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Racial Politics

September 20, 2009 | Mark Z. Barabak and Richard Fausset
As a black man who has felt the sting of prejudice, President Obama is not only empathetic but uniquely positioned to advance the cause of equality in a country where skin color remains, for many, a barrier to opportunity and achievement. Yet throughout his career, Obama has been careful to avoid being pigeonholed as serving mainly the interest of African Americans; otherwise, he never would have been elected last November. The result is a duality to Obama's presidency. He brings aspects of the black experience into the White House -- using occasional street slang, installing a bust of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Oval Office.
May 10, 1992 | Kevin Phillips, Kevin Phillips, publisher of the American Political Report, is author of "The Politics of Rich and Poor" (Random House)
The Texan in the White House is unhappy, watching America's cities in flames, seeing his formerly sky-high job approval down in the 40s, hearing voters demand an end to overseas adventurism and greater focus on domestic priorities, wincing at his stunning embarrassment by a little-known rival in the New Hampshire primary, listening to citizens grumble about the bankruptcy of the political Establishment and facing what could be the strongest third-party presidential challenge since 1912.
August 7, 1991
The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that when they see the Willie Horton commercial, Democrats see an alienated Afro-American, while Republicans see a criminal. DOUGLAS J. WOLF San Diego
To people around the world, he was the perpetually grinning black jazzman who brought comic relief to films such as "Hello, Dolly" and "High Society." To many jazz musicians who admired his art but loathed his public persona, he was at best a "clown," as trumpeter Miles Davis once called him, and at worst a promoter of a "plantation image," in the words of Dizzy Gillespie. But as the world celebrates the centennial of Louis Armstrong's birth (the actual date was Aug.
April 27, 2003 | Erika Hayasaki and Daniel Hernandez, Times Staff Writers
To author and columnist Christopher Hitchens, now is the time for a "positive wind of change" to blow through Iraq. But to author and journalism professor Mark Danner, the United States is beginning an occupation that could turn ugly and disastrous. Such divergent viewpoints about war, power and democracy were debated at several author sessions at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which attracted thousands of people Saturday.
Warily questioning prospective jurors on emotionally charged topics such as racism and spousal abuse, lawyers launched the final round of jury selection in the O.J. Simpson civil trial Tuesday, seeking to cull a panel from a pool of 102 candidates. Nearly all of the first 14 candidates to face questions had brushed up against some of the volatile issues running through the case.
April 27, 2008 | Marc Weingarten, Special to The Times
YOU don't hear folks touting the virtues of Compton too often. But where some might view the city as an incubator of crime and poverty, Nina Revoyr sees a land of comity and cultural richness. "Compton is a very romantic place for me," said the novelist, who was eating brunch at Auntie Em's, a hipster-magnet restaurant near her Eagle Rock home. "Historically, Compton's had an organic blend of Japanese and African American culture.
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