F orty-seven years after he last looked out from behind the bars of a South Carolina jail cell, locked away for leading a march against segregation in Columbia, James Clyburn occupies a coveted suite of offices on the second and third floors of the United States Capitol, alongside the speaker and the House majority leader. Above his couch hangs a black-and-white photograph of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
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W hen Barack Obama was contemplating a run for the White House his wife, Michelle, asked him what he thought he could accomplish if he won. And millions of kids across this country will look at themselves differently. That alone is something.
Homosexual acts are illegal in Kenya and surveys show nine in 10 people find them unacceptable. Obama personalised the issue by comparing homophobia to racial discrimination that he had encountered in the United States. Never before has such a powerful foreign leader challenged Africans so directly on their own soil.
And a new Washington Post-ABC survey suggests that black opinion is very quickly moving the other way, with a majority of African Americans now saying they support same-sex marriage. Fifty-nine percent of blacks now say they support same-sex marriage, an point jump since the president's announcement of his own support two weeks ago. Fifty-three percent of Americans now believe that same-sex marriage should be legalized, which also marks a substantial spike sincewhen just 39 percent of those polled thought it should be legalized.
In his book The Price of the TicketColumbia professor Fredrick Harris argued persuasively that Obama felt less compelled to act on behalf of black Americans in part because African-American leaders were unwilling to apply pressure to the first black president. In contrast, other liberal-leaning constituencies, particularly gay rights activists, treated Obama like any other president, aggressively pressing him to adopt their policy goals. What Glaude, who teaches at Princeton, adds to this debate is a broader context for viewing race in the Obama presidency.
No excuses! He was one part politician and one part black preacher as he spoke in lilting cadences, his voice quiet at times, thundering at others, in unusually personal terms. Obama spoke directly about his own upbringing, crediting his mother who was white with setting him straight, and departing from his prepared text to talk about how his life might have turned out had she not.
The two men, both in their mid-forties, were preparing to run for president. And they were in the middle of a deep and enduring argument about Democratic politics. Biden wanted to build consensus.
This essay explores the revival and misappropriation of identity politics in the age of Obama. As a result, it has generated a range of discursive strategies intended to both disguise and deploy racialist ideology. 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.
This is an important election year and communities of color will play a huge role in deciding the outcome in any number of races across the country. According to conventional wisdom, Obama should have a lock on the black vote. After all, nearly 96 percent of black voters cast their ballots for him inwhile 55 percent of white votes went for John McCain. Put bluntly, Obama would not be president today without black support.