Critical Race Theory and Black Mayors

2 Mar

You will have to think hard about this and possibly do a bit of research. Why do cities elect Black mayors?

5 Replies to “Critical Race Theory and Black Mayors

  1. Just based off what we have discussed in class with interest convergence theory on Barack Obamas presidential election, I believe the same logic would apply here but at a micro level. As city officials would use the likeness of a Black mayor to show that the city is progressing as a Black mayor will be able to obtain and connect better with black constituents within the city limits.

  2. I agree with what William says when it comes to the interest convergence theory on Obamas election being compared to this, but on a smaller level. Black mayors being elected would create stronger relationship within the black community in cities. Many issues such as unemployment and crime involvement can be reduced with the presence of a black mayor willing to help and better the community. Because we live in a society where whiteness is a valuable property in America and white people are entitled to some inherent advantages, black people within their communities will want to better themselves and their environment if they have a black mayor, who is perceived as the leader of their city, willing to make a change for the better.

  3. In addition to having a Black person in a position of authority being able to cultivate stronger relationships within the city’s Black community, a Black mayor will undoubtedly mitigate the level of internalized racism within the Black community as well. As a result of De Facto racism being constantly prevalent in society, Black people have begun to accept their position in society as one that is permanently inferior to other races with “fairer skin.” With this belief becoming more widespread, electing a Black mayor will give Black people the evidence they need that they too can aspire to occupy positions of power that will make away with their previously conceived notion of inferiority. In terms of Interest Convergence, by cities electing Black mayors, the Black population of the city will have an unprecedented vision for how they can make the best of their circumstances and turn out “successful.”

    Adding on to this, the mitigating of internalized racism will inevitably lead to most Blacks and Whites believing that we now live in a post-racist society, based on the number of blacks who are aspiring to and succeeding at occupying spaces previously dominated by the majority.

  4. Another reason why cities would hire a black male is to portray an image of progressiveness and a post racial society when in fact this targets surface level racism and does nothing to change the “ordinariness” of structural racism. It is a result of colourblindness wherein the black mayor is often tokenized which prevents any real racial progress. Although black people gaining high positions of authority is a good thing, when they are tokenized it makes it even more difficult for other black people to come along. Institutions reach their “tipping point” where after a certain number of black people are employed at the same institution white people begin to feel threatened. As stated above, a progressive image is politically strategic and often guarantees the black vote. However, because of the black mayors position as a token, any action taken to reverse structural racism would be seen as favouring black people over white people causing backlash.

  5. As many have said above this is not unlike Obama being elected as President. This is a matter of interest convergence. In cities like Baltimore that are predominately African American a person that looks like them is more welcoming and reassuring. Having a black mayor can also help with race issues.

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