Prof. Argues Race Plays Important Role in Politics

Harvard Law School Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. predicted Obama will not emphasize race in the 2012 election at his lecture “Understanding Obama: The Conundrum of Race.”

However, he argued that race will continue to play a major role in politics.

“I’m convinced that we won’t become post-racial,” Ogletree said.


According to Ogletree, Obama has fostered diversity in the federal government through his appointments, noting his selection of Sonia M. Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court justice, and of Eric H. Holder, Jr., the first black attorney general.

The lecture was Ogletree’s third and final presentation in this year’s Nathan I. Huggins Lecture Series.


Jamal H. Khan, a second year student at Harvard Law School, attended the first and third lectures in the series, and said that he thought the first lecture was more interesting because it focused more on Obama’s past.

Khan said he felt it was too early to analyze the recent decisions of the Obama administration or to reflect on the president’s growth and development.

Ogletree also discussed Obama’s prospects for the 2012 presidential election, noting that Obama currently fares well in polls against all declared Republican candidates, but poorly when pitted against a generic Republican candidate.

The fate of Obama’s healthcare legislation could have a bearing on the outcome of the election, Ogletree said, which he predicted the Supreme Court would not strike down when it rules on the bill in March.


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