Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1557968
 


 



The Declining Significance of Presidential Races?


Angela Onwuachi-Willig


University of Iowa College of Law

Osamudia R. James


University of Miami School of Law

February 23, 2010

Law & Contemporary Problems, Vol. 72, 2010
U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-12

Abstract:     
This Symposium Essay examines the campaign that led up to the last presidential election to illuminate the complex interplay between race and class within our society. Specifically, it explores how race and class functioned together to disadvantage President Obama in the race to the White House (even as he ultimately won the election). Section II focuses on how Obama’s income, job status, and prestigious education functioned as markers of elitism during the campaign, even as compared to opponents with more elite and wealthier backgrounds, and how these factors were used as tools by his opponents to convince lower-class white voters not to support his bid for the Presidency. Section III addresses the ways in which Obama’s adversaries shamelessly foisted negative stereotypes about “lower-class” Blacks upon both Obama and his wife Michelle in order to mark the Obamas as “other” and thus unworthy of life in the White House. Finally, Section IV concludes by exploring the unique challenges that these interactions may present for policymakers, particularly on issues such as affirmative action, desegregation and integration in public schools, and employment.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 26

Keywords: Obama, Racism, Class, Race, Classism, Stereotype, Black, Whiteness, Political, Election, President

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Date posted: February 24, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Onwuachi-Willig, Angela and James, Osamudia R., The Declining Significance of Presidential Races? (February 23, 2010). Law & Contemporary Problems, Vol. 72, 2010; U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-12. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1557968

Contact Information

Angela Onwuachi-Willig (Contact Author)
University of Iowa College of Law ( email )
290 Boyd Law Building
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States
Osamudia R. James
University of Miami School of Law ( email )
1311 Miller Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States
305.284.5837 (Phone)
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