Sunday, May 11, 2008

Barack Obama is a reminder

Obama is a reminder that America still has its big problem with race and ethnicity, that the dream hasn't come true for many, many people--the dream of equality.

This is why he has 90%+ of black voters-not because we see him as a messiah. We had proportionate turnouts like that for Sharpton and Jackson. We still need redress. And blacks supported Hillary until Bill put his foot in his mouth in Carolina with the racist statement about Jesse Jackson having won just like Obama did. We got indignant that he would try to put down this guy who credibly fought his way up like Hill and Bill themselves.

I also think Hillary is getting a backlash from black voters. White middle-class women were the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action. Even Willie Brown said this last year. All one has to do is look at tv news and see all these lip-glossed Barbie doll reporters and know that the feminist revolution stopped midway. Once the corporate, educational, professional and skilled trade doors opened, white females were allowed in and a miniscule number of highly trained or educated black women, far fewer black males-game over.

Blacks know that the feminist movement profited from and got a lot of its momentum from the civil rights movement. But once they made gains, did feminists make life better for all or for a few? Did they help the women in the pink collar ghettoes? Did they change the perception of women in media? If they did, why do women in media have to look sexy, young and glamorous while the men can look like Uncle Festus and have hair sprouting from their noses and ears?

Did they stay in the struggle long enough to change the status of women throughout society? I would say not long enough, although I think some would say that Hillary's campaign is proof that they did. Her campaign is primarily proof that she gained credibility from being the prez's wife...her 3 a.m. ad trades on that; her diplomatic cred comes from her travels as First Lady, and her high start in senatorial politics comes from her White House visibility and stature. Some have even said she won because Bill cheated and she got an empathy vote. I'd say Hillary, no disrespect for her brainpower and endurance, has gained mightily from the feminist movement.

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