Will Jawando Doesn’t Have To Be The Next Obama

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Biography, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-04-23 15:26Z by Steven

Will Jawando Doesn’t Have To Be The Next Obama

MTV News
2016-04-18

Jamil Smith, Senior National Correspondent

There are rules for knocking on someone’s door while campaigning. And Will Jawando, a few weeks back, broke a big one. “Rule 101 in canvassing,” he told MTV News, “is that you don’t go inside.” This makes sense. There’s only so much daylight to use knocking on doors, and there are significant security concerns for all parties involved. “But as the candidate, I can break the rules,” Jawando said.

It didn’t seem like there would be any harm in this case. The woman who invited him in was a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor from Germany. “She wanted to talk, and I told her about my background: My dad coming to this country on the heels of a civil war in his country, and [me] growing up here,” Jawando said. “You could tell that she related.”

Jawando, 33, is the youngest candidate in a crowded Democratic primary race in Maryland’s upper-crust 8th Congressional District. But as he sat in this stranger’s living room, both of them were just different shades of the American immigrant story. The same thing can be said for Jawando’s former boss: President Obama. And the similarities between the two men are uncanny.

Both Jawando and Obama are the telegenic sons of African immigrant fathers and white mothers from Kansas (that’s where Jawando’s father, Olayinka, met his mother, Kathleen Gross, in the early 1970s, after fleeing Nigeria’s civil war). Both lost their first attempts to win public office: Obama in a congressional primary, Jawando for a Maryland state representative seat. Both are policy wonks with a talent for retail politics. Both are even married to women with the same name who are both accomplished attorneys; Jawando’s Michele is a vice-president at the Center for American Progress policy institute. Jawando served as the White House associate director of public engagement in 2010, and, if he wins in Maryland, will become the first Obama administration alumnus elected to public office.

Should he get there, of course, Jawando wouldn’t be Obama. Diverse black American lives have long been reduced to a monolithic “experience,” and that problem gets exacerbated when you happen to share uncanny biographical similarities with the President. Both men also have considerable political talent and a love for the wonkish details of policymaking, but Jawando makes it clear that he has his own reasons for entering politics…

Read the entire article here.

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Boris Johnson’s Essay on Obama and Churchill Touches Nerve Online

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom, United States on 2016-04-23 15:09Z by Steven

Boris Johnson’s Essay on Obama and Churchill Touches Nerve Online

The New York Times
2016-04-22

Sewell Chan, International News Editor

LONDON — Hours after President Obama landed in London to urge Britons to vote to remain in the European Union, Mayor Boris Johnson, arguably the most visible leader of the campaign for Britain to leave the bloc, hit back with an opinion essay that criticized the president but immediately raised hackles online.

The essay, published in the right-leaning tabloid The Sun on Friday morning, recycled a story about a bust of Winston Churchill that was removed from the Oval Office shortly after Mr. Obama took office in 2009. It also mentioned a theory, prominent among some right-wing Americans, that Mr. Obama is motivated by a radical anti-imperialist agenda and that “the part-Kenyan president’s ancestral dislike of the British Empire” motivated the removal of the bust…

Read the entire article here.

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White America’s Obama-era freakout: What research can tell us about racial animus since 2008

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-04-21 01:40Z by Steven

White America’s Obama-era freakout: What research can tell us about racial animus since 2008

Salon
2016-04-17

Sean McElwee

The election of America’s first black president somehow led even more conservative whites to change parties

Racism may be the single most important feature of contemporary American politics and the key to understanding the Obama Presidency. This is not to say that other things don’t matter: class, gender, religion, region all certainly affect political views. But if you want to understand the broad contours of American politics today, you need to examine race. Previously, I’ve argued that whites are rapidly leaving the Democratic Party because of racism. But in his new book, “Post-Racial or Most-Racial,” political scientist Michael Tesler makes a powerful argument that race has affected even seemingly non-racial parts of American society…

Read the entire article here.

