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The Price of the TicketBarack Obama and Rise and Decline of Black Politics$
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Fredrick Harris

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199739677

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199739677.001.0001

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Wink, Nod, Vote

Wink, Nod, Vote

(p.137) 5 Wink, Nod, Vote
The Price of the Ticket

Fredrick C. Harris

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the practice and the consequences of race-neutral campaign strategies in America. More specifically, it looks at the origins of race-neutral campaign strategies among black politicians in the early 1980s and how race-neutral black candidates, particularly Barack Obama, tackled racism or racial inequality during their election campaigns. It also considers the informal wink-and-nod agreement forged between race-neutral black candidates and black voters who supported them, along with its implications for black politics. Finally, the chapter discusses “deracialization” as a campaign strategy adopted by race-neutral black candidates.

Keywords:   black politics, America, black politicians, Barack Obama, racism, racial inequality, election campaigns, wink-and-nod agreement, black voters, deracialization

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