President Obama's Election Campaign in the U.S. and Concepts of Race and Racism
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDocuments from President Obama?s election campaign show that he was consistently racialized by White people as a member of the African American minority group, providing a pointed demonstration of the continuing importance of White racism in America. His campaign evoked emotional responses to race issues against his will. In U.S. society, where "White privilege" is embedded, White people have a power to create and sustain negative stereotypical images of people of color and thus control both images and people. I have focused on media sources such as news, online clips, and movies, and collected examples of various racist representations of Obama circulating in the public space. I will argue that basic messages behind the stereotypes of people of color have not changed much since the Jim Crow era. Some apparently positive stereotypes are in circulation, and during the campaign they were used to depict Obama, such as the image of the "Magic Negro." My research reveals that this "magic" image is not only limited to African Americans, but can also apply to people of color in general. By providing examples from movies, such as Australia (2008), I will demonstrate that even such apparently positive stereotypes are just as harmful as negative ones and can be applied for all minority groups.
Degree ProgramHonors College