Oprah, Hillary, and the