Press "Enter" to skip to content

Ben Karp presents Race in the U.S. Presidential Election at Temple University Japan Campus

Ben Karp at Temple University

Mr. Karp is back with another interesting presentation that will undoubtedly open the eyes, ears and minds of those not too familiar with race and politics. He writes:

“Hello all. I hope to set up an informal discussion with a little history of race and voting. Will be joined from Washington D.C. by professor Gerald Jaynes (Afro-Am and Econ at Yale) and from the campaign trail by Zeke Miller, political correspondent for BuzzFeed Politics (My first question to him will be “How aware of race politics do you think the inner Romney camp is?). Please feel free to come and bring your strong opinions!”

You may remember Mr. Karp from his presentation “Japan & African Americans from the Russo-Japanese War to Pearl Harbor.” If not, be sure to take a look, leave a comment and pass the link to the presentation on to those you know! Below are the details of the July 5, 2012 presentation. Those in the US should note that the presentation will occur at 3:00 a.m. PST.

Race in the 2012 US Presidential Election: Demographics and ‘Dog Whistles’Date: Thursday, July 5, 2012
Time: 7:00p.m. (Talk will start at 7:30p.m.)
Venue: Temple University, Japan Campus,
Mita Hall 502/503

Speaker: Ben Karp, Ph.D candidate in the departments of African American Studies and History at Yale University

Moderator: Kyle Cleveland, Associate Director, ICAS
Admission: Free (Open to general public)
*If you RSVP you are automatically registered. If possible, we ask you to RSVP but we always welcome participants even you do not RSVP.


A dog whistle cannot be heard by the human ear but calls every hound in the neighborhood running. In politics this term refers to language spoken by a politician that will be heard as normal and appropriate by all but a select audience who can detect a specific, often racial, agenda.
In becoming the first black president of the United States, Barack Obama symbolized for most of his country and much of the world an end to the traditional prejudices which had segregated society since its founding. But is Obama really a “post racial” president as he promised and as was expected by his supporters? Has racism disappeared as a driving factor in how large groups of Americans vote? Are there already racial messages embedded in the opposition to President Obama’s re-election?

This discussion will examine the overt (demographics and voting patterns) and subtle aspects of race that may shape the tone of 2012 election and indeed determine its outcome.


Ben Karp is a PhD candidate in the departments of African American Studies and History at Yale University, writing on the subject of African American – Japanese relations. After earning his MA at Yale, Ben worked as a finance director on the first mayoral campaign of Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, then establishing a luxury jewelry importing business in Tokyo. He has written for The Asahi Shimbun, The New Haven Register and The Algemeiner, and has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine on a variety of subjects.

Joining the conversation from Washington, D.C. will be professor of Economics and African American Studies, Gerald Jaynes. Zeke Miller, political correspondent for BuzzFeed Politics, will chat live from the campaign trail.

Gerald D. Jaynes is professor in the department of Economics and the department of African American Studies at Yale University. Jaynes has served as a legislative aid to State Senator Cecil A. Partee, President Pro-tem of the Illinois State Senate, 1971-72; assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, and chaired Yale’s Department of African and African American Studies, 1990-1996. He has served in many public capacities such as Study Director of the Committee On The Status of Black Americans at the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C., 1985-89; Chairman of the New Haven, Ct. Minority Business Development Agency by Mayoral appointment, 1982-84; the Mayor’s Blue-Ribbon Committee For the Redevelopment of New Haven, 1990; Member, Board of Economists, Black Enterprise Magazine, Fellow, Joint Center For Political and Economic Studies; Member Council of Economic Advisors to the National Urban League; He has testified before the United States Congress on numerous occasions and served as a consultant to federal and local government agencies. He has appeared on radio and television shows, including The NBC Today Show and The Bill Moyers’ Show. Among his more notable publications are:A Common Destiny: Blacks and American Society, 1989 with Robin M. Williams; Branches Without Roots: Genesis of the Black Working Class in the American South, 1986; Immigration and Race: New Challenges for American Democracy, 2000; The Encyclopedia of African American Society, 2004; The Oxford Handbook of African American Citizenship: 1865 to Present, 2012 with Henry L. Gates et al.

Zeke Miller is the national political reporter for BuzzFeed Politics, the leading social news organization. He extensively covers both President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, as well as national political organizations. A graduate of Yale University with a degree in Political Science, he was an editor of the Yale Daily News. Prior to joining BuzzFeed Politics in January 2012, he held the same position at Business Insider.


Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.