Article examines Patrick’s representation of blacks
Gov. Deval Patrick has successfully represented black interests on Beacon Hill with legislation, executive orders, and the appointment of more than 200 African-Americans to positions in state government, according to a Clark University political scientist.
Writing in the Trotter Review, a publication of the University of Massachusetts Boston, Ravi Perry says Patrick has been able to serve the 7 percent of the state’s population that is black without alienating the rest of his constituents.“While he may have campaigned as a deracialized candidate, he has governed, not exclusively but in episodes of significance, in the interests of blacks,” the Worcester-based professor writes. “From his symbolic oath of office on the famous Mendi Bible to his appointment of the state’s first black chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, to his many executive orders and legislative introductions that benefited black interests, Patrick, the nation’s only reelected black governor, is an example of a politician who governs utilizing a targeted universalistic strategy that frames black interests as interests that matter to all citizens.”
Perry says Patrick has also brought significant color to state government. He quotes Patrick administration officials as saying say 14.5 percent of all senior managers in state government are minorities and 9 percent of them are blacks. He also says 198 blacks have been appointed to state boards, councils, and commissions.