Witnesses to History: Children’s Views of Race and the 2008 United States Presidential Election

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-04-17 22:11Z by Steven

Witnesses to History: Children’s Views of Race and the 2008 United States Presidential Election

Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Volume 13, Issue 1 (December 2013)
pages 186–210
DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-2415.2012.01303.x

Meagan M. Patterson, Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Kansas

Erin Pahlke, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Rebecca S. Bigler, Professor of Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies
University of Texas, Austin

The 2008 presidential election presented a unique opportunity to examine children’s attention to racial issues in politics. We conducted interviews with 6- to 11-year-old children (70 boys, 60 girls; 29 African Americans, 58 European Americans, 43 Latinos) within 3 weeks prior to and after the election. Interview questions concerned knowledge, preferences, and perceptions of others’ attitudes concerning the election, views of the implications of the election for race relations, and personal aspirations to become president. Results indicated that children were highly knowledgeable about Obama’s status as the first African American president. Most children felt positively about the presence of an African American candidate for president, although a few children showed clear racial prejudice. Overall, children expected others to show racial ingroup preferences but simultaneously endorsed the optimistic view that Obama’s race was a slight asset in his bid for the presidency. Older children were somewhat more likely to view Obama’s race as negatively impacting his chances of being elected than younger children. African American and Latino children were more interested in becoming president than European American children; aspiration rates did not change from pre- to post-election.

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Barack Obama’s Warning to People of Mixed Heritage

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2014-04-15 21:42Z by Steven

Barack Obama’s Warning to People of Mixed Heritage

Eighth Generation
2014-01-22

Louie Gong

Back in April 2005, a group of mixed people sponsored by the nonprofit MAVIN had the golden opportunity to sit down with the then-Senator Obama. The conversation, filmed as part of the feature length documentary “Chasing Daybreak,” may be the only interview in which he has addressed the mixed race experience directly. I pulled the dusty DVD off my shelf last week and uploaded this clip with permission from MAVIN. (I’m a past President of MAVIN, and I currently sit on the Advisory Board for both MAVIN and Mixed in Canada)

In my travels, I still hear people citing the increasing presence of America’s mixed race population (up 32% since Census 2000)—and high-profile individuals—as supposed movement towards a “post-racial” or colorblind society. In a cultural climate like this, I think hearing President Obama—the mixed race person most often touted as evidence of this post-race state—strongly caution mixed folks to stay connected to community and participate in larger movements by people of color is a priceless tool for sparking discussion…

Read the entire article here.

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Americans Say Obama’s Not Black? How Pew Got This Wrong

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2014-04-15 21:25Z by Steven

Americans Say Obama’s Not Black? How Pew Got This Wrong

The Root
2014-04-14

Jenée Desmond-Harris, Senior Staff Writer and White House Correspondent

Saying “Yes, Obama is mixed race” is not the same as saying “No, he’s not black.” Racial Identity 101: You can be both.

Twenty-seven percent of Americans say President Barack Obama is black, while 52 percent say he’s mixed race.

That’s part of a newly published Pew Research Center report that has inspired jarring headlines like these about perceptions of the man commonly (formerly?) known as the first African-American president:

Is Barack Obama ‘Black’? A Majority of Americans Say No

Poll: Majority of Americans Say Obama Is Mixed-Race, Not Black

The Washington Post calls the data “fascinating.”

But it’s actually not. The only thing fascinating (read: frustrating) is why Pew would force people to choose between these two options. By setting up “black” and “mixed race” as mutually exclusive, as it appears to have done in the “Obama: Black or Mixed Race” (emphasis mine) portion of its poll, it offered Americans a misleading choice that doesn’t reflect their social reality, and certainly doesn’t tell us anything new about how they see their president.

If participants were, in fact, forced to choose between the two options, knowing that Obama self-identifies as black and knowing, too, that he has a white parent and a black parent, it makes sense to assume that many people simply picked the most specific option: “mixed race.”

That does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean they say “no” to his being black…

Read the entire article here.

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Forget Policy—Americans Can’t Even Agree on Whether Obama Is Black

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2014-04-15 19:54Z by Steven

Forget Policy—Americans Can’t Even Agree on Whether Obama Is Black

TakePart
2014-04-15

Liz Dwyer, Staff Writer

A Pew Research Center study finds that whites and Latinos identify the commander-in-chief as ‘mixed race.’

If you thought the United States had achieved the significant historic milestone of electing its first African American president, think again. According to Next America, a just-released Pew Research Center report, only a little over one-fourth of Americans believe Obama is black.

