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From the New York Times bestselling and controversial author Shelby Steele comes an illuminating examination of the complex racial issues that confront presidential candidate Barack Obama in his race for the White House, a quest that will be one of those galvanizing occasions that forces a national dialogue on the current state of race relations in America. Steele argues that Senator Obama is caught between two classic postures that blacks have always used to make their way in the white American mainstream: bargaining and challenging. Bargainers strike a "bargain" with white America in which they say, "I will not rub America's ugly history of racism in your face if you will not hold my race against me." Bill Cosby's sitcom in the 1980s was the classic example of bargaining. Obama also sends "bargaining" signals to white America, and whites respond with considerable gratitude-which explains the special aura of excitement that surrounds him. But in order to garner the black vote-which is absolutely necessary for victory in the primaries and the general election-Obama must also posture as a challenger. Challengers are the opposite of bargainers. They charge whites with inherent racism and then demand that they prove themselves innocent by supporting black-friendly policies, such as affirmative action. If whites go along with this-thereby proving their innocence-they are granted absolution by the black challenger. The current black American identity is grounded in challenging. Obama must therefore posture as a challenger to win the black vote. However, challenging threatens Obama's white support. But bargaining threatens his black support. Thus, he is bound. He walks in an impossible political territory where any expression of what he truly feels puts him in jeopardy with one much-needed constituency or another. Only a kind of two-sided political mask, or an "above politics" posture, keeps the wolves at bay.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781400106035
ISBN-10: 1400106036
Format: CD-Audio
(137mm x 163mm x 27mm)
Imprint: Tantor Media, Inc
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc
Publish Date: 8-Jan-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Shelby Steele

Shelby Steele is the Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author of "The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America." Richard Allen is a five-time Audie-nominated narrator whose work has been acknowledged on the Best Audiobooks Lists for "Audiofile" and "Library Journal."

Books By Author Shelby Steele

Shame by Shelby Steele

Shame

Hardback, May 2015
$44.75
Bound Man by Shelby Steele

A Bound Man

Paperback, December 2013
$24.09
Dream Deferred by Shelby Steele

A Dream Deferred

Paperback, January 2000
$25.81
Content of Our Character by Shelby Steele

The Content of Our Character

Paperback, September 1991
$25.81