奥巴马对美国影响最大的十句话

时间:2024.4.10

奥巴马对美国影响最大的十句话

We are the change we are seeking.

我们就是我们正在寻找的变化!

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

我们就是我们一直在等待的救世主!

The world has changed, and we must change with it.

世界已经变了,我们必须同时改变.

Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of remaking America.

从今天开始,让我们团结一致,振作精神,开始重塑美国.

This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected.

我们的国家也许从来就不完美,但一代又一代人已经证明我们的国家可以不断被改善.

It took a lot ofblood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the worldwe leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.

我们的今天是多少血汗、泪水换来的,但路才刚刚开始.今天,我们做出诚挚的努力,确保留给孩子们的世界,比现在的再好一点点.

We are ready to lead once more.

我们有信心再次领导世界.


第二篇:张永云-论奥巴马当选美国总统对美国种族关系的影响


Research on the Influence of Obama’s Successful Presidential Election on American Racial relations

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract in English

Abstract in Chinese

Introduction

Chapter 1 American Racial relations before the Obama Administration

1.1 The Existence and Evolution of Racism in the United States

1.2 The Gradual Improvement of Racial relations

1.3 The State of Racial relations before the Obama Administration

Chapter 2 American Racial relations under the Obama Administration

2.1 The Economic Performance of the Blacks

2.2 The Political Status of the Blacks

2.3 The Social Status of theBlacks

Chapter 3 The Factors to the Slight Impact Obama’s Election Has on Racial relations

3.1 Expectations for Obama Administration

3.1.1 Exception for the change of the bad situation to realize American dream

3.1.2 Change of the Racial relations

3.2 Obama’s Expectations for His Own Administration

3.2.1 Obama’s Fulfillment of American People’s Requirements

3.2.2 Obama’s Standpoints in Racial relations

Conclusion

Bibliograph

Abstract

Race relations has been controversy and sensitive issue from Abraham Lincoln abolishing slavery to the Voting Right Act of 1965 , from Martin Luther King's famous speech” I have a dream” forty years ago to President Barack Obama who is blacks wearing as the 44th President of the United States on Capitol hill on January 20th, 2009. This issue must be seriously considered, no matter when it is in presidential election or a bill through Congress or even Court hearing a case of the black. It was Obama successful election that pushed the controversy issue into climax. Some researchers hold the point of views that Obama’s successful election has important influence on racial relations and racial problems have become insignificant. However, others think symbolic meaning of Obama’s election is far from practice meaning. What effect does on earth Obama’s election has on racial relations?

The thesis focuses on this question and analyzes the change of racial relations, especial relation of the black and white ,between before and after of Obama’s election. And the thesis is based on the domestic and foreign experts’ researches. The thesis holds this view that although Obama’s election has some influence on racial relations lies in people's dissatisfaction for economic condition under finical crisis, anti-war running, and expectation for realizing American dream, and hope to change racial relations only take a small part comparing with the previous three factors, after Obama’s election, Obama government’s focus was mainly cast on the people’s wanting of changing economic condition, anti-war sentiments, and role model of realization of American dream, and bearing neutral standpoints in the issue of racial relations. The thesis, therefore, indicates that the influences of Obama’s election on recical relations, especial relations between the black and white need to be understood in a more rational way.

Key words: racial relations Obama’s election the influence

摘 要

从林肯废除奴隶制度到19xx年选举法案,从四十年前马丁路德金的“我有一个梦想”到20xx年1月20日拥有黑人血统的奥巴马在国会山上宣誓就职美国第44任总统种族关系问题一直是美国具有争议和敏感的话题。无论是总统选举还是国会通过法案甚至是法院审理黑人犯罪事件,都必须认真考虑这一因素。而20xx年奥巴马的成功当选更是将这一问题讨论推向高潮。

有人据此认为奥巴马当选对种族关系意义重大影响深远,种族问题已经变得无足轻重;但也有认为,奥巴马当选的象征意义远远大于实际意义。究竟奥巴马当选对种族关系产生怎样影响?

