NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ864840
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1938-9809
The Obama Presidency and the Question of Social Justice: A Critical Analysis of the Meaningful Milestone
Hanks, Lawrence J.
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2009 n1 2009
On January 20, 2009, essentially 200 years after the enactment of the embargo against the slave trade, 40 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Barack Hussein Obama became the 44th President of the United States of America. Using the one drop rule for racial designation which has prevailed in the USA for most of its history, America had elected its first black President. Using the new standard created by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2000, America now had its first commonly acknowledged bi-racial President. All can agree that the U.S President is not "wholly white,"--but a "man of color" and therein lies the milestone; someone other than a white male was President of the United States of America. Analysts on the right were quick to declare that the US had overcome the challenge of race and the term "post-racial" abounded--from their perspective, race as a barrier to social justice had clearly been overcome. While acknowledging the achievement and progress of the major milestone, analyst on the left adamantly rejected the term "post racial" and argued that race still mattered with respect to one's life chances of success. In this paper, the author aims to analyze the validity of these competing claims. In order to contextualize this debate, the author provides a brief explication and analysis of the historical quest for African American equity. A crucial part of this analysis includes analysis of the internalist (conservative) and externalist (liberal) perspectives which became especially distinctive after the post WWII civil rights movement, i.e., the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 and the demise of segregation as mandated by "Alexander v Holmes County Board of Education" in 1969. Finally, the author offers a brief analysis of the Obama campaign and his presidency as it relates to the goal of social justice. (Contains 14 footnotes.)
Oxford Round Table. 406 West Florida Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801. Tel: 217-344-0237; Fax: 217-344-6963; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A