Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America

Keith Boykin. Bold Type, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-1-64503-726-2
CNN political commentator Boykin (Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America) delivers an accessible breakdown of how systemic racism has contributed to today’s political dysfunction. Contending that “the problem of racism in American politics transcends specific political parties and leaders,” Boykin examines pre–Civil War compromises made to “prioritize peace between the states over justice for Black people,” and describes white Northerners’ rush to reconcile with the South after the war. By the late 1960s, Boykin argues, the Republican Party had planted its seeds “deep in the poisonous soil of white racial resentment,” using tough-on-crime policies to appeal to white voters’ “sense of racial superiority” and to stoke anger over Black advancement. Boykin also describes Bill Clinton’s initiatives on racial issues as “more symbolic than substantive,” argues that Barack Obama did not center Black concerns as much as Republicans feared he might, and casts Donald Trump’s election as the “logical extension” of America’s long history of “half-measures, symbolism, and cyclical moments of feigned reconciliation.” Though many of Boykin’s arguments are familiar, he has a firm grasp of U.S. history and enriches the narrative with reflections on his experiences as a gay Black man in American politics. The result is a persuasive diagnosis of America’s social and political ills. Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/09/2021
Release date: 09/14/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-6686-0063-4
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