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Barack Obama, Post-Racialism, and the New Politics of Triangulation

Overview

Barack Obama, Post-Racialism, and the New Politics of Triangulation examines black voters' relationship to the political process and to the first black president in a prematurely post-racial America. Using interviews with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, empirical data, news accounts, academic literature, and case law, Terry Smith argues that the price of black electoral success outside of traditional majority-minority settings has become the triangulation of the post-racial black politician's ...

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Barack Obama, Post-Racialism, and the New Politics of Triangulation

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Overview

Barack Obama, Post-Racialism, and the New Politics of Triangulation examines black voters' relationship to the political process and to the first black president in a prematurely post-racial America. Using interviews with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, empirical data, news accounts, academic literature, and case law, Terry Smith argues that the price of black electoral success outside of traditional majority-minority settings has become the triangulation of the post-racial black politician's African-American constituency. The book is broad-ranging in its
examination of how black politics has become so susceptible to marginalization even in a
nation governed by its first black president.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'In a sea of nonsensical post-racial hoopla, Professor Smith brings to the fore the 'new politics of triangulation,' which he describes as 'the 'third way' between liberalism and conservatism.' Obama, accordingly, does not represent racial progress but a new and perhaps more problematic phase of phenotypical rather than substantive representation for people of color in the polity. My hope is that this book helps progressives and people of color understand once and for all that politicians should be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their politics!' —Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, professor of Sociology at Duke University and author of Racism Without Racists

'Terry Smith has written an insightful book on post-racialism in Obama's America. Despite the election of the country's first African-American president, the United States continues to experience racial disparities, and political and social inequality. The author makes clear that as a 'race-averse' president, Obama poses serious challenges for voters from many different backgrounds, including black voters. I would recommend this book to all those interested in understanding racial politics and the costs of electoral triangulation.'—Darrell M. West, vice president and director of Governance Studies, Brookings Institute

'Terry Smith sets out to illustrate how African-Americans have fared in a post-racial triangulation society. He is critical of the triangulation theory, yet provides a balanced critique filled with statistics and further evidence of its impact on the African-American community. He exposes judicial and political hypocrisy in the unpleasant realities regarding race, politics, and money. It is an act of courage to describe the harsh truth of disparities in the African-American community economically, socially, and politically, yet Terry Smith does all these things well.'—Gilda R. Daniels, associate professor, University of Baltimore School of Law and former deputy chief of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230371996
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/19/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Terry Smith is a Distinguished Research Professor of Law at DePaul College of Law. A nationally recognized expert on voting rights, Professor Smith's scholarship has appeared in the Columbia Law Review, the Duke Law Jourbanal and the North Carolina Law Review, among others. In addition to his scholarly publications, Smith's opinion pieces have appeared in the Huffington Post, AOL News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Los Angeles Times and the Providence Jourbanal. Smith embarked on a career in teaching and voting rights scholarship after graduating from New York University Law School, where he was a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow, clerking on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and practicing law in Washington, D.C.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Part I Before Obama

1 Black Politics: Which Way Is Left? 9

2 Race and Money in Politics 21

3 Black Tea: Black Conservatives and the Rhetoric of Social Conservatism 45

4 Contradictions in a Latino Moment: Latinos as Less Black? 63

Part II Barack Obama and the New Politics of Triangulation

5 Triangulation 101: The Old Conceives the New 83

6 The New Politics of Triangulation: Obama and Post-Racialism 101

7 A Thousand Obamas? Black Electoral Ambition and Accountability to Black Voters 119

8 Do African Americans Need a Black President? Of Movements, Not Men 135

Conclusion 157

Notes 159

Index 217

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