This chapter suggests that social justice for African Americans during the era of Obama presidency will advance less from what Mr. Obama does and more from what social scientists and others do. President Obama is not expected to provide much leadership on this issue for at least four reasons. First, presidents and other high-level elected officials do not tend to make policy without strong public advocacies for such policies. Second, Mr. Obama has put forth a universal rather than a targeted approach to dealing with issues concerning African Americans. Third, he is unlikely to use his bully pulpit to advance social justice for African Americans because he has been reluctant to use the bully pulpit to advance his major legislative agenda. And fourth, the Obama administration has made a habit of fumbling on teachable moments about race. See the missteps in the Henry Louis Gates affair, and the timidity in the Shirley Sherrod and the Van Jones affairs.
Reed, W. (2010), "Social justice in the age of Obama", Cunnigen, D. and Bruce, M. (Ed.) Race in the Age of Obama (Research in Race and Ethnic Relations, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 193-213. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0195-7449(2010)0000016011Download as .RIS
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