Obama self-identifies as black—he checked the “black, negro, African American” box on the 2010 U.S. Census—and has jokingly identified himself as a mutt too. But when asked if Obama is black or mixed race, 27 percent of Americans say that he’s black, and 52 percent say he’s mixed race.

When the data is broken out according to racial groups, whites and Hispanics respond similarly. Of whites, 24 percent say Obama is black, and 53 percent say he is mixed race. As for Hispanics, 23 percent say he’s black, and 61 percent say he’s mixed race. Asians weren’t asked what they thought. (What’s up with that, Pew?)

The question—Is Obama black or mixed race?—is phrased oddly. A person can be both. And where is Pew’s “Is Obama black or mixed race or white” option? But this study is simply the latest example of America’s mass confusion over Obama’s identity…

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, writer and star of One Drop of Love (Ben Affleck, Chay Carter, and Matt Damon are co-producers), a multimedia show that explores how a father and a daughter develop their racial identities, says she finds it “problematic to allow anyone other than self to identify people as a ‘race.’ ”

Now we get boxes on the U.S. Census survey, but, says Cox DiGiovanni, “until 1970 the race question on the Census was answered through observation by the Census taker.” That means if you looked “black,” you were identified by the Census taker as black—or “negro,” as African Americans were called then…

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

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Forthcoming Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-03-20 16:52Z by Steven

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

University Press of Mississippi
August 2014
432 pages (approx.)
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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After first-term caution, Obama dives deeper on race

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-03-03 04:44Z by Steven

After first-term caution, Obama dives deeper on race

USA Today
2014-02-27

Aamer Madhani, White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON — During his first term, President Obama waded gingerly into the issue of race, mindful of the historic nature of his presidency while at the same time downplaying its significance.

With a couple of exceptions — criticizing a police officer who arrested a prominent black Harvard University scholar as he fumbled to open the door to his home and speaking in personal terms about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin — Obama didn’t make any big headlines on the issue early in his presidency.

But deep into his second term, Obama talks about race with a frequency and frankness that has left some black policymakers and activists cautiously optimistic about the nation’s first black president’s final years in office.

In recent weeks, the president has begun to draw the outlines for the legacy he hopes to leave on race and civil rights…

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President Obama calls for minority youth outreach programme

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-03-02 03:44Z by Steven

President Obama calls for minority youth outreach programme

BBC News
2014-02-27

US President Barack Obama has called for a national campaign to improve opportunities for black and Hispanic boys and young men.

Called My Brother’s Keeper, his new initiative aims to overcome the socioeconomic conditions keeping such youth from thriving.

The White House said businesses had pledged $150m (£89m) to promote it.

The president said it was an “outrage” that black and Hispanic men in the US fared so much worse than white men.

“I believe the continuing struggles of so many boys and young men – the fact that too many of them are falling by the wayside, dropping out, unemployed, involved in negative behaviour, going to jail, being profiled – this is a moral issue for our country,” Mr Obama said at the White House on Thursday, with more than a dozen black and Hispanic young men and boys standing behind him.

“It’s also an economic issue for our country.”

In a memorandum released on Thursday, the White House said the task force would focus on issues facing boys and young minority men under the age of 25.

Obama’s ‘bad choices’

America’s first black president has generally avoided policies defined by race, the BBC’s Beth McLeod reports from Washington DC, but in an emotional speech Mr Obama said it was an outrage that young Hispanic and African-American men have the odds stacked against them in US society…

…He spoke of visiting a school near his home in Chicago and sharing with the boys there his own experience of growing up without a father, acknowledging to them that he had been angry about that and had made “bad choices” and “got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do”.

“I could see myself in these young men,” Mr Obama told the audience at the White House. “And the only difference is that I grew up in an environment that was a little bit more forgiving, so when I made a mistake the consequences were not as severe.”…

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Obama and the Oscars: Lights, Camera, Nationalism! A Symposium About The “Obama Effect” On Film Culture

Posted in Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2014-02-15 22:53Z by Steven

Obama and the Oscars: Lights, Camera, Nationalism! A Symposium About The “Obama Effect” On Film Culture

DePaul University
Richardson Library
Rosati Room 300
2350 North Kenmore Avenue
Chicago, Illinois
Friday, 2014-02-28, 16:00-19:00 CST (Local Time)

Moderated by:

Daniel McNeil, Ida B. Wells-Barnett Professor of African and Black Diaspora Studies
DePaul University

Speakers:

George Elliott Clarke, Associate Professor of English
University of Toronto and Harvard University

Jasmine Nichole Cobb, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies
Northwestern University

Charles Coleman, Film Programmer
Facets Cinémathèque, Chicago, Illinois

Armond White, Editor and Film Critic
City Arts, New York, New York

During the run up to the 2014 Oscars, film producers and executives have claimed that the election and re-election of President Barack Obama has erased racial lines and created a better country. They have also linked the ‘Obama effect’ to a spate of daring films about slavery and racial discrimination in the American past. This symposium brings together leading academics, critics, and film programmers to discuss the production, distribution and marketing of films in the age of Obama, as well as the ways in which Oscar-nominated films address the history of America and the Atlantic world.

