Shows: November 11, 2008

Photo for 'Obama’s Victory: What it Says About Race in America'
AP/Punahou Schools

Obama’s Victory: What it Says About Race in America

Barack Obama’s victory last week has been celebrated by those who embraced the candidate’s message and hailed as a milestone in American political life. He will, of course, be the first African American President of the United States. The “Bradley effect” failed to materialize, and Obama managed to win by comfortable margins in states with solid bases of white workers, including Ohio and Pennsylvania. What does his win reveal about racial politics in the US? Are we truly a post-racial society now, and what does that term even mean? We will speak with Adolph Reed, a professor of political science and scholar of American and African American politics, on the cultural significance of Obama’s win.

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Prop 8 in CA and Amendment 1 in FL

Voters last week defeated two ballot measures championed by civil rights advocates. In California, Proposition 8 banned gay marriage and was supported, according to exit polls, by 70% of blacks, 52% of Latinos, and 49% of Asians, even as those communities went for Obama by a 94 to 6 margin. In Florida, voters failed to overturn a 1926 Constitutional amendment barring “aliens ineligible to citizenship”—Asians—from owning land in the state, fearing that the measure would allow terrorists and undocumented immigrants to buy property. We’ll be joined by Curtis Chin of Asian Pacific Americans for Progress and by Winnie Tang of the Organization of Chinese Americans.

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Vijay Prashad on Sonal Shah’s Affiliations

Over the weekend, historian and scholar Vijay Prashad wrote an article in Counterpunch in which he examined the background of Sonal Shah, a Google executive and Indicorps founder who has been tapped to joined Barack Obama’s transition team. As Prashad noted, she also has some more questionable affiliations, including an association with the American branch of the Vishna Hindu Parishad (VHP), a right-wing Hindu organization. Since the weekend, the article has sparked an online controversy, with many supporters of Shah speaking up in her defense and others calling for more scrutiny of her politics. We’ll speak with Prashad about the controversy and why Shah’s associations matter.

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