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Deracialization in Black Politics There is currently a debate going on regarding the significance of deracialization as an ongoing development in American politics The term deracialization when applied to American electoral politics refers to the conduction of a political campaign by a black candidate in which racial issues and themes are minimized if not avoided completely Perry 1 This is done to increase white electoral support and the candidate is usually running for a position in a district that has a white majority Although deracialization has existed in the black political scene for a longer time this concept was particularly important to the 1989 elections in which nine African-American candidates were elected or reelected to public office Perry 1 This election was not only important before of the number of African-Americans who were elected but also because many of these positions represented the first time that an African-American had been elected to that particular position Four of these nine successful candidates conducted deracialized campaigns Barone also points out that 1994 was an excellent election year for black candidates New African-American candidates began emerging from the places that have produced successful female candidates - the lower-ranking political offices that have traditionally been the stepping stones for ambitious politicians 23The debate concerning deracialization has two majorcomponents First scholars ask if deracialization trulyserves to increase the number of elected black officials and secondly does conducting a deracialized campaign affect the subsequent performance of the candidate while in office What kind of representation can blacks expect from these candidates Perry Perry points out that it would be wrong to conclude based purely on ideology that public officials who use deracialization to win an election would not serve black interests Additionally he adds that deracialization does not threaten traditional black politics-the election of black officials from majority black districts is the foundation of American black political life and will undoubtedly continue to be so Perry 2 Even in campaigns
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