Can Obama Talk About Race?

Can Obama Talk About Race?

Co-director of The Advancement Project Judith Browne-Dianis and Nation columnist Melissa Harris-Lacewell join Laura Flanders to talk about whether Obama has done enough to address race.

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Co-director of The Advancement Project Judith Browne-Dianis and Nation columnist Melissa Harris-Lacewell join Laura Flanders to talk about whether Obama has done enough to address race. They begin with criticizing the jobs bill passed in March for not incentivizing companies to hire African Americans. Harris-Lacewell compares the importance of addressing minority job concerns to the effects of FDR’s programs after the Great Depression.

"Once these incentives were sent to the states and particularly what were the post-confederate states…you could look and see very clearly that states were making racialized choices and urban versus rural choices about how they were spending that money," Harris-Lacewell explains. "Because there were not specific safeguards around race…states made deeply racially biased choices."

Both Browne-Dianis and Harris-Lacewell agree that Obama is not doing enough to tackle issues of race, but there is little room for him to do so because of the backlash that addressing race would create. To combat this Harris-Lacewell suggests that Obama should have employed Vice President Joe Biden as "the race guy."

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