief Trial Attorney

Right-wing pundits are jumping all over Attorney General Eric Holder for daring to suggest on Sunday that “racial animus” plays a role in the “level of vehemence” that’s been directed at President Obama. They’re denouncing him for “playing the race card” and “stoking racial divisions.”

Who do they think they’re fooling?…

…And, we’ve seen an explosive growth of radical-right groups, including armed militias, since Obama was elected, and repeated threats that violence is needed to “take our country back” from the “tyranny” of Obama. This is part of a backlash to the growing diversity in our country, as symbolized by the presence of a black man in the White House…

Read the entire article here.

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Multiracial Identity for the Year 2000 Census

Posted in Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2014-07-05 20:40Z by Steven

Multiracial Identity for the Year 2000 Census

C-SPAN
1998-05-30

Panelists discussed the federal government’s recent decision to allow individuals to define their race by more than one category on the 2000 census. They discussed the implications of this decision and its effect on areas such as social program funding and political representation. Panelists also answered media questions.

Hosted by:

National MultiCultural Institute

People in this video:

Susan Graham, President
Project RACE

Stuart Ishimaru, Counsel
United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

Clarence Page, Columnist
Tribune Media Services

Jeffrey Passel, Director
Urban Institute, Immigration Policy Program

Elizabeth Salett, President
National MultiCultural Institute

Watch the video here.

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Bill de Blasio and the Art of Political Image at… the Mermaid Parade

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-06-29 18:09Z by Steven

Bill de Blasio and the Art of Political Image at… the Mermaid Parade

The New York Times
2014-06-23

Vanessa Friedman, Chief Fashion Critic


Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York with, from left, his son, Dante; his wife, Chirlane McCray; and his daughter, Chiara, at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade on Saturday. [Tina Fineberg/Associated Press]

Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family had kind of an interesting fashion moment over the weekend. In case you missed it, I offer the above photo of Mr. de Blasio in pirate kit; his wife, Chirlane McCray, in full Ariel getup and their two children both body-painted blue — all for the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade. In fact, Dante and Chiara were king and queen of the parade, a kitsch classic that takes place on the first official day of summer (i.e. Saturday).

Why does this matter beyond the obvious comedic value? Strategy and image spin, my dear Watson. Strategy and image spin…

Read the entire article here.

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On My Upcoming Trip to Indian Country

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-06-05 15:47Z by Steven

On My Upcoming Trip to Indian Country

Indian Country Today Media Network
2014-06-05

Barack Obama, President of the United States

Six years ago, I made my first trip to Indian country. I visited the Crow Nation in Montana—an experience I’ll never forget. I left with a new Crow name, an adoptive Crow family, and an even stronger commitment to build a future that honors old traditions and welcomes every Native American into the American Dream.

Next week, I’ll return to Indian country, when Michelle and I visit the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Cannonball, North Dakota. We’re eager to visit this reservation, which holds a special place in American history as the home of Chief Sitting Bull. And while we’re there, I’ll announce the next steps my Administration will take to support jobs, education, and self-determination in Indian country.

As president, I’ve worked closely with tribal leaders, and I’ve benefited greatly from their knowledge and guidance. That’s why I created the White House Council on Native American Affairs—to make sure that kind of partnership is happening across the federal government. And every year, I host the White House Tribal Nations Conference, where leaders from every federally recognized tribe are invited to meet with members of my Administration. Today, honoring the nation-to-nation relationship with Indian country isn’t the exception; it’s the rule. And we have a lot to show for it…

Read the entire article here.

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China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa

Posted in Africa, Asian Diaspora, Books, Economics, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy on 2014-06-02 20:26Z by Steven

China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa

Knopf
2014-05-20
304 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0307956989
9.3 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches

Howard W. French, Associate Professor of Journalism
Columbia University

An exciting, hugely revealing account of China’s burgeoning presence in Africa—a developing empire already shaping, and reshaping, the future of millions of people.