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The Race Whisperer: Barack Obama and the Political Uses of Race

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-04-15 01:36Z by Steven

The Race Whisperer: Barack Obama and the Political Uses of Race

New York University Press
July 2016
224 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781479853717
Paper ISBN: 9781479819256

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

Nearly a week after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of killing Trayvon Martin, President Obama walked into the press briefing room and shocked observers by saying that “Trayvon could have been me.” He talked personally and poignantly about his experiences and pointed to intra-racial violence as equally serious and precarious for black boys. He offered no sweeping policy changes or legislative agendas; he saw them as futile. Instead, he suggested that prejudice would be eliminated through collective efforts to help black males and for everyone to reflect on their own prejudices.

Obama’s presidency provides a unique opportunity to engage in a discussion about race and politics. In The Race Whisperer, Melanye Price analyzes the manner in which Barack Obama uses race strategically to engage with and win the loyalty of potential supporters. This book uses examples from Obama’s campaigns and presidency to demonstrate his ability to authentically tap into notions of blackness and whiteness to appeal to particular constituencies. By tailoring his unorthodox personal narrative to emphasize those parts of it that most resonate with a specific racial group, he targets his message effectively to that audience, shoring up electoral and governing support. The book also considers the impact of Obama’s use of race on the ongoing quest for black political empowerment. Unfortunately, racial advocacy for African Americans has been made more difficult because of the intense scrutiny of Obama’s relationship with the black community, Obama’s unwillingness to be more publicly vocal in light of that scrutiny, and the black community’s reluctance to use traditional protest and advocacy methods on a black president. Ultimately, though, The Race Whisperer argues for a more complex reading of race in the age of Obama, breaking new ground in the study of race and politics, public opinion, and political campaigns.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Barack Obama and Black Blame: Authenticity, Audience and Audaciousness
  • 2. Barack Obama, Patton’s Army, and Patriotic Whiteness
  • 3. Barack Obama’s More Perfect Union
  • 4. An Officer and Two Gentlemen: The Great Beer Summit of 2009
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
  • About the Author
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Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Administration

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-04-14 02:16Z by Steven

Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Administration

William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins)
2016-06-07
336 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780062399793
Ebook ISBN: 9780062399816
6 in (w) x 9 in (h) x 1.09 in (d)

D. L. Hughley

From legendary comedian D.L. Hughley comes a bitingly funny send-up of the Obama years, as “told” by the key political players on both sides of the aisle.

What do the Clintons, Republicans, fellow Democrats, and Obama’s own family really think of President Barack Obama? Finally, the truth is revealed in this raucously funny “oral history” parody.

There is no more astute—and hilarious—critic of politics, entertainment, and race in America than D. L. Hughley, famed comedian, radio star, and original member of the “Kings of Comedy.” In the vein of Jon Stewart’s America: The Book, Black Man, White House is an acerbic and witty take on Obama’s two terms, looking at the president’s accomplishments and foibles through the imagined eyes of those who saw history unfold.

Hughley draws upon satirical interviews with the most notorious public figures of our day: Mitt Romney (“What’s ‘poverty’? Is that some sort of rap jargon?”); Nancy Pelosi (“I play F**k/Marry/Kill, and there’s a lot more kills than fu**ks in Congress, believe me.”); Rod Blagojevich (“You can’t sell political offices on eBay; I discovered that personally.”); Joe Biden (“I like wrestling.”); and other politicians, media pundits, and buffoons. It is sure to be the most irreverent—and perhaps the most honest—look at American politics today.

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Obama praises wife Michelle’s curves as he sits down with prima ballerina Misty Copeland for interview about body image and growing up black in America

Posted in Articles, Arts, Barack Obama, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-04-01 17:51Z by Steven

Obama praises wife Michelle’s curves as he sits down with prima ballerina Misty Copeland for interview about body image and growing up black in America

The Daily Mail
London, United Kingdom
2016-03-14

  • The president and ballerina interviewed each other for TIME magazine
  • Copeland is the first ever African American to be named the principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater
  • Obama praised her for being a role model to his young daughters as she breaks barriers with her athletic body type
  • Copeland asked Obama for advice on how to stay humble and grounded when one reaches the top of their field

They have a shared history of multiracial families, being raised by single mothers and making it to the top position of their respective fields.