本论文围绕此问题,基于国内外专家的研究成果,通过分析奥巴马当选前后种族关系特别是与非洲裔黑人关系变化比较。本文认为奥巴马的成功单选对种族关系产生一定影响,但影响程度有限。其原因主要在于美国民众对经济危机下经济现状的不满,反战情绪的高涨,以及对实现美国梦的渴望。而当选后的奥巴马政府并没完全兑现对民众承诺以及奥巴马对种族关系的中立政策,也让种族平等的完全实现蒙上了一层阴影。通过本文的分析,可以更加理性地理解奥巴马当选对种族关系特别是与黑人关系影响。

关键词:种族关系 奥巴马当选 影响

Introduction

In 2012 Barack Obama won the re-election and took into office for the second term. Although majority of African Americans and Hispanic Americans still voted for him as well as many of the whites, comparing with Obama’s first election in 2008, people seem to adopt more rational attitude toward Obama’s re-election.

Barack Obama won the first election in 2008. People naturally connected the dark-skinned president with American racial ration. As a immigrant country composed of different ethnics groups, racialism has been deeply rooted in America. The blacks and other ethnics have been treated unfairly, since two hundred years ago. People placed much hope on him and looked forward to real equality’s coming. Some scholars think Obama’s successfully election had significant and profound influence on racial relations and racial problems has become insignificant. However, some other scholars believe symbolic meaning of Obama’s election is far from practice meaning. What influence does on earth Obama’s election has on racial relations?

The thesis focuses on this question and analyzes the change of racial relations, especial relation of the black and white ,between before and after of Obama’s election, and the thesis is based on the domestic and foreign expert’s researches. Most researches of academic circles at home and abroad analyze the sources of racial discrimination, or discuss briefly the present state of racial relations and explain its reason, or studies its historical influence. However, these researches are lack of systematic analysis of the influence of Obama’s successful presidential election on racial relations. That how to rationally recognize this phenomenon become obvious significant.

The thesis holds the point of view that Obama’s election has only limited and slight effects on racial relations in America, for the success of his election mainly lies in people’s dissatisfaction for economic condition under financial crisis, anti-war running, and expectation for realizing American dream, and hopes to change racial relations only take a small part comparing with the previous three factors. The fact shows, consequently after Obama’s election, Obama government’s focus was mainly cast on the people’s wanting of changing economic condition anti-war sentiments, and role model of the realization of American dream, bearing neutral standpoints in the issue of racial relations. The thesis, therefore, indicates that the influences of Obama’s election on racial relations, especial relations between the black and white, need to be understood in a more rational way.

To further analyze the structure of the thesis, in chapter 1 the thesis shows the status quo of racial relations before Obama’s election, through analyzing the existence and evolution of racism, the gradual improvement of racial relations and the relation of the black and white. In chapter 2 the thesis takes African Americans as an example and shows the racial relations under the Obama administration, through analyzing their economic performance, political status and social status. In chapter 3 the thesis compares people’s expectations for Obama administration and Obama’s expectations for his own administration to search for factors to the slight impact Obama’s election on racial relations.

The thesis comes to the conclusion: the influence of Obama successful presidential election on American racial relations is slim and limited. The thesis systematically analyzes Obama successful presidential election to make its influence on American racial relations understood in more rational way and offer researchers more reference.

Chapter 1 American racial relations before the Obama

administration

As a immigrant country, the United States is one place where people from all over the world bring various customs and ways of living into. It is inevitable for the white and other ethnics to conflict with each other. With the long existence and evolution of racialism, American racial relations had become strained. Nevertheless, the racial relations have been improved a lot, through American people, especially the blacks’ continuously struggling. Even in this case, the realization of the real equality among different ethnics is still a long way to go. Until 2008, right before the Obama government and during the period of the George W. Bush government, still there was existing racial discrimination and racial inequality in many fields of the United States.

1.1 The existence and evolution of racism in the United States

That “everyone was born with freedom and equality” was augustly announced in the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The Declaration of Independence was the first bill on human right bill. However, the country, with possessed the history of over two hundred years witnessed that the racial discrimination and conflicts among ethnic groups have constantly taken place. First of all, it is essential to learn more about racialism and racial discrimination, before dating back the origin of the racial relations.

“Regarding to the concept of racialism, its definition is that any behavior based on racial continuity is belong to the categories of racialism. According this definition, the racialism can be divided into two types: overt racialism and implicit racialism. “(StokelyCarmichael,Charles V. Hamilton. Black Power: The Politics of Liberation, New York: Random House. 1967P35-45) the overt racialism is usual on purpose, while the implicit racialism may be on purpose or not. The overt racialism has not the deceivable mask, but with malicious intention. Compared with it, the motivation of the implicit racialism is hard to confirm. Therefore, the implicit racialism is not easily reckoned as the racialism, because the real motivation of implementer is not even realized, and it may present the neutral or appropriate behavior. When it is in an

unconscious situation, the implicit racialism can be implemented by persons in the unconscious situation.

