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The Obama PhenomenonToward a Multiracial Democracy$
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Charles P. Henry, Robert L. Allen, and Robert Chrisman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036453

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036453.001.0001

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President Obama

President Obama

Freedom Democrat or Neoliberal?

Chapter:
(p.253) Fifteen President Obama
Source:
The Obama Phenomenon
Author(s):

Robin D. G. Kelley

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036453.003.0016

The chapter argues that President Obama had to “transcend” race by invoking a politics of color-blindness, building unity not by collectively acknowledging that the nation has a race problem, but through forgetting and ignoring the past and present. Moreover, anyone who believes an Obama administration is willing or able to challenge neoliberalism or has an interest in dismantling empire is deluded. He is president, and halfway into his first term he had made his political agenda clear: he has escalated the war in Afghanistan, is reluctant to reverse Bush policies of extraordinary rendition or refusing terror suspects trial, backed a watered-down health care reform bill, and the list goes on. Of course, he also faces the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and intractable House and Senate Republicans. Obama may have been shaped by abolition democracy, but it is simply impossible to be a drum major for justice in the White House.

Keywords:   Barack Obama, abolition democracy, neoliberalism, justice, color-blindness

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