America Is Not Post-Racial
Xenophobia, Islamophobia, Racism, and the 44th President
by Algernon Austin
September 2015, 170pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4125-5
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4126-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In 2012, 25 percent of U.S. voters registering highest in anti-black prejudice voted for Obama. Why?

This book is the first in-depth examination of the 25 million Americans with the most intense hatred of President Obama—arguably the most Republican-friendly of recent Democratic presidents—and what the mindsets of these "Obama Haters" teach us about race and ethnicity in America today.

Despite the fact that President Obama was raised by a white mother and white grandparents, and has two degrees from Ivy League universities, he has still been subject to intense racial hatred from a large number of Americans. Even after Obama’s presidency, the “Obama Haters”—and their xenophobia, Islamophobia, and racism—will continue to shape American politics.

America is certainly not post-racial, argues author Algernon Austin, PhD, a noted sociologist and author on racial issues who consults on race, politics, and economics in Washington, DC. In this book, he uses the Obama Haters as an appropriate jumping-off point to consider what strategies might begin to reduce racial animosity in the United States—a real concern, considering that demographic trends are likely to exacerbate and escalate race-based hatred in our society.

Austin sets the stage for the discussion by establishing that President Obama is hardly liberal in the eyes of liberal political activists, raising the question of why Obama is so intensely hated by some conservatives. He then compares the views of the Obama Haters—estimated to be some 25 million strong—with conservatives, moderates, and liberals who are not Obama Haters. The author shows how the Obama Haters are distinctly more xenophobic, Islamophobic, and racist than political conservatives who are not Obama Haters, underscoring the fact that the Obama Haters are motivated by more than just conservatism.


  • Offers a critique of Obama from the left on his health insurance reform, judicial and political appointments, civil liberties policies, educational reforms, and strategy for dealing with African American concerns
  • Presents hard data showing that Obama Haters are so extreme in their conservatism and in their anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-black attitudes that in comparison, Tea Party supporters appear to be moderate
  • Boldly identifies strategies for dealing with white racial anxiety about a diversifying America
  • Provides empirically derived estimates of the percentage of the American public with strong anti-black, anti-Latino, anti-immigrant, and anti-Muslim attitudes
Algernon Austin, PhD, consults on race, politics, and economics in Washington, DC. He is the former director of the program on race, ethnicity, and the economy at the Economic Policy Institute. Austin is a highly respected sociologist who has written on racial issues for more than a decade. In 2013, his Unfinished March project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was referenced in more than 400 newspapers and other publications; in 2014, The New York Times turned to Austin for the people-of-color perspective on climate change for its Room-for-Debate commentaries.


"Algernon Austin's book is a sober reminder that there is much political work to be done before we march off into a postracial future." —Stephen Steinberg is Distinguished Professor of Urban Studies at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. His latest book is Race Relations: A Critique.

“This book separates the wheat from the chaff in identifying Obama’s fierce opposition. It locates the underbelly of right-wing in America, which is overtly infected with racist attitudes and worldviews. This book is a must read that places Obama’s presidency within the context of his type of opposition.”—Fredrick C. Harris, professor of political science and director of the Center on African-American Politics and Society at Columbia University

"With surgical precision, Dr. Algernon Austin cuts through the obfuscations to identify and criticize the latest extremist segment in U.S. politics: Obama-haters. Employing empirical analysis, survey information, focus group data, and radical theory, he reveals the racial and political sources of the unique animosity targeted at the nation’s first black president. He demonstrates with measured and sober inquiry that not only is the United States not post-racial, but it is perhaps more racial since the election of Barack Obama. This work is an invaluable and needed contribution to understanding the contours of contemporary race relations in the United States."—Clarence Lusane, Professor and Chairman, Howard University Political Science Department

"Algernon Austin lays waste to the mythology of post-racial politics in America, demonstrating in painstaking detail the way that overt white racial hostility—the kind that even many liberals believe has gone the way of the dinosaur—has been given new life in the age of Obama, thanks to overt race-baiting from the right and a longstanding undercurrent of white racial resentment that has never been fully addressed. This is a vital contribution to our understanding of America's ongoing racial drama, and if we are to make the turn towards multiracial democracy, Austin’s message must be heeded!"—Tim Wise, author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son and Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.