Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Black Political Behavior, Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird
Why do Black people overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party? The default explanation is that most Blacks express moderate to high levels of belief in linked fate and use the Black Utility Heuristic to make political decisions. As a result of historical social, political, and economic oppression of the racial group, most Black people believe that whatever happens to the racial group will have an effect in their individual lives. Therefore, they use the racial group’s interests as a proxy for their individual interests, as argued by Michael Dawson in his 1994 book Behind The Mule: Race and Class in African-American Politics. This explanation is taught in racial politics and American political behavior courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Numerous race, ethnicity, and politics (REP) scholars (including yours truly) have explored when, how, and why linked fate works the way it does. This is where Steadfast Democrats enters the discussion.
In Steadfast Democrats, Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird not only uncover a mechanism for linked fate but also provide an alternative explanation for Blacks being a united Democratic voting bloc. The book is a follow-up on their acclaimed article “Selling Out? The Po
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