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The Multi-Hazards Podcast

all about protecting communities . . . 

May 17, 2021

Dr. Robert C. Smith - SFSU

Racism in the United States as well as other countries continues, not just through overt public discourse, but also in its overall system - in housing, banking, schooling, policing, etc. These policies especially affect African-Americans, as well as indigenous people and other people of colour. As Dr. Robert C. Smith, professor emeritus of political science at San Francisco State University explained in his 2010 book Conservatism and Racism, and Why in America They Are the Same, policies that racially discriminate at ground level have found a home in the last half century in the Conservative movement. This has been their means of winning elections and supporters, from Barry Goldwater to Ronald Reagan, from Richard Cheney to Donald Trump. Even progressives have supported policies that end up hurting African-Americans and other minorities in the USA.

It's not just what you say, but the end result of your actions that can constitute racism. And after decades of conservative policies on housing, jobs, policing, incarceration, the war on drugs, etc. have disproportionately impacted African-Americans. Can this ever change? Will progressive movements that are anti-racist in nature win the day instead?  Listen in to find out!

Dr. Robert C. Smith Bio:

Robert C. Smith is professor of political science at San Francisco State University. An honors graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, he holds a master’s degree from UCLA and the Ph.D. from Howard. He is author or co-author of scores of articles and essays and ten books including Race, Class and Culture: A Study in Afro-American Mass Opinion; Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era: Now You See It, Now You Don’t; We Have No Leaders: African Americans in the Post-Civil Rights Era; African American Leadership; Contemporary Controversies and the American Racial Divide; Conservatism and Racism and Why in America They Are the Same; John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama and the Politics of Ethnic Incorporation and Avoidance, What has This Got to Do With the Liberation of Black People?: The Impact of Ronald W. Walters on African American Thought and Leadership and Polarization and the Presidency: From FDR to Barack Obama. He is former associate editor of the National Political Science Review and general editor of the State University of New York Press African American Studies series. He has taught African American politics and American government for more than thirty-five years.

Professor Smith is co-author of a leading textbook in the field (American Politics and the African American Quest for Universal Freedom) and the Encyclopedia of African American Politics. He is currently writing a biography of Ronald Walters, his mentor and longtime Howard University professor who he argues is the most consequential African American political scientist of the last half century. In addition to his teaching and research, Professor Smith appears frequently on local and national radio and television programs analyzing American and African American politics. In 1998 he was recipient of Howard University’s Distinguished Ph.D. Alumni Award.

In addition, Dr. Smith's book, From the Bayou to the Bay: Autobiography of a Black Liberation Scholar was published earlier this year by SUNY or State University of New York Press. And - exciting news! - later this year Dr. Smith's book How Character Shaped the Trump Presidency will be published by Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Outro: "Loud In The Cloud - Nana Kwabena" from Youtube Audio Library

Collage Photos:

Top left: Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash
Top right: Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Bottom left: Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay
Bottom right: Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash