Michael Tesler: #11 on the 2016 Politico 50

September 16, 2016
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It’s our second congrats this week to a University of Chicago Press author for making the Politico 50, a “guide to the thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics in 2016.” This time it’s Michael Tesler, author of Post-Racial or Most-Racial?: Race and Politics in the Obama Era, at #11, for his contribution to our understanding of “how white racism has long shaped American politics.

As Politico writes:

There may be no single symbol of black progress more powerful than an African-American in the White House, and Tesler, author of this year’s Post-Racial or Most-Racial?: Race and Politics in the Obama Era, argues that Barack Obama’s 2008 election triggered a new racialized backlash. Tesler draws a distinction between “racial conservatives,” who are more likely to agree with stereotypes like the notion that black people are poorer than white people because of lack of effort, and “racial liberals.” Racial conservatism, Tesler’s work shows, has become a stronger predictor for identifying as Republican, and it spiked with Obama’s election. Over the past year, a steady stream of studies, polls and analyses—including Tesler’s own findings—appear to bear out that theory and show how it’s shaping the 2016 campaign; they chart a correlation between racial resentment and support for Trump. As the most prominent mouthpiece for the “birther” conspiracy theory about Obama, Trump—whose campaign has been entangled with white supremacist groups and whose support among African-Americans is in the single digits—is fanning the flames, Tesler says. Even in 2016, even with a black man in the White House, Tesler wrote in the Washington Post, “Donald Trump is the first Republican in modern times to win the party’s presidential nomination on anti-minority sentiments.”

To read more about Post-Racial or Most-Racial?, click here.

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