Week 7: Is Black Politics on the Decline?
Week 7: Is Black Politics on the Decline? GVPT289O
Popular in Racial and Ethnic Politics in the Obama Era
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Date Created: 12/12/15
GVPT2890 10152015 Page 1 of 1 Reading httpwwwnytimescom20080810magazine10politicsthtmlpagewantedall Lecture 11 Is Black Politics on the Decline Blacks usually get elected in majority minority districts districts where minorities are the majority Black politics African Americans ability to mobilize influence policy demand accountability from government officials and contribute and influence American discourse all in the service of black interests It s hard for outgroups to empathize with other groups People who fall under Black Politics umbrella Martin Luther King Jr Malcolm X WEB Dubois Jesse Jackson Al Sharpton NAACP National urban League Congressional Black Caucus and others Why did Black voters get behind Obama who was reluctant to speak out about racial injustice He didn t speak about the problems in the black community Does that mean the black community feels like race doesn t hinder them anymore Fredrick Harries argues that there was a silent agreement between black voters and race neutral candidates A Wink and Nod This agreement entails blacks giving raceneutral black candidates a pass on discussions about racial equality in exchange for the candidates successful elevation to highprofile offices Black candidates have engaged in covering they tone down a disfavored identity to fit with the mainstream Survey question Do you think that blacks have to play down their identity in order to get ahead or do you think they can be themselves About 50 of black respondents said blacks have to play down their race to succeed A Wink and Nod Agreement Clarence Thomas s confirmation to the Supreme Court in 1991 Thomas is a black conservative who was chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under the Reagan administration Black supporters of Thomas ignored his shortcomings on racial issues and concentrated on lifting Thomas up as a symbol of racial progress because they believed symbolic representation was more important than substantive concerns Under Obama administration Harris argues that issues affecting the black community get a low priority For example at a CBC 2011 dinner Obama told black critics to stop complaining stop grumbling stop crying but Obama is willing to engage in issues dealing with other groups such as the LGBT community Republics don t ignore their constituencies even if they are unpopular in American society eg the Tea Party Frederick Harris asks Is the symbolism of a black president worth the price of the ticket It s not Unemployment rates higher for blacks than whites Pay gap has grown between whites and blacks under Obama administration 2012 Election Results 93 of blacks voted for Obama In 2008 it was 95 Clear evidence that blacks aren t frustrated with Obama Wink and nod agreement Blacks made up 13 of the electorate