In this lecture to Princeton University African American Studies, Professor Cathy Cohen reflects
on the state of Black politics and the role of neoliberalism. She considers–beginning with the Reagan
administration– the impact of neoliberal economic policies (restriction, privatization) on Black
neighborhoods, the devolution of the social safety net, and the racialized rhetorical strategies meant
to punish the poor and demonize those on welfare.
She notes that these economic and rhetorical strategies stoked white resentment and led to
over-policing and negligence black neighborhoods, which ultimately led to black death and a
newly invigorated era of black political organizing.
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