A prizewinning foreign correspondent and former New York Times bureau chief in Shanghai and in West and Central Africa, Howard French is uniquely positioned to tell the story of China in Africa. Through meticulous on-the-ground reporting—conducted in Mandarin, French, and Portuguese, among other languages—French crafts a layered investigation of astonishing depth and breadth as he engages not only with policy-shaping moguls and diplomats, but also with the ordinary men and women navigating the street-level realities of cooperation, prejudice, corruption, and opportunity forged by this seismic geopolitical development. With incisiveness and empathy, French reveals the human face of China’s economic, political, and human presence across the African continent—and in doing so reveals what is at stake for everyone involved.

We meet a broad spectrum of China’s dogged emigrant population, from those singlehandedly reshaping African infrastructure, commerce, and even environment (a self-made tycoon who harnessed Zambia’s now-booming copper trade; a timber entrepreneur determined to harvest the entirety of Liberia’s old-growth redwoods), to those just barely scraping by (a sibling pair running small businesses despite total illiteracy; a karaoke bar owner–cum–brothel madam), still convinced that Africa affords them better opportunities than their homeland. And we encounter an equally panoramic array of African responses: a citizens’ backlash in Senegal against a “Trojan horse” Chinese construction project (a tower complex to be built over a beloved soccer field, which locals thought would lead to overbearing Chinese pressure on their economy); a Zambian political candidate who, having protested China’s intrusiveness during the previous election and lost, now turns accommodating; the ascendant middle class of an industrial boomtown; African mine workers bitterly condemning their foreign employers, citing inadequate safety precautions and wages a fraction of their immigrant counterparts’.

French’s nuanced portraits reveal the paradigms forming around this new world order, from the all-too-familiar echoes of colonial ambition—exploitation of resources and labor; cut-rate infrastructure projects; dubious treaties—to new frontiers of cultural and economic exchange, where dichotomies of suspicion and trust, assimilation and isolation, idealism and disillusionment are in dynamic flux.

Part intrepid travelogue, part cultural census, part industrial and political exposé, French’s keenly observed account ultimately offers a fresh perspective on the most pressing unknowns of modern Sino-African relations: why China is making the incursions it is, just how extensive its cultural and economic inroads are, what Africa’s role in the equation is, and just what the ramifications for both parties—and the watching world—will be in the foreseeable future.

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“MUTT” at Impact Theatre—laughs, topic, and a great cast make it worth it

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-05-27 15:09Z by Steven

 

“MUTT” at Impact Theatre—laughs, topic, and a great cast make it worth it

Examinier.com
2014-05-12

John A. McMullen II
Oakland Theater Examiner

Sometimes a mediocre play jumps to life when you assemble an extraordinary cast with a primo director.

Christopher Chen’s “MUTT” at Impact Theatre means to be sardonic and poignant. Some of the scenes are funny and quirky and insightful, but it is overwritten without much change of mood.

The idea is that the Repubs need a multi-racial candidate to win back the votes. They introduce a new term to this Caucasian audience member: “hapa,” i.e., a person of mixed race, seemingly with a necessary Asian component. They vett a half-Chinese, half Caucasian Congressman played by Matt Lai—an actor who has the extraordinary ability of naturalness, whose every move and line seems as if it just occurred to him, which is my functional definition of extraordinary acting, the kind you see in the cinema. Lai’s Congressman character doesn’t pass the Conservatives’ test because he wants to be himself and not-so-moldable, so they find a former soldier-hero in the stolid-acting Michael Uv Kelley, whose character is an even more mixed race and whatever-they-want him-to-be malleable…

Read the entire review here.

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Beyond the One-Drop Rule: Views of Obama’s Race and Voting Intention in 2008

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-05-19 13:55Z by Steven

 

Beyond the One-Drop Rule: Views of Obama’s Race and Voting Intention in 2008

Sociological Science
Volume 1, March 2014 (2014-04-17)
pages 70-80
DOI: 10.15195/v1.a6

Simon Cheng, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Connecticut

David Weakliem, Professor of Sociology
University of Connecticut

We use data from a national survey of likely voters conducted before the 2008 election to study the association between Obama’s perceived racial identity and voters’ choices. Voters who saw Obama as biracial were substantially more likely to vote for him, suggesting that many Americans regard a biracial identity more favorably than a black identity. The relationship was stronger among Democrats than among Republicans. The potential implications of our findings for the future of race in American politics are discussed.

