For the past four years, the nation’s first African American president has been virtually silent about race.
Whether that will change in President Obama’s second term is something known only to Obama, and perhaps members of his inner circle. Others are left to speculate, and two prominent members of the black community have reached different conclusions.
There’s likely to be a new and more assertive message from the White House, says Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP and a former Bay Area civil rights activist. Obama, Jealous observes, no longer faces re-election and is mindful of his future legacy and of persistent economic hardships among African Americans.
Don’t expect any dramatic shifts, counters Christopher Edley, the law school dean at UC Berkeley and a former White House staff member during two Democratic administrations. The president, he says, is a practical politician, not a movement leader, and knows he would come under fierce attack for highlighting any racial issues.
Obama, to be sure, has invigorated the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, supported race-based affirmative action in court, and opposed Republican-sponsored voter ID laws on the grounds that they would suppress minority voting. His administration has sided with Latinos challenging the Arizona law that allows police to demand documents from those they suspect of being illegal immigrants. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Easy Related Posts
Mary Landrieu: Race issues hurt Obama in La.
Republicans are seizing on Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu’s comments that part of President Barack Obama’s ...read more
How racial appeals to black voters have changed — and worsened — under Obama
Making appeals based on race is not new in politics. It can be subtle, like ...read more
Obama: Let schools use race in admissions
President Barack Obama says colleges and universities should be able to offer racial preferences in ...read more
Democrats Bash Obama Yet Want Black Vote
Here are a few election-time questions to think over: Why in the world do Democrats ...read more