During his campaign for president, Republican Donald Trump promised to make life better for African Americans and for all residents of cities. His pitch to black voters boiled down to “your life isn’t so great, so what do you have to lose by voting for me?” It’s a message that many people found offensive for a host of reasons.
Democrat Hillary Clinton also made her case in cities, and with black voters, but had trouble escaping a history of having once referred to young black men as “super-predators.” African American voters still voted overwhelmingly for Clinton, but the conversation has now shifted to identity politics, and whether candidates should be singling-out certain groups or rather sending a universal message that appeals to all.
David Wall Rice is the department chair and associate professor of psychology at Morehouse College. Rice focuses on issues of identity of young black males. He joins Detroit Today to talk about his research in the context of our current political environment.
“We’ve got to wrestle with the fierce urgency of now,” says Rice. “It’s happened before. It’s not something that we’re ill-equipped to deal with, it’s just a matter of, are we going to dig in and really confront the issues that are in front of us?”
Click on the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.