Document Type

Occasional Paper

Publication Date



During the last seven years there has been a significant shift to the right in the ideological perspectives of American political institutions and behavior. Despite some inconsistencies, the direction is clear. The term "moderate" has acquired a conservative meaning, and liberals have been split into neo-liberal and neoconservative camps. At this moment American society is informally declaring that it is not committed to achieving the goal of equal outcomes long espoused by a mainly liberal national political and institutional system.

The shift to the right is working changes on traditional black ideological perspectives, both among blacks and between black and white groups. The voices that in the past spoke for black interests, whether they came from black or white groups, no longer effectively present a clear or compelling vision for how we progress towards a just society. The lack of a coherent progressive ideology or voice is evident among blacks and whites. There is division and a lack of momentum. One result is a schism in the black community that has resulted in a loss of influence upon national policy. Blacks must articulate a new vision, must formulate new and progressive approaches that respond to the current social and political realities.


Occasional Paper #3.


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