Now President Barack Obama and Prima Ballerina Misty Copeland are sharing a table, discussing their thoughts on women’s body image, affirmative action and growing up black in America.

Copeland, the first African American to be named the principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater, has been breaking barriers in the ballet world with her athletic body type.

And Obama revealed during the TIME interview that it was the likes of Copeland and wife Michelle that were acting as role models for his daughters as they learn the pressures women face today to ‘look a certain way’…

…Copeland said that growing up African American has definitely been a ‘huge obstacle’ but she credited for giving her ‘this fire’ that has made her one of the best in her field.

As both she and the president praised social media for inciting conversation on racism and discrimination in the country, Obama pointed out that more still had to be done…

Read the entire article here.

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‘A black president, yay’: 106-year-old finally meets the Obamas, dances like a schoolgirl

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2016-03-31 23:50Z by Steven

‘A black president, yay’: 106-year-old finally meets the Obamas, dances like a schoolgirl

The Washington Post
2016-02-22

Michael E. Miller, Morning Mix Reporter

Virginia McLaurin’s life isn’t easy. Last winter, she battled bedbugs in her D.C. apartment. This year, snowstorm “Snowzilla” trapped her inside for several days.

She also happens to be almost 107 years old.

None of that mattered last week when the centenarian stepped — nay, scampered — into the White House to meet President Obama and the first lady.

With the leader of the free world in one hand and Michelle Obama in the other, McLaurin danced with sheer and utter joy, shaking her hips like a 16-year-old and flashing a smile as bright as the camera flashes going off all around her.

“She’s 106?” the president asked incredulously.

“No, you are not,” scoffed the first lady, before adding: “I want to be like you when I grow up.”

The uplifting moment was also heavy with history, though. After her super-senior shuffle, McLaurin suddenly got serious.

“I thought I would never live to get in the White House,” said McLaurin, who was born in 1909 in South Carolina, worked as a seamstress for most of her life and has been a widow for more than 70 years.

But her amazement went beyond merely making it inside the hallowed building. She was particularly bowled over to be meeting America’s first African American president…

Read the entire article here.

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Post-Racial or Most-Racial? Race and Politics in the Obama Era

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-03-25 19:50Z by Steven

Post-Racial or Most-Racial? Race and Politics in the Obama Era

University of Chicago Press
2016
272 pages
3 halftones, 55 line drawings, 11 tables
6 x 9
Paper ISBN: 9780226353012
Cloth ISBN: 9780226352961
E-book ISBN: 9780226353159

Michael Tesler, Assistant Professor of Political Science
University of California, Irvine

When Barack Obama won the presidency, many posited that we were entering into a post-racial period in American politics. Regrettably, the reality hasn’t lived up to that expectation. Instead, Americans’ political beliefs have become significantly more polarized by racial considerations than they had been before Obama’s presidency—in spite of his administration’s considerable efforts to neutralize the political impact of race.

Michael Tesler shows how, in the years that followed the 2008 election—a presidential election more polarized by racial attitudes than any other in modern times—racial considerations have come increasingly to influence many aspects of political decision making. These range from people’s evaluations of prominent politicians and the parties to issues seemingly unrelated to race like assessments of public policy or objective economic conditions. Some people even displayed more positive feelings toward Obama’s dog, Bo, when they were told he belonged to Ted Kennedy. More broadly, Tesler argues that the rapidly intensifying influence of race in American politics is driving the polarizing partisan divide and the vitriolic atmosphere that has come to characterize American politics.