Read the entire article here.

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G.O.P. Hopeful Finds Tribal Tie Cuts Both Ways

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-05-04 11:30Z by Steven

G.O.P. Hopeful Finds Tribal Tie Cuts Both Ways

The New York Times
2014-05-03

Jonathan Martin, National Political Correspondent

BARTLESVILLE, Okla.T. W. Shannon will be Oklahoma’s first black senator if he wins the Republican nomination and is elected this November, but the quiet campaign stirring here about Mr. Shannon’s racial loyalties is not aimed at the African-American branch of his family tree.

Mr. Shannon, whose first name is Tahrohon, is a member of the Chickasaw Nation, the most influential tribe in a state where Native Americans are not merely the inheritors of a poignant history but also collectively constitute the state’s largest nongovernment employer outside of Walmart.

Most of those jobs are connected to Oklahoma’s 110-and-counting casinos, which are becoming as familiar here as oil derricks. Yet the gambling revenue that has showered millions on some of the state’s Native Americans has also bred resentment over the tribes’ expanding footprint. Now, as Mr. Shannon vies to make history, he has become both the political beneficiary of the tribes’ newfound wealth and a target for complaints about Native American sovereignty and possible competing loyalties…

Read the entire article here.

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On race, the US is not as improved as some would have us believe

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-04-21 17:22Z by Steven

On race, the US is not as improved as some would have us believe

The Guardian
2014-04-20

Gary Younge

Despite the legacy of civil rights, some doors remain firmly closed. And across the US, schools are resegregating

At the march on Washington in August 1963, where Martin Luther King made his “I have a dream speech”, the United States Information Agency, the nation’s propaganda wing devoted to “public diplomacy”, made a documentary. It wanted to make sure that the largest demonstration in the history of the US capital, demanding jobs and freedom and denouncing racism, was not misconstrued by the nation’s enemies or potential allies. Their aim was to show the newly independent former colonies that the US embraced peaceful protest. “Smile,” they called to demonstrators as the camera rolled. “This is going to Africa.”

“So it happened,” Michael Thelwell, a grassroots activist, told the author Charles Euchner, “that Negro students from the south, some of whom still had unhealed bruises from the electric cattle prods which southern police used to break up demonstrations, were recorded for the screens of the world portraying ‘American democracy at work’.”

The US’s capacity to fold the stories of resistance to its historic inequities into the broader narrative of its unrelenting journey towards social progress is both brazen and remarkable. (Arguably, this is preferable to the European tradition of burying such histories and hoping no one will ever find them.) Tales of the barriers that come down are woven neatly into the fabric of a nation, where each year is better than the last; the obstacles that remain are discarded as immaterial. What is left is a mythology cut from whole cloth

…The freedoms this legacy bequeathed should be neither denied nor denigrated. The signs came down, space was created, opinions evolved. Recent years have shown a big increase in minorities moving to suburbs and all groups entering mixed-race relationships. It is a different and better country because of them. But nor should those freedoms be exaggerated. It is not as different or as improved a country as some would have us believe. For as some doors opened, others remained firmly closed – providing two main lessons that challenge the mainstream framing of this era’s legacy.

First, racial integration sits quite easily alongside inequality and discrimination. The legal right of people to mix does not inevitably change the power relationship between them. The former confederacy was, in many ways, the most racially integrated part of the US. There were high rates of miscegenation (forced and voluntary); slaves and servants raised white children and often lived in close quarters with their owners. Strom Thurmond, who ran for the presidency in 1948 as a segregationist, fathered a black daughter by a maid in 1924. The issue was never whether people mixed but on what basis and to what end.

“The issue for black people was never integration or segregation but white supremacy,” explains the University of Chicago professor Charles Payne. “The paradigm of integration and segregation was a white concern … That was how they posed the issue of civil rights, given their own interests, and that was how the entire issue then became understood. But the central concerns of black people were not whether they should integrate with white people or not but how to challenge white people’s hold on the power structure.”…

Read the entire article here.

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