The Next “Black President” and the Next Black Politics
In this volume, we have presented a conceptual framework that argues the American constitutional order has entailed various racial orders that advanced either more racially exclusive or more racially inclusive policy agendas. The American presidency has been a central actor in these orders. One key conclusion we reach based on the analyses of our contributors is that the historic presidency of Barack Obama attempted to advance the policy interests of various African American communities across several dimensions—e.g., voting rights, criminal justice reform, healthcare, and housing. And while African American communities may have had what we call an “inverted linked fate” with Obama (or linked their sense of well-being with Obama’s perceived political well-being), Obama’s personal linked fate with African American communities—i.e., Black women, Black LGBTQ persons, faith-based communities, etc.—did not overcome what we call the “inclusionary dilemma.” Despite African American voters being critical to Obama’s electoral victories, the aforementioned orders imposed constraints upon the Obama policy agenda and fueled the president’s reluctance to press more left-of-center policy prescriptions that would be of greater benefit to Black communities. We end by considering the Obama administration’s shortfalls relative to a new, progressive Black politics during the Trump administration.
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