The definition of racial discrimination from the perspective of social science includes two components: “(1) differential treatment on the basis of race that disadvantages a racial group and (2) treatment on the basis of inadequately justified factors other than race that disadvantages a racial group (differential effect). Each component is based on behavior or treatment that disadvantages one racial group over another.” (Blank, Dabady, and Citro 39) Comparatively speaking, racial discrimination is only a form of racialism. Some of obvious racialism behavior refer to overt racialism, while some hidden behavior refer to implicit racialism.

In the social science bibliographies, the racialism can be divided into three types: individual racialism, institution racialism, and cultural racialism.”( GoffPA, Eberhardt JL,WilliamsM,JacksonMC."NotyetHuman:ImplicitKnowledge,HistoricalDehumanization,andcontemporaryConsequences."JournalofPersonalityandSocialPsychology.P08-

10.)The individual racialism is basically implemented by the individual, the relative hidden or public racialism groups. Cultural racialism is rooted two important definitions: ethnocentrism and hegemonism. Ethnocentrism is people’s peculiar patter of life and culture, who has preference and it refers to all walks of life, including value, code of conduct, all kinds of clothes, customs and traditions. So it does not belong to racialism. However, too many people who have this ethnocentrism get together, and then it would become hegemonism in culture, which intend to control another ethnic’s culture by cultural invasion. What is worse, cultural racialism could be passed down from generation to generation. Institution racialism refers to discriminate other ethnics in making laws, setting up government agencies, and making polices, for examples, Law in the slavery society was carried out to control personal liberty by the owners of the southern plantations; Welfare reform bill passed in 1966 ruled that there were only five years in their lives when blacks need government relief. There are fewer black political elites.

1.2 The gradual improvements of racial relations

Though racial discrimination happened continuously, the history witnessed the gradual improvement of racial relations, through the blacks’ struggling for freedom and equality.

Before American Civil War, the black slaves were treated unfairly in economic, political and social status, which exacerbated the racial and classical inequality and worsened the racial relations. In economic status, the black slaves belong to slaveholders’’ private property. And the slaves could be sold and leased by slaveholder just as their wishes. The black slaves were their tools to gain interest. In social status, their educated right were deprived by slaveholders. They had to undertake the most difficult tasks, such as mining, building railroads, producing and storing grain. The black marriage was not recognized by law in the slavery society. So the slavery families were facing the danger of being broken up, let along black slavers and whites intermarry. In political status, the black slavers did not have civil right and could not participate in political clubs. So they could not expect other democratic rights. Law in the slavery society was carried out to control personal liberty, Therefore, black slaves were lack of personal liberty

Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation” in1863 made possible the complete termination of slavery, which made thousand millions black slaves who suffered oppression and discrimination get freedom. Their civil right, educated right and equality were guaranteed to some extent. Although its effect on racial relations was limited, it provided a legal basis for protecting the blacks’ rights and was a good start. The civil right movements have great influence on the racial relations, just like president Lincoln abolishing slavery. Martin Luther King, the leader of the movement delivered the famous speech of” I have a dream”. The greatest achievement of the civil right movement lies in that it availed the federal Constitution to illustrate the incorrectness of racial segregation policy and the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Voting Right Act of 1965 passed by the American Congress under the pressure of the civil right movement, were the most meaningful act in the American blacks’ history. The most significant is the Civil Right Act of 1964, which was the landmark in

America that outlawed major forms of discrimination against blacks and women. Only under this act guaranteeing, can the black and the white interact with each other based on the real equality. Many blacks ranked among the middle class some have even become the millionaires and celebrities that everyone is envious of such as Oprah Winfrey, a talk show host, and Secretary of State Colin Luther Powell.

The Voting Right Act of 1965 also exerted a great influence on the blacks’ voting right. The various segregations were canceled. The voting right of the black were guaranteed and the plight of them were also improved, which reenergized the American society. Their status of economy, politic, society and education were improved to some extent.

Comparing with the state of the blacks before American Civil War, economic, political and social status of the blacks was improved greatly. Therefore, racial relations were gradually improved.

1.3 The state of racial relations before the Obama administration

With the existence of racism, the ethnic groups, especially the blacks,had been treated unfairly for a long time. However, the racial relations are gradually improved and black progress has been obvious in the decades prior to 2008 under George W. Bush administration, especially with the rise of the black elite in various fields. However, no matter in economy, politics or social status, the trace of racialism could still be easily spotted.

