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Showing posts from November, 2016

Lola in The New Statesman: “Make America White Again” - how US racial politics led to the election of Donald Trump

[Originally published in The New Statesman] Just as Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy came after civil rights protests, the President-Elect’s campaign followed an African-American president. When President Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and 2012, there was much talk of the “Obama effect” and what his presidency would mean. In some circles, that talk leaned towards the optimistic, with visions of unity, civil rights advances, and the positive symbolism of his election given America’s history of institutionalised segregation and systematic prejudice. While many liberals have been critical of Obama’s policies and expressed disappointment about what he has done (or failed to do) in office, one underestimated effect was the other side of that coin: the counter-reaction, the anger, sadness and sense of victimisation that eight years of an African-American president would invoke in some Americans. Some of that counter-reaction could be put down to party politics. After all, nobody wants to …