Black Politics and Obama

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fredrick Harris, professor of political science and the director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University and author of The Price of the Ticket: Barack Obama and Rise and Decline of Black Politics, looks at what President Obama's victory in 2008 meant to the concept of identity politics and the black political establishment.


Fredrick C. Harris

Comments [14]

ellen from nyc

to ecahnomics comment above.....the rogues gallery of black leaders you list are appointments of the conservatives in power...namely Bush....who find the few conservative blacks who agree with bush's policies, and are also accomplished achievers. Cain is a rw nutcase. These are found among all races and groups, and they try to use whatever methods possible to gain power, and leverage themselves up above the group they came from. They identify with the powerful top dogs. To include obama in a 'rogues gallery' is rather stoopid, is it not? He may not be perfect but.....

Jun. 26 2012 12:04 AM
bernie from bklyn

the argument saying that white guys consume more drugs than black guys is such a ridiculous argument...and i don't know how and why supposed journalists like brian give credence to this stuff. yes, white guys consume more drugs but white guys are not out on the street selling nearly as much and they certainly aren't involved in the violence associated w/ drug dealing the way black guys are. young black men are being stopped and frisked more than anyone else because young black men are the ones that are robbing people and committing violence on people in this city. if you don't agree with this then you are living in a dream world. are there any leaders in the black community that can solve the core of this problem? i don't see anyone.

Jun. 25 2012 04:52 PM
Mike from Inwood

Isn't this another case of a fundamentally centrist Obama, following the advice of his staff of insiders just like he did with Timothy Geithner...much to the detriment of the country? Obama's candidacy was a Rorschach test on which all liberals and progressives projected their-our own ideas about a first African-American president, without taking the time to see how middle of the road, centrist Obama really was and is.

Jun. 25 2012 11:29 AM
Leo from queens

Stop and Frisk is a federal issue because it goes to the core of equal civil rights for all U.S. citizens- it is basically the 21st century version of the Jim Crow laws designed to keep blacks and other people of color from participating in the same economy. Though white young man consume more drugs and more dangerous drugs they are not being stopped and frisked.

Many young men of color are being searched to be able to find a minor offense to extract revenue from them and to force them into the criminal justice system (days away from work and school waiting in court) so that they are not able to get student loans and are unable to get a job as they will have a criminal record for carrying pot or having an expired ID, etc. anything to get men of color tagged as not squeeky clean

Jun. 25 2012 11:28 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I'm surprised neither Prof. Harris nor Brian pointed out to Daoud, the 1st caller, that the higher no. of whites affected by these issues is due to the much higher no. of whites in the country as a whole, & that the *proportion* of the white population affected is much lower than that of the black & Latino populations.

Jun. 25 2012 11:26 AM

With the gay issues there was a potential loss of GAY MONEY. One out of six of his bundlers is gay.

It had nothing to do with the contents of Obama's empty heart, it's about the content of his open wallet.

Obama only responds to political threat, and the black community can't provide a realistic one.

Jun. 25 2012 11:25 AM
Lou Panico from Linden NJ

So am I to assume that Professor Harris recommend that we vote for Romney?

Jun. 25 2012 11:25 AM

The caller who identified himself as 55 and African American nailed it, as has Prof. Harris.

There is a simmering debate among liberals. On one side are the "let's go along to get along" crowd who excoriate all those who criticize Obama — even as Obama commits crimes that liberals universally condemned when committed by Bush.

Obama has lied to liberals. He has berated and vilified liberals when he would dare say boo to a Republican.

Obama has been a failure on _most_ counts. He moved on gay marriage only because the LGBT community did exactly what so many go-along-to-get-along liberals condemn. Gays insisted on their rights. Why won't liberals do this generally?

Jun. 25 2012 11:22 AM

O threw LGBT crumbs because one of his lesbian big supporters threatened to cancel a fundraiser.

Jun. 25 2012 11:22 AM
Ken C from Brooklyn

With the climate created by the political media, it is impossible for Obama to do anything without being labeled a racist.

Jun. 25 2012 11:20 AM
jmurphy from long island

doesn't your guest agree that congress is too hostile to such ideas and that to propose them anyway would have been the nail in his 2nd term coffin? isn't his 2nd term the best time for him to be more forceful?

Jun. 25 2012 11:15 AM

African-American "leaders":
Condi Rice
Colin Powell
Clarence Thomas
Herman Cain

Quite a rogue's gallery.

Jun. 25 2012 11:11 AM
john from office

Obama cannot placate anyone, he is too white, too black, too liberal, too conservative, Etc. He is the president of the USA, not the black president of the USA, nor the president of black America. Give the guy a break.

Jun. 25 2012 11:11 AM
Pablo Alto from da Bronx

President Obama has had to prove that he could be the Commander in Chief, and leader of a diverse nation, while demonstrating that he could be "objective" on issues of race. The racism that is baked into the American apple pie is a factor in everything that he has had to do. Mixing metaphors, he has had to "put a saddle on a tiger, and then ride it" for several years. Blacks and Latinos expected more from him, but delivering anything to these citizens has been tough because White folks think he favors us with every single word or deed because they define him a Other.

Jun. 25 2012 11:07 AM

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