Black progress has been obvious in the decades prior to 2008 especially with the rise of the black elites in various fields --- black CEOs of Time Warner, American Express, and Aetna, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, and of course, Barack Obama. But this is just a small part of the harsh reality.

After the Civil Rights Legislation passed in the 1960’s, many people believed that the real racial equality was coming. Indeed, under the influence of Civil Right Movement, the bad economic situation of blacks and other ethnics were improved greatly. Though it was far from their final goal, African American did not need remedial measures such as affirmative action to get better jobs. Rather, it envisioned remedies only for direct, observable acts of discrimination perpetrated against

identifiable individuals. Nonetheless, it soon became apparent that discrimination and inequality were maintained through subtle practices as well, such as unnecessary job qualifications, seniority systems, and standardized testing—all of which could perpetuate the effects of past discrimination. Considering that overt racialism in economy was usual on purpose and its motivation of racial discrimination was obvious, while implicit racialism in economy may be on purpose or not, its motivation of racial discrimination was more hidden and its real intention was not recognized easily. These facts showed that overt racialism in economy transferred to implicit racialism in economy. For instance, American laws did not restrict the number of blacks employed by enterprises any longer; government did not refuse to offer blacks housing loans anymore; government also did not reject to offer medical insurance to blacks any longer. However, the rate of blacks fired was higher than that of whites; one of every five blacks did not have medical insurance; blacks were more likely to be rejected, when they applied housing loans. And most of them only got subprime housing loan. Then, it was not difficult to understand that black poverty rate was far higher than that of whites. And the average income of black family was lower than the national average income.

In politic field, although there are two secretaries of state: Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice and the president Obama, the prejudices and some kind of discrimination are still permeating among political institution. Therefore, the rise of the black elite in various fields is far from sweeping away hundreds of years of accumulated racial traces distorted by racism. Though the hard-working by the freedom fighters of the Civil Rights Movement has been done, with regard to suffrage and the rights to be elected, the proportion of blacks participating in government and political affairs is quite small. According to its definition: institution racialism refers to discriminate other ethnics in making laws, setting up government agencies, and making polices, so institution racialism is still the barrier for blacks to participate in politics. Blacks undertaking federal advanced decision-makers are even fewer, so it is not as much realistic as symbolic. In a word, blacks were excluded from the body of the governmental decision-makers.

Apart from the economic and political plight, in social plight, there are also problems that need urgent solution. The black youth today are in a sorry plight --- high school drop-out rates, high suicide rates, growing gang crimes and disproportionate incarceration rate. The social structure makes it difficult for blacks to thrive in schools and the pervasive negative psychology in the media and popular culture also compounded their difficulties. From the very beginning the ethnic minorities such as blacks are reckoned inferior to whites in the whites’ mind. Considering the character of cultural racialism: cultural racialism could be passed down from generation to generation, and the bad situation had not been changed for a long time, many of both the black and white take it for granted and naturally connect committing crime, taking drugs, lower intelligent.

Although after experiencing a long struggle of anti-racism and racial segregation especially by the blacks in the 1960s, the racial relations got better, there does still exist some bad influence even now.

Chapter 2 American racial relations under the Obama

administration

Obama came into office in office in 2008 with neutral standpoints in racial relations and living through this economic crisis. He is the first black president ever in the whole American history, standing for withdrawing troops from Iraq, increasing employment opportunities, and realizing American dream, supposed to be realizing racial equality. As previous proved, progress in the economic performance ,the political status and social status could be considered as the preconditions to and indicators of advancement in racial relations, through the study of the situations of the blacks in the fields respectively, it has been found that the influences of Obama administration on racial relations is slight and limited.

2.1 The economic performance of the blacks

After Civil Right Movement passed in1960s’, many people hoped for the racial equality. However, their hope was soon taken away. The financial crisis in 2008 witnessed discrimination and inequality through subtle practices as well, such as unnecessary job qualifications, seniority systems, and standardized testing.