Free and open to the public.

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Race as freedom: how Cedric Dover and Barack Obama became black

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Barack Obama, Biography, History, Identity Development/Psychology, United States on 2014-02-15 21:03Z by Steven

Race as freedom: how Cedric Dover and Barack Obama became black

Ethnic and Racial Studies
Volume 37, Issue 2
pages 222-240
DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2012.715661

Nico Slate, Assistant Professor of History
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Born across racial lines, Cedric Dover and Barack Obama both came to identify with the African American community. By contrasting the lives and ideas of two mixed-race individuals, one born in Calcutta and the other in Hawaii, this article examines cosmopolitanism, racial formation and the promise of the ‘post-racial’. A ‘Eurasian’ intellectual born in Calcutta in 1904, Dover developed a coloured cosmopolitanism that mirrors in revealing ways Obama’s approach to race. Both men embraced blackness while transcending the boundaries of race and nation. Dover and Obama developed a conception of race as freedom—not freedom from race or of a particular race, but the freedom to embrace race without sacrificing other affiliations.

We must be both “racial” and anti-racial at the same time, which really means that nationalism and internationalism must be combined in the same philosophy. Cedric Dover (1947, 222)

I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible. Barack Obama (2008)

Born a Eurasian in Calcutta in 1904. Cedric Dover died in England in 1961 a ‘coloured’ man. Born to a white mother in Hawaii in 1961 and raised partially in Indonesia. Barack Obama became the first African…

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In meetings with young black men, Obama tries to leave a mark

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-02-11 05:35Z by Steven

In meetings with young black men, Obama tries to leave a mark

The Washington Post
2014-02-09

Zachary A. Goldfarb, Staff Writer

CHICAGO – Kerron Turner sat with more than a dozen other teenagers in a classroom at Hyde Park Academy High School on this city’s troubled South Side, nervously settling in for an unusual meeting with the president of the United States.

They told their stories: Turner worried about the gangs he passes on his way home from school. Robert Scates had dropped out of high school and was working to catch up in time to graduate. Lazarus Daniels feared what would happen to his anger if he couldn’t play football anymore.

Eventually, it was President Obama’s turn to check in — to say how he was feeling emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually.

Obama’s quiet visit a year ago to the “Becoming a Man” program for inner-city youth in Chicago, along with a follow-up meeting several months later, would test whether Obama could transform the symbolism of his presidency into something more personal, one young man at a time. The meetings left a mark on the president, who has used them as motivation for a forthcoming White House initiative on young men of color that he promised to launch in this year’s State of the Union address.

Back in Room 208 of Hyde Park Academy that winter afternoon, Obama told the group he tries to exercise every day but was feeling the aches of a 51-year-old. Emotionally, he was always thinking about his daughters, and he said he feels intellectually challenged all the time. Spiritually, he said, he prays every night.

Then Obama was asked to tell his story: How did a black man become president? He talked about his anger as a young man growing up without a father in the picture. When he was a teen in high school, he partied too much, ignored school too much. He confided that he drank and smoked pot.

Daniels struggled to grasp what the president was saying. That could not be the life of the man who became a president, Daniels thought. He half-raised his hand, and asked, “Are you talking about you?”

It wasn’t a question the president was expecting. “Yeah, I’m talking about me,” Obama said. “None of this is a secret. I wrote about all of this in my book.”

Obama has recounted his meetings with the young men as among the most raw encounters of his tenure. Now, as he uses his second term to address race and the fortunes of urban youth more directly, the president’s experience with the young men, and their experience with him, offer an intimate look at the promise and limitations of his presidency.

The encounters last year showed the first African American president trying to improve the lives of young black men — a group he has sometimes been criticized for not focusing enough on. But it also revealed how the notion of a black man in the Oval Office, although a reality, remains a distant abstraction for those who might want to imagine following in his footsteps…

Read the entire article here.

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