Michelle Obama: Intersectionality, Implicit Bias, and Third-Party Associative Discrimination in the 2008 Election
57 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2008 Last revised: 1 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 22, 2008
Elections are like hiring decisions, and new frontiers in employment discrimination law place Michelle Obama in context within the current presidential campaign. First, racism and sexism still exist within politics and employment. Within both domains, the intersection of these biases uniquely impact Black women, even Ms. Obama. Second, most race and gender bias is no longer express, but unconscious. And they influence voting and hiring/promotion behavior. Thus, there are instances in the 2008 campaign where these attitudes towards Ms. Obama have been demonstrated. Such instances are similar to fact-patterns in employment discrimination cases. Third, under Title VII, employment discrimination may be directed at a third party for their associations with members of a disliked group. Here, voters' unconscious biases against Mrs. Obama likely impact their voting decisions in regards to Senator Obama.
Keywords: Implicit Bias, Employment Discrimination, 2008 Campaign, Intersectionality, Michelle Obama
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