With the financial crisis becoming worse in 2008, blacks and whites experienced different treatment in labor market. And the high employment had been carried from 2008 into the first part of 2009. “In October 2008, the unemployment reached to 10.2%, which was double digit for the first time in six years. The unemployment of blacks jumped to 15.7% and that of whites was 9.5%.”(GoodmanB1) The unemployment rate had been higher than that of whites. The high rate made over one generation lose confidence about the faith that they could enter mainstream of America through though their effort. “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, comparing unemployment rate of whites, that of blacks between 25 and elder was double digit, 8.4 percent compared with 4.4 percent.”(Xinhua News Agency: “Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009.” March 31, 2010.January 2011. /gxfuedu/gysj/dtsh/201003/62869.html) All in all, just as the old saying goes “when White America catches a cold, Black

America catches the flu”

American government had to make regulations that when minorities applied for jobs, they could not be treated unfairly. However, the policies of government were inefficient, because of existing institution racialism. Capability of Obama administration was limited, just as Sugrue said, whatever the impact of Obama’s antipoverty, civil rights, education, and housing initiatives will be, it is clear that they are far from the top of his agenda. At the same time, during an economic recession, competition for jobs and social benefits between whites and blacks and other racial groups would be more like a zero-sum game, which engenders self-interest, indifference or even hostility in race relations. And many white employers were more likely to hire whites. All of these embodied the individual racialism. Therefore, racialism was still main barrio to economic development of ethnics. So it was no wander that by November 2009, American unemployment rate had gone into double digit. “African American and Latin American suffered burden of jobless:Nearly 16% African American and 13% Latin American were the state of being out of work. What’s a worse, young black suffered a lot: 30.5% of between age of 18 and 24 were out of work.” (Sugrue 131)

2.2 The political status of the blacks

After Obama’s victory in election, Conservative Black commentator Juan Williams talked about the significance of the success of Obama in the Wall Street Journal. He said frankly, “Barack Obama’s election is both an astounding political victory—and the end of an era for black politics” (A19). With a black president now, two past Secretaries of State, and two Supreme Court Judges, blacks seems to could no longer complain about social exclusion and discrimination. But how could a nation’s centuries of racism be wiped just as an African American rising to the highest position in the United States? It’s quite necessary to explore whether this nation has become colorblind.

Black Americans has always been struggling for entering the politics. “Reconstruction acts were passed by Congress granting the first newly freed enslaved Africans voting rights in 1867” .(Hill 7) These new laws paved the way for some

African Americans to take part in politics. The freedom fighters of the Civil Rights movement got suffrage and the rights to be elected by doing hard-working. However, the proportion of blacks participating in government and political affairs is quite small under Obama administration. Blacks undertaking federal advanced decision-makers are even fewer; the real racial equality should not like this. In short, blacks were excluded from the body of the governmental decision-makers. On one hand, it is because of institution racialism. There are not only restricted laws and regulations but also restricted system. On the other hand, it is because of cultural racialism. The faith that whites are superior to blacks is rooted whites’ mind. Political elites must be from whites. Young whites are also educated like this. So whites take it for granted and most of the factors become subconscious.

Obama government has realized and admitted this kind of inequality, but no concrete action is taken to improve the situation of ethnic minorities and eliminate the disparities in various aspects with whites. Though America advocates multiculturalism greatly, full assimilation of blacks in a“color-blind” society is unlikely in any foreseeable future even though with the advent of the first African American in the United States, and that black Americans will go on claiming acceptance and equality on their own terms.

2.3 The social status of the blacks

“Although the gap of human right and living level between the black and the white is narrowing down, there is still 81% of the black holding the pointes that America still need to continuously adjust it to guarantee the black and the white sharing equal rights. 13% of them say that America has made necessary amendments. On the contrary, most of the white(54%)believe that the grate modification in the black and the white sharing equal rights has been made by America and 36% of the white think that more change need to be done. Actually, the opinion of the white is linked closely with political thought of authorities. Nearly two thirds(66%)of white conservative have the point of views that the necessary changes of guaranteeing the black rights have been made and a slim majority of moderates(51%)agree with this point. However, appropriately 56% of liberals think that more measures need to be taken by

government, while 37% of them think the policies of sharing equal rights between the black and the white have been improved.”

