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Obama, Clinton, PalinMaking History in Election 2008$
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Liette Gidlow

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036606

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036606.001.0001

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Barack Obama and the Politics of Anger

Barack Obama and the Politics of Anger

(p.26) Chapter 2 Barack Obama and the Politics of Anger
Obama, Clinton, Palin

Tiffany Ruby Patterson

University of Illinois Press

This chapter considers the Jeremiah Wright controversy against the background of historical stereotypes of black men as angry, irrational, and dangerous—stereotypes that have long been used to call into question the fitness of African Americans for full citizenship. Displaying his characteristic calm demeanor, Obama had resisted any hint of anger or rage over the historic issues confronting black Americans in the 2008 elections. Indeed, in his well-known autobiography, Dreams from My Father, he had rejected those black thinkers and leaders who failed to overcome their anger and disappointment and embraced instead those who found reasons for hope. The chapter thus asserts that, while Obama, as a candidate in 2008 and as president afterward, may need to deal with racial injustice dispassionately, genuine healing can take place only after African Americans are able to give full voice to their anger over generations of wrongs done.

Keywords:   Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright, racial stereotypes, black Americans, anger, racial injustice, African Americans

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