One of the most important books on American racial politics in recent years, Post-Racial or Most-Racial? is required reading for anyone wishing to understand what has happened in the United States during Obama’s presidency and how it might shape the country long after he leaves office.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Obama as Most-Racial
  • Chapter 1. Racial Attitudes and American Politics in the Age of Obama
  • Chapter 2. The Spillover of Racialization Hypothesis
  • Chapter 3. The Obama Presidency, Racial Attitudes, and the 2012 Election
  • Chapter 4. Racial Attitudes and Evaluations of Public Figures in the Obama Era
  • Chapter 5. The Spillover of Racialization into Public Policy Preferences
  • Chapter 6. Racial Attitudes and Voting for Congress in the Obama Era
  • Chapter 7. The Growing Racialization of Partisan Attachments
  • Chapter 8. The Expanding Political Divide between White and Nonwhite Americans
  • Chapter 9. Conclusion: Racial Politics in the Obama and Post-Obama Eras
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
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What Obama’s visit means for Cuba’s national conversation about race

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Caribbean/Latin America, Economics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-03-25 15:41Z by Steven

What Obama’s visit means for Cuba’s national conversation about race

The Los Angeles Times
2016-03-21

Kate Linthicum, Contact Reporter

In recent years, Afro-Cuban intellectuals have started gathering in a cramped Havana apartment to discuss a topic long considered off-limits in Cuba: race.

Fidel Castro’s communist revolution 60 years ago promised to wipe out racial divisions and level the playing field for all Cubans, regardless of color or wealth. Yet racism persists in Cuba, and many say recent economic changes here have overwhelmingly favored the light-skinned elite.

The historic visit this week of an American president who happens to be black is of special significance to Afro-Cubans, who, like many minorities around the world, view President Obama as a symbol of what is possible. It’s of particular importance for the small but growing movement of black activists on the island, who have struggled for years under government pressure, and who hope that warming U.S.-Cuba relations will push Cubans toward greater race consciousness.

“Maybe without an enemy, everyone here can begin to look more closely at things inside our own country,” said activist Manuel Cuesta Morua, who said he is one of several Cuban dissidents, most of whom are not black, invited to meet with Obama on Tuesday. “We hope it will help people see the racism here with more clarity, and see that there is diversity, and diverse ways of thinking.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Cuba Says It Has Solved Racism. Obama Isn’t So Sure.

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2016-03-23 17:52Z by Steven

Cuba Says It Has Solved Racism. Obama Isn’t So Sure.

The New York Times
2016-03-23

Damien Cave, Deputy Editor for Digital

HAVANAPresident Obama spoke of his Kenyan heritage. He talked about how both the United States and Cuba were built on the backs of slaves from Africa. He mentioned that not very long ago, his parents’ marriage would have been illegal in America, and he urged Cubans to respect the power of protest to bring about equality.

“We want our engagement to help lift up Cubans who are of African descent,” he said, “who have proven there’s nothing they cannot achieve when given the chance.”

Mr. Obama’s speech on Tuesday, in an ornate Spanish colonial-style hall in Havana, was not only strikingly personal. It was also an unusually direct engagement with race, a critical and unresolved issue in Cuban society that the revolution was supposed to have erased.

For many Cubans, Mr. Obama’s comments were striking for their acknowledgment of racism in both countries. His remarks served as a reminder that their particular kinship with him — as reflected in dozens of conversations and responses to his history-making three-day visit this week — involves not just policy, but also identity.

“It’s a revolution,” said Alberto González, 44, a baker who was one of the few Afro-Cubans to attend a discussion with the president about entrepreneurship on Monday. “It’s a revolution for everyone with a background descended from Africa.”…

…Socialized medicine and education also helped create a society more deeply shaped by interracial interactions and marriages than the United States.

And yet, Cuba is no more postracial than anywhere else. Many Afro-Cubans in Cuba and abroad have been quick to point out that the presence of Mr. Obama, the first black president of the United States, only highlights that the Cuban government does not reflect the demographics of their country.

On an island that is around two-thirds black and mixed race, according to a 2007 study by the Cuban economist Esteban Morales Domínguez, the civil and public leadership is about 70 percent white. He also found that most scientists, technicians and university professors, up to 80 percent in some fields, were white…

…Some Afro-Cubans, like the hip-hop artist known as Soandry, linked the president to “what can be achieved in a capitalist system.”

Other Cubans brought up race more directly, without prompting, arguing that because Mr. Obama is African-American, he understands their country.

Mr. González, whose bakery counter is adorned with photographs of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, said it was not just the president whom people admire. “Look at that family,” he said, smiling broadly. “Can you imagine? Have you ever seen a more beautiful family?”…

Read the entire article here.

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