( ) “At present,proportion of blacks is 13% in United States while black officials only occupy5%. There is no black CEO in top 500 enterprises in the whole country.”(Gormley, Beatrice, BarackObama: our 44thpresident,New York University Press, 2009.pl9) This situation similar to one of 2004. This means that black social status is not improved obviously, for instance, in New Orleans, proportion of blacks who work on trade and commerce is rare. Most of them still work on manual labor and service-style labor, such as truck driver, cleaner, or restaurant and hotel water. Though American laws prescribe that proportion of colored race must reach to 14% in population of policemen. However, the fact is that quantity of black policemen quite is few, let alone, black policemen in high position. Therefore, racialism and racial discrimination still trouble colored race and that the real racial equality is coming cannot be said. In daily life, whites are unwilling to lease their houses to blacks. They are also not wiling to take taxis of blacks, because they are afraid of crime area of blacks. The similar kind of work finished, they pay 1 dollar to whites, but 0.6 dollar to blacks. Black school is far inferior to white school and teachers in these two kinds of school have a large wage difference. Some medium also tend to connect crime and drug with blacks. Nowadays, many whites still hold negative attitude to blacks.

All of these discriminable phenomenon happening is not only embodiment of individual racialism, but also embodiment of cultural embodiment. In whites’ mind, whites were born to be more intelligent than blacks. So whites should work on mind labor and hold senior positions, while blacks should work on manual labor and be the symbol of crime and drugs. Whites never intermarry with blacks.

It is obvious that president Obama could not eliminate all forms of discriminable phenomenon. African American still have long way to go in the way to struggling for social equality and full civil rights. The United States is still a country with racialism and whites keeping predominance. In a word, the influence of Obama administration on racial relations is slight and limited.

Chapter 3 The factors to the slight impact Obama’s election

on racial relations

Compared the changing of racial relations between before the Obama administration and under the Obama administration, it is not difficult to find that the impact of Obama’s election on racial relations is slight, from chapter one and chapter two. Although Obama’s election has influence on racial relations, the impact is slight. The factors can be summarized to these: American people unsatisfaction for bad economic situation, the high anti-war sentiment, expectations for realization of American dream, changes of racial relations and Obama’s fulfillment of people’s requirement and his standpoints in racial relations.

3.1 Expectations for Obama administration

Facing the internal and external problems: financial crisis and Afghan and Iraqi wars, American people paid more attains to the bad economic situation and the rate of unemployment, the date of retreating and the casualties of soldiers than improving the racial relations. Besides, American people extremely expected a new president to change the present status to realize their American dream.

3.1.1 Exception for the change of the bad situation to realize American dream The bad performance of Bush administration in economy and the Iraq War and Afghanistan war push American people to except Obama administration to change the bad economic situation and relieve anti-war sentiment to realize the American dream. Obama’s success is closely linked with citizens’ dissatisfaction brought about by the subprime mortgage crisis. According to the public opinion survey before the general election, economy ranks the first among the problems that most people were concerned with. The unsatisfactory economic situation in America caused people to long for a new president who could settle this problem. The Bush administration had been in power for eight years from 2001 to 2008. Under his administration national debt increased, subprime crisis became more and more serious, the economic crisis broke out in middle September, the unemployment rate came to 6.5% in October in 2008 (Dai 103). For a long time, the sentiments of the public are not favorable to the

Republican Party and President Bush. America was facing up the worst economic condition since the economic depression in history.

Obam’s success can be traced in part to a tide of anti-Republican sentiment given to the Bush administration burdened with the Iraq War in 2003. The support rate for President Bush fell to the lowest level in American history. Supporters for the Democratic Party outstrip that for the Republican Party more than 10 percent. Supporters for the Republican Party have greatly decreased. The factors leading to that phenomenon are mainly due to the policies of intruding Iraq wrongly made by the Bush administration, the unsatisfactory results of internal affairs dealt with by President Bush besides the financial crisis that the country has been going through. People in America “yearn to move away from the Bush-men’s fear peddling and people-hate, their war-mongering and wanton waste of lives and futures, and their polar-cold contempt for the rightful concerns of the masses of people of this country and the world” (Karenga 7). Of course, people would rather send their sons and daughters to colleges than to die an undeserved death in an unjust and illegal war. After the Second World War, the United States has been the most powerful country in the world. Talking or writing about America means invoking a major element of national identity which is called the American Dream. Its meaning has changed over the course of history. The American Constitution guaranteed all Americans “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. This is the heart of the American Dream. The phrase “American Dream” was first mentioned in 1931 by a middlebrow historian James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America. In the book he explained that “the most distinct gift that America has made to the world was American Dream. That dream of a land in which life should be better, richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability of achievement”(404). Generally, it is accepted that American Dream indicates each has the opportunity to achieve prosperity through participation in the society and economy.

