Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is gender and race no longer an issue in Presidential Politics?

As a sociologist I thought the first woman or African American to be President would have been a republican. Think Margaret Thatcher.

Fact is, research on women and African Americans who have made it to the top power positions in the military, economy, and the executive branch of government make tremendous sacrifices that white men don't.

So Condoleeza Rice is the perfect example. She has no family, she is not married.

Hillary Clinton, however, has not sacrificed. She has made it in a largely male world, law, but not by sacrificing. She is the feminist dream in so many ways.

Obama, however, is winning the race for the democratic nomination. He, however, fits more the profile of the minority member (race or gender minority) who makes it to the top of the powerful. Although he is not a republican, he is impecaably educated at the pinnacle of white powerful connections, Harvard. He has also shed all trappings of what frighten whites about blacks.

Black women also indicate that they experience more discrimination as women than as African American. Tell that to the too many African American men in prison, but that is another story.

So, bottom line is this: Clinton challenges the prevailing gender beliefs more than Obama does about race beliefs. Hence, Obama is the more acceptable (and less threatenening). The early arms length that other Black leaders and Black voters held him, probably helped him tremendously among white voters. I'm referring here to the whole "he isn't black enough" junk that came out about him early in the campaign. You don't hear much about that any more.

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