Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. John McMillian

Second Advisor

Dr. Glenn Eskew


Minorities have gained more civil rights with the cooperation of both major political parties in the United States, yet the actions of the Republican Party are often conflated with racism. This is partially the result of clashes in ideological visions, which explain the different political positions of partisans. However, during his 1980 run for the White House, a concerted effort was made to tie Ronald Reagan to racism, as he was accused of pandering to white Southerners. Therefore, this thesis also focuses on “Southern strategies” used by both the Republican and Democratic parties to exploit race, which have spilled into the new millennium.