In 2004 Obama delivered movingly: “In tonight, I know our predecessors are overlooking at me at this moment.” Here, these “predecessors” refer to a kind of spirit that is “American dream” embodied in Obama. The reasons that Obama is popular

among American voters are not only his personality charming, but also the spirit of “American dream” embodied through Obama. Since the new land was discovered, “American dream” of admiring the grass-roots background and firmly believing gaining success through self-made has been linking closely with the United States. In contractual society, people admire of freedom of personality and independence and changing own fate through paddling their own canoe. In today’s America, people generally appreciate those who bravely challenge the conversation and write their own lives by their effort. Therefore, American voters support leaders possessing “American dream”. They hope that President Obama could lead them to realize “American dream”.

3.1.4 S Change the racial relations

Many people think that there must be majority of American people except to change the racial relations. In fact, there are not too many Amercian people except to do that, especially after Obama coming into office. It is fortunate that some survey data are available to help us acquire part of even if not the entire picture on the trends of American’s perception about rac

张永云论奥巴马当选美国总统对美国种族关系的影响

张永云论奥巴马当选美国总统对美国种族关系的影响

e relations during the past two decades.

张永云论奥巴马当选美国总统对美国种族关系的影响

Source: Gallup.com

This chart reflects the trend of race relations from 1964 to 2009, especially from 1993 to 2009. Fewer Americans were optimistic about the country’s future for racialequality at the beginning of the 1990s than in 1964. From the early to the mid-1990s, the United States was undergoing a racially turbulent period, with the 1992 Los Angeles racial riots, the 1995 Million Man March, etc. Americans’ pessimism about the nation’s racial future soared to an all-time high in October1995 right after the Million Man March. In the subsequent decade or so, American people’s optimism about racial equality increased steadily until it peaked in November 2008 when Obama won election. But it quickly fell to pre-election level only one year into Obama’s presidency. This was largely due to the sharp increase in the number of blacks who felt disappointed at the President’s failure to develop economic and social policies targeted at the black community. So the increasing number of the black and Latino who uesd to support Obama, did believe on longer that Obama’s victory in election could improve racail relation.

What’s more, Obama’s exist poll reflects most of whites don’t except neither think Obama’election to change the racial relation from a side. According to exit polls, Obama won 43 percent of the white vote, an increase of two percentage points over what John Kerry won in 2004 and about the same as Bill Clinton won in 1996. By an analysis of Obama’s success in election, his success primarily based on building a coalition of black and Latino voters, especially the support of young voters of all colors. Many researchers have done a comparative analysis of the 2008 turnout. They documented a large surge of voters of color, an increase of 21 percent compared to 2004. At the same time, white votes cast actually dropped. It is known that population of whites is 72.6% in total population of the United States. The dropped votes by whites cannot indicate the direct discrimination against black, but it reflects the reaction of whites when confronting a black as one of the candidates in the general election, let alone whites except Obama’s election to change the racial relations.

In a word, not only a large number of the balcks and Lation uesd to support Obama, but also majority of whites not voting for Obama did not believe that Obama’s election could improve racial relations. So there are not too many people excepting it

to change the racial relations. Therefore, the effect of Obama’s election on racial relations is slight.

3.2 Obama’s expectations for his own administration

American people excepted too much for Obama to change the bad situation in economy, politic, Afghan and Iraq wars and realize the American dream. To win the election, Obama had to fulfill the expectation.. However, in order to win the election, Obama adopted strategies to cater to people’s expectations to size supports as much as possible from whites and blacks, old and young, male and female. Actually, he did not completely fulfill the American people’s requirement, for Obama’s race-neutral standpoints and his limitation.

3.2.1 Obama’s fulfillment of American people’s requirements

Obama firstly centered on the economic problem which was the key factor。The subprime crisis, financial tornado, economic recession, high rate of unemployment, rising commodity prices, made this issue to need to be solved immediately. In the aspect of economic reform, the economic stimulus plan was carried out and financial reform and regulation were promoted; in the aspect of increasing employment, Obama announced that he would offer enterprises more privileges to ensure that these enterprises could create more employment opportunities; in the field of medical insurance, Obama put forward universal health service, called “Obama care” to reduce the expenditures of ordinary family. Secondly, in foreign affairs, Obama strongly attacked Bush’s unilateralism, solving problems by force, condemned Iraq War in 2003 and Afghanistan war in 2010 and made the date of withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan

American culture is quite inclusive, but the history of racial discrimination is till a sensitive topic in the political culture. Nowadays, people’s lack of principles and eager for quick success and instant benefits in national affairs kept themselves far away from the “American Dream”. In his speech, Obama brilliantly interpreted the American Dream by his own prominent understanding and talent. He expressed his political ideas, restated the long-lost “American Dream” and aroused people’s passion on the future of the country. He declared himself a “civil right lawyer” and explicitly

referred to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, “I Have a Dream” speech and his call to “let

justice roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty steam.” Besides, the

entire announcement, including the site he chose, was framed in terms of Abraham

Lincoln’s successful quest to keep united and whole a nation deeply divided by

race-based slavery.

