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Racial Policy Under Trump

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Abstract

This chapter examines the sharpest areas of contrast between Donald Trump and Barack Obama on racial policy. The first section looks at President Trump’s redirection of the Justice Department’s agenda by appointing personnel who have long been opponents of the department’s traditional initiatives. The second section charts the policy shifts undertaken by the Trump administration on voting rights. These federal, executive-led policy changes will be situated within the wider context of state-level efforts to alter the franchise and the retreat of the federal courts from providing protection to ethnic minority voters. The final section examines the Trump administration’s sharp turn on matters of policing and criminal justice. Civil rights activists have seen a cautiously supportive administration led by the first African American president be replaced by an administration which has defined itself politically against them.