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Black Elephants in the RoomThe Unexpected Politics of African American Republicans$
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Corey D. Fields

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520291898

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291898.001.0001

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Like Crabs in a Barrel

Like Crabs in a Barrel

(p.141) Chapter Five Like Crabs in a Barrel
Black Elephants in the Room

Corey D. Fields

University of California Press

This chapter shows how differences in their approaches to thinking about race and their framing of conservative social policy prevent African American Republicans from forming stable, long-term organizations. Multiple cases of organizational failure demonstrate how internal conflict inhibits basic organizational tasks like defining audiences, developing organizational missions, and determining tactics. Indeed, it is difficult for African American Republicans to organize because of intense interpersonal conflicts and political disagreements, both of which are actually manifestations of competing beliefs about the role of black racial identity in the political arena. These fights simultaneously expose the personal and political fault lines among African American Republicans.

Keywords:   conservative social policy, African American Republicans, organizational failure, black racial identity

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