However, performance of Obama administration make American people feel

disappointed, Since Obama came into office:Unemployment was still very high, date

of withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan was not within the foreseeable

future, Obama care was difficult to be executed, Obama administration showed the

weakness facing Putin's government and international terrorist organization. Obama

could not shift his focus on improving racial relations. Blacks and whites had

inequality in job-hunting and opportunities of education; American young, especially

the young of color-skin had the higher unemployment rate; the disparity between the

rich and poor was growing. All of these inequalities did not make people see the equal

employment opportunity and people did not deserve reward though hard-working,

which did not make people feel happiness. These made American people far away

from the “American Dream”.

3.2.2 Obama’s standpoints in racial relations

Relying on the African American feature, Obama won the support from most of

black America and Latino America. However, under greater pressure of votes, he had

to adopt race policy of neutrality. At the same time, it was because of race policy of

neutrality that made a large number of ethnic minorities feel disappointed Obama

improving racial relations.

Although Obama’s mixed-race feature has helped him a lot in the election by

winning the supporters of both blacks and whites, American people will not vote for

him because of the fact that he is black or because he is only half-black. They are

voting a president who can represent the fundamental interests of the overwhelmingly

majority of white Americans. Coincidently, Obama satisfied this criterion. Hence, his

motivation in making policies is inclined to the overwhelmingly majority of whites

involuntarily. Nevertheless, in order to live up to the hopes of ethnic minorities particularly blacks, he has to make a great effort to seek a balance between them. All these stop him from considering too much about the conditions of blacks in America. To venture a new step in the path of dealing with racial discrimination is of no any possibilities, let alone the elimination of that.

In his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he said, “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America. There is no black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America---there’s the United States of America.”Bearing this in mind is essential in analyzing his race-neutral approaches and finding out how he may devote himself to the interests of blacks and other ethnic minorities. Having employed a campaign strategy similar to that of Bill Clinton in 1992, Obama, for most of the time, refused to be drawn into the racial drama so as to win nonwhite votes. David Axelrod, Obama’s main campaign aid, who had worked for black candidates before, was convinced that talking about race was not going to get his candidate elected, as he said, “It was obvious that if you were going to play in a larger venue and not just a majority-black one, you needed a candidate who could appeal to nonwhite voters.” Therefore, based on the domestic political situation, many people began to worry that Obama’s success would direct people to forget that a disproportionate number of black Americans still live in poverty and face huge obstacles. A great many African Americans have asserted that blacks have no more excuses to prevent them from achieving their desired goals in life as Barack Obama’s success in the 2008 presidential election. Will Smith, an actor said two days after the election: “the history of African Americans is such that you want to be a part of America, but we have been rejected so much it is hard to take the ownership and take responsibility for ourselves and this country. It was like, at that second, at that moment, all of our excuses were gone” (Moore 2008).

Conclusion

As saying goes: “In the United States, you can avoid talking about weather, but you cannot always avoid talking about race, especially in the political arena.” Race issue has always been not avoided problem. In 2008, Obama elections push this issue to climax. Did Obama election mean this issue had been solved or the real equality was coming? Or did the symbolic meaning weight practice meaning?

This thesis takes overt racialism and implicit racialism, individual racialism, institution racialism, and cultural racialism as the theoretical backup, and takes the relation of blacks and whites as an example. Through analyzing the improvement of racial relations, and comparing the change between before and after Obama election, this thesis finds that the influence of Obama election on racial relations is slight and limited. And the reasons are various: the bad economic situation, anti-war sentiment running high, the breaking of “American Dream”, and Obama’s natural race police. The American Constitution guaranteed all Americans “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. This is the heart of the American Dream. Race discrimination is not solved in one day and by one black president. That improvements of racial relation and real equality’s coming, need each of ethnic, no matter blacks and whites, Asian American and Latino American, understanding and helping each other. Only in this way, could every ethnic build deep freindership and make contribute to country prospers. In the end, hopefully this thesis can help to study this field.

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