Obama co-existed, sometimes uneasily, with substitute blackness; picked and chose among instances of surplus blackness; and, toward the end of his presidency, after being forced into it by blood and renewed protests in the streets, came to a truce with subversive blackness.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2016-03-13 23:02Z by Steven

Obama co-existed, sometimes uneasily, with substitute blackness; picked and chose among instances of surplus blackness; and, toward the end of his presidency, after being forced into it by blood and renewed protests in the streets, came to a truce with subversive blackness. But for much of his presidency he preferred, and personified, symbolic blackness: His very success—embodied in the sight of him and his gifted and beautiful black family in the nation’s most stellar public housing—was sufficient to signify black progress, many thought. He could make black folk proud by casually descending the stairs of Air Force One, or inviting black icons like Jay Z and Beyoncé to the White House. Black swag at its best. And something that white Americans who had voted Obama into office could cheer too, desperately hoping to be finally done with the tiring and unsolvable conundrum of race.

Michael Eric Dyson, “Whose President Was He?Politico Magazine, Volume 3, Number 2 (January/February 2016). http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/barack-obama-race-relations-213493.

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Whose President Was He?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, United States on 2016-03-13 21:48Z by Steven

Whose President Was He?

Politico Magazine
Volume 3, Number 2 (January/February 2016) [The Obama Issue]

Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Barack Obama brushed aside the critics who hated him for his skin color—but failed to see the racial confrontation they foretold.

“If I spent all my time thinking about it, I’d be paralyzed,” Barack Obama told me. “And frankly, the voters would justifiably say, ‘I need somebody who’s focused on giving me a job, not whether his feelings are hurt.’”

We were sitting in the Oval Office in the summer of 2010, and I had asked the president about the persistence, since the early days of his 2008 campaign, of viciously racist attacks against him. Millions of ordinary white citizens and right-wing critics didn’t cotton to our first black president’s chutzpah in capturing the highest office in the land—and they have been unleashing venom ever since. Signs at early protests spoke volumes: “Obama’s Plan: White Slavery” and “The American Taxpayers Are the Jews for Obama’s Ovens.” Some played on racist stereotypes: “Obama: What You Talkin’ About, Willis? Spend My Money.” Others tagged him “Traitor to the Constitution” and “Sambo,” or played on his ancestral homeland: “Ken-ya Trust Obama?”

This last message was, of course, a hallmark of the birthers, who formalized racist attacks into a movement by claiming that Obama, despite his Hawaiian birth certificate, was born in Kenya—or that he was really a citizen of Indonesia, or that he had dual British and American citizenship at birth. The sick attempt to paint Obama as un-American—a closet socialist, a secret Muslim and a hater of democracy, no less—didn’t stop there, echoing over the years in the feverish rantings of figures like Dinesh D’Souza, who claimed Obama was motivated by “an inherited rage” against American wealth and power from his anti-colonialist Kenyan father. On TV, Glenn Beck asserted that Obama had “a deep-seated hatred for white people,” while Rush Limbaugh spewed a steady stream of invective on his radio show, from playing a song dubbed “Barack the Magic Negro” to claiming that Obama wanted Americans to get Ebola as payback for slavery. The most infamous birther, Donald Trump, questioned, without basis, not just Obama’s birth certificate, but his college transcript and whether he had truly deserved a spot at Harvard Law School…

Read the entire article here.

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The Professors vs. The President: Has Obama Done Enough for African-Americans?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-03-01 15:53Z by Steven

The Professors vs. The President: Has Obama Done Enough for African-Americans?

NBC News
2016-02-28

Perry Bacon Jr., Senior Political Reporter

Michael Eric Dyson and Eddie Glaude Jr., two well-respected black intellectuals and professors, make the same argument in books they have released over the last month: President Obama hasn’t done enough on policy to help fellow African-Americans and regularly uses rhetoric that is overly critical of blacks.

“Obama energetically peppers his words to blacks with talk of responsibility in one public scolding after another,” Dyson writes in The Black Presidency. “When Obama upbraids black folk while barely mentioning the flaws of white Americans, he leaves the impression that race is the concern solely of black people, and that blackness is full of pathology.”

“Obama’s reprimands of black folk also undercuts their moral standing,” he adds.

Glaude, in Democracy in Black, argues that under Obama, “black communities have been devastated.”

“And Obama’s most publicized initiative in the face of all of this, even as the spate of racial incidents pressured him to be more forthright about this issue, has been My Brother’s Keeper, a public-private partnership to address the crisis of young men and boys of color—A Band-Aid for a gunshot wound,” writes Glaude.

These books, released as Obama’s tenure nears its end, are the most comprehensive versions of a case against the president’s leadership style that a number of prominent black intellectuals have made….

Read the entire article here.

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The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-02-21 02:16Z by Steven

The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
2016-02-02
368 pages
6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780544387669
eBook ISBN: 9780544386426
Paperback ISBN: 9780544811805

Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Michael Eric Dyson explores the powerful, surprising way the politics of race have shaped Barack Obama’s identity and groundbreaking presidency. How has President Obama dealt publicly with race—as the national traumas of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott have played out during his tenure? What can we learn from Obama’s major race speeches about his approach to racial conflict and the black criticism it provokes?

Dyson explores whether Obama’s use of his own biracialism as a radiant symbol has been driven by the president’s desire to avoid a painful moral reckoning on race. And he sheds light on identity issues within the black power structure, telling the fascinating story of how Obama has spurned traditional black power brokers, significantly reducing their leverage.

President Obama’s own voice—from an Oval Office interview granted to Dyson for this book—along with those of Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, and Maxine Waters, among others, add unique depth to this profound tour of the nation’s first black presidency.

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Michael Eric Dyson Discusses His Cover Story on Hillary Clinton

Posted in Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos on 2015-11-28 15:01Z by Steven

Michael Eric Dyson Discusses His Cover Story on Hillary Clinton

The New Republic
Minutes
2015-11-27

Mikaela Lefrak, Associate Editor

Obama will probably go down in history as one of the greatest presidents we’ve had. I just don’t think that the issue of race will earn him those kudos.” That’s professor Michael Eric Dyson’s opinion on the first black president of the United States. Dyson, a New Republic contributing editor, wrote “Yes She Can,” the cover story of our January/February issue. It’s an in-depth profile of Hillary Clinton and how she’s addressing race in America.

We sat down with Dyson to discuss some of the big issues discussed in the article. He talked with us about how Clinton can address race and gender, what President Obama has (and has not) done for black Americans, and which Republican presidential candidate would be the least bad option for the United States.

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President Obama’s Racial Renaissance

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-08-03 01:09Z by Steven

President Obama’s Racial Renaissance

The New York Times
2015-08-01

Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.


Toyin Odutola

We finally have the president we thought we elected: one who talks directly and forcefully about race and human rights.

When President Obama took the podium at the annual convention of the N.A.A.C.P. in Philadelphia last month, he sounded like the leader I’ve been waiting to hear since his first inauguration in 2009. It was almost as if Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow,” and the former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. had hacked his computer and collaborated on his speech.

Many of Mr. Obama’s admirers and critics have hungered for straight talk on race since he his election. But since taking office, the president had been skittish on the subject and had mostly let it lapse into disturbing silence.

As we prepare to mark the first anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., this country continues to grapple with what feels like an onslaught of black death.

But now we are doing it with a president — our first African-American president — who has found a confident voice on race…

Read the entire article here.

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Race, Identity and Citizenship: A Reader

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Philosophy, Social Science on 2013-09-21 21:18Z by Steven

Race, Identity and Citizenship: A Reader

Wiley-Blackwell
June 1999
454 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-631-21021-4
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-631-21022-1

Edited by

Rodolfo D. Torres, Professor of Planning, Policy & Design and Political Science
University of California, Irvine

Louis F. Mirón
University of California, Irvine

Jonathan Xavier Inda, Associate Professor of Latina/Latino Studies and Criticism and Interpretive Theory
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

In recent years, race and ethnicity have been the focus of theoretical, political, and policy debates. This comprehensive and timely reader covers the range of topics that have been at the center of these debates including critical race theory, multiracial feminism, mixed race, whiteness, citizenship and globalization. Contributors include Angela Davis, Stuart Hall, Richard Delgado, Robert Miles, Michael Eric Dyson, Saskia Sassen, Étienne Balibar, Patricia Hill Collins, Renato Rosaldo, Stanley Aronowitz, and Collette Guillaumin.

Table of Contents

  • List of Contributors
  • Acknowledgments/Copyright Information
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Mapping The Languages of Racism
    • 1. Does “Race” Matter? Transatlantic Perspectives on Racism after “Race Relations” Robert Miles and Rodolfo D. Torres
    • 2. “I Know it’s Not Nice, But. . . ” The Changing Face of “Race” Colette Guillaumin
    • 3. The Contours of Racialization: Structures, Representations and Resistance in the United States Stephen Small
    • 4. Marxism, Racism, and Ethnicity John Solomos and Les Back
    • 5. Postmodernism and the Politics of Racialized Identities Louis F. Mirón
  • Part II: Critical Multiracial Feminism
    • 6. Theorizing Difference from Multiracial Feminism Maxine Baca Zinn and Bonnie Thornton Dill
    • 7. Ethnicity, Gender Relations and Multiculturalism Nira Yuval-Davis
    • 8. What’s in a Name? Womanism, Black Feminism, and Beyond Patricia Hill Collins
  • Part III: Fashioning Mixed Race
    • 9. The Colorblind Multiracial Dilemma: Racial Categories Reconsidered john a. powell
    • 10. Multiracial Asians: Models of Ethnic Identity Maria P. P. Root
    • 11. Cipherspace: Latino Identity Past and Present J. Jorge Klor de Alva
  • Part IV: The Color(s) of Whiteness
    • 12. Establishing the Fact of Whiteness John Hartigan, Jr.
    • 13. Constructions of Whiteness in European and American Anti-Racism Alastair Bonnett
    • 14 The Labor of Whiteness, the Whiteness of Labor, and the Perils of Whitewishing Michael Eric Dyson
    • 15. The Trickster’s Play: Whiteness in the Subordination and Liberation Process Aida Hurtado
  • Part V: Cultural Citizenship, Multiculturalism, And The State
    • 16. Citizenship Richard Delgado
    • 17. Cultural Citizenship, Inequality, and Multiculturalism Renato Rosaldo
    • 18. Cultural Citizenship as Subject Making: Immigrants Negotiate Racial and Cultural Boundaries in the United States Aihwa Ong
  • Part VI: Locating Class
    • 19. The Site of Class Edna Bonacich
    • 20. Between Nationality and Class Stanley Aronowitz
    • 21. Class Racism Étienne Balibar
  • Part VII: Globalized Futures And Racialized Identities
    • 22. Multiculturalism and Flexibility: Some New Directions in Global Capitalism Richard P. Appelbaum
    • 23. Analytic Borderlands: Race, Gender and Representation in the New City Saskia Sassen
    • 24. Globalization, the Racial Divide, and a New Citizenship Michael C. Dawson
  • Part VIII: Critical Engagements
    • 25. Interview with Stuart Hall: Culture and Power Peter Osborne and Lynne Segal
    • 26. Angela Y. Davis: Reflections on Race, Class, and Gender in the USA Lisa Lowe
  • Index
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Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S.

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2012-07-10 18:12Z by Steven

Articulate While Black: Barack Obama, Language, and Race in the U.S.

Oxford University Press
September 2012
224 pages
Hardback ISBN13: 9780199812967; ISBN10: 0199812969
Paperback ISBN13: 9780199812981; ISBN10: 0199812985

H. Samy Alim, Associate Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Anthropology and Linguistics
Stanford University

Geneva Smitherman, University Distinguished Professor Emerita of English and African American and African Studies
Michigan State University

Forward by:

Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Barack Obama is widely considered one of the most powerful and charismatic speakers of our age. Without missing a beat, he often moves between Washington insider talk and culturally Black ways of speaking—as shown in a famous YouTube clip, where Obama declined the change offered to him by a Black cashier in a Washington, D.C. restaurant with the phrase, “Nah, we straight.”

In Articulate While Black, two renowned scholars of Black Language address language and racial politics in the U.S. through an insightful examination of President Barack Obama’s language use—and America’s response to it. In this eloquently written and powerfully argued book, H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman provide new insights about President Obama and the relationship between language and race in contemporary society. Throughout, they analyze several racially loaded, cultural-linguistic controversies involving the President—from his use of Black Language and his “articulateness” to his “Race Speech,” the so-called “fist-bump,” and his relationship to Hip Hop Culture.

Using their analysis of Barack Obama as a point of departure, Alim and Smitherman reveal how major debates about language, race, and educational inequality erupt into moments of racial crisis in America. In challenging American ideas about language, race, education, and power, they help take the national dialogue on race to the next level. In much the same way that Cornel West revealed nearly two decades ago that “race matters,” Alim and Smitherman in this groundbreaking book show how deeply “language matters” to the national conversation on race—and in our daily lives.

Features

  • The first book-length analysis of Barack Obama’s rhetoric in relation to race
  • Uses a sociolinguistic analysis of Barack Obama’s language and speeches to both reveal and challenge American ideas about language, race, education, and power
  • A lively and engaging read from two renowned scholars of language, race, and education

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Showin Love
  • 1. “Nah, We Straight”: Black Language and America’s First Black President
  • 2. A.W.B. (Articulate While Black): Language and Racial Politics in the U.S.
  • 3. Makin A Way Outta No Way: The Race Speech and Obama’s Rhetorical Remix
  • 4. “The Fist Bump Heard ’round the World”: How Black Communication Becomes Controversial
  • 5. “My President’s Black, My Lambo’s Blue”: Hip Hop, Race, and the Culture Wars
  • 6. Change the Game: Language, Education, and the Cruel Fallout of Racism
  • Index
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