Week 5: Obama’s Racial Identity: Is he black?
Week 5: Obama’s Racial Identity: Is he black? GVPT289O
Popular in Racial and Ethnic Politics in the Obama Era
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jennifer Kim on Saturday December 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to GVPT289O at a university taught by Dr. Antoine Banks in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 37 views.
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Date Created: 12/12/15
GVPT2890 929 Page 1 of 1 Lecture 7 Obama s Racial Identity Is He Black Do Americans consider Barack Obama to be black Majority of Americans describe Obama as mixed race Most blacks consider him to be black One Drop Rule Majority of whites especially Hispanics view him as mixed race One Drop Rule Tell a person is black based on if person has any known African black ancestry meaning that a single drop of black blood makes a person black Hypodescent rue racially mixed persons assigned status of sub group Obama identified as Black or African American on 2010 census Black leadership Although black leaders considered to be homogenous in wanting to reduce racial inequality they are conflicted in the best strategy to bring this change about Marxism Langston Hughes Nationalism Garvey Malcolm X 38 of blacks conservative Militant leaders use direct action or protest techniques to achieve racial equality Moderate leaders tried to work with whites to solve problems plaguing black community New Black Politics Phase 1 shifted blacks efforts from judicial to legislative and electoral area New Black Politics Phase 2 Moved away from confrontational style of politics Used de racialized strategy Diffused polarizing effects of race New Black Politics Phase 3 Employ deracialization lve League upstarts level of ambition high cross over appeal weak ties to black establishment GVPT2890 10115 Page 1 of 3 Lecture 8 Obama s Racial Identity Is He Black Reading 2004 IL Senate race Obama easily won over Alan Keyes R Novel election scenario featuring two Black candidates competing for a Senate seat in primarily White state More minority candidates running in races Difficult to pinpoint if the race of the candidate plays a significant role in the campaign yet there are reasons to suppose that it might African American candidates were rated higher than White candidates holding all else equal a finding that stood apart from what they anticipated While one could hope this would be a sign of changing race evaluations in society it is also possibly and perhaps more plausibly the result of selfmonitoring by subjects 3 Methods to explore influence of perceived candidate race on White voters 1 Present single candidate to evaluate Problems with method Selfmonitoring Respondents realize race as a salient factor and overcompensate their evaluations to province appearance of racial bias Evaluation made in a vacuum no election opponent Realworld vote choices and real candidate evaluations made in comparison w another candidate Respondents evaluating a single candidate can inflate their evaluations in absence of another op on 2 Present two candidates one White male and one nonWhite male varying the non White male Findings Ageism had a more pronounced affect on decreasing voter support for a nontraditional candidate but ultimately showed that when given the choice between a White male and non White male candidate respondents tend to defer to the White male candidate With all else held equal it still appears as though race plays a role in evaluations of candidates Black candidates are generally perceived as being more compassionate toward disadvantaged groups but also as less competent than their White counterparts Problems Experimental designs presenting fictional and static candidates for quick review cannot match onto the conditions of a real election environment Candidates who occur only on paper in an experimental setting simply do not have the depth of actual candidates 3 Gather survey data from an actual election involving a Black candidate Permits an analysis of actual conditions comparing how respondents evaluate real candidates and then ultimately how that translates into vote support in the election Findings When controlling for other factors such as partisanship ideology and demographic variables racial attitudes are significant predictors of the vote choice Lack of experimental controls reduces the conclusiveness of these findings though Problems lack of control over the election loss of causal attribution that can be made regarding the significance of race Candidate race clearly seems to play a role in voter evaluations as suggested by these methods but it is difficult to pinpoint how this happens GVPT2890 10115 Page 2 of 3 More deracialized the treatment the more positive White Democrats were about Obama in their assessment of both his ability and empathy To the extent that voting dynamics among White Democrats in Illinois follow similar patterns among White Democrats in other states our findings suggest Obama s race remained a potent and easily manipulated factor in how he was evaluated during the 2008 Presidential election as well Race of a candidate from the opposing party and variation of the candidate s portrayal from deracialized to racialized has less influence on candidate evaluations than the fact that the candidate is a Democrat As expected average scores on the evaluations of Obama s ability and empathy were systematically and substantially lower among White Republican voters than for White Democrats across all of the different treatments This suggests that none of the forms of priming provided in the stimuli could strongly influence the evaluations of White Republican voters Barring considerations of race Republicans simply did not like the Democrat An alternative interpretation of the results for White Republican voters could be that they became aware of the manipulations whereas White Democrats did not Racialized portrayals do matter and Black candidates running for political office in predominantly White districts would be advised to take this into account Race unsurprisingly still plays a role in the American electorate Lecture Economy driving people s preference for Democrat in 2008 presidential election 2004 Illinois Senate Race Democratic primary race was mainly between Barack Obama and Blair Hull Obama received 53 of the vote Obama s 1st opponent in 2004 US Senate race was Jack Ryan a Republican and successful investment banker Ryan withdrew his candidacy after information surfaced of his sexual impropriety with his exwife actress Jeri Ryan Obama ended up facing Alan Keyes a black Republican in the general election Keyes had never lived in Chicago prior to his announcement to run for the open Senate seat This election was the first time two African nominees from the two major parties faced each other for a US Senate seat Previously scholarly research tends to focus on whether white voters will evaluate a black candidate more negatively than a white candidate In other words race is seen as a dichotomous variable black and white No clear evidence to proving it Partisanship biggest predictor of voter support Andersen and Junn article looks at race as a continuum specifically the varying degrees of Blackness Treatment A Obama as Black Barack Obama running for US Senate Was community organizer on Chicago s south side Currently an lL State senator Graduate of Harvard Law and faculty of university of Chicago Obama presented as more black gt viewed more negatively by White Democrats Summary More deracialized Obama appeared the more positive white Democrats evaluated Obama on his ability and empathy The treatments ie type of racial image of Obama did not have an effect on Republicans assessment of Obama s ability and empathy GVPT2890 10115 Page 3 of 3 Doe these results demonstrate that we are in a postracial society with the election of Barack Obama or not
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