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More on race & gender in the primary

I don't have anything new to add to the conversation except to ask you to please read and listen to these pieces:

  • Rebecca Walker responds with "The Fence"
    • Young women are not stupid. The idea that young women are too naive to realize the pervasiveness of sexism is an old Second Wave trope used to dismiss and discredit an entire generation, many of whom now support Obama because he doesn't insult them. As a result, there are a few women lining up behind the "feminist" placard, but many more running in the other direction.
  • Democracy Now! with Gloria Steinem & Melissa Harris-Lacewell (you can listen or read the transcript)
    • Yeah, I absolutely agree that electing another president whose path to the White House is basically through either parental or familial connection is an absolute travesty for our democracy. Our democracy should not read—I don’t want my daughter, who’s six now, to go off to high school and read, you know, a story that says Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Clinton. I actually absolutely agree that we have to have a deeper bench in American democracy. And that’s part of the reason that I’m a strong supporter of Barack Obama.

      This is not, I think, the moment to suggest that one is owed the presidency, that there is kind of a natural line of succession. I think that’s exactly what we don’t want in this country. What we need is a real conversation with people who are willing to be honest about sort of all of the elements of who we are as people: our citizenship, our race, our gender.
  • Patricia Williams tells us "I'm a black woman. This is my dream."
    • There's a cliché in the American civil rights community: if you're a member of a stigmatised group, you have to be twice as good as everyone else to accomplish half as much. Clinton and Obama have been tested by fire; neither rose to this level of national importance because anyone gave them a pass.

    • Yet I pray that we Americans can resist the vicious, vacuous, mudslinging mire of malapropisms from which the Bush presidency loped to power. This is an extraordinary moment in American history: we have our first serious black and female presidential candidates and they are, indeed, twice as good as their nearest contenders. I hope that the two of them, in whatever order, will become running mates by November. They must not fall prey to those who would love to see them played against each other in the scramble to be top dog.
Williams' last comment strikes close to what is inside a lot of our hearts. Our dream ticket. In any order. Obama-Clinton, Clinton-Obama. Gawd, the thought makes me shiver.

Let's hope that this is over.

Technorati tags: Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, politics, campaign 2008, Gloria Steinem, Patricia Williams, Democracy Now!, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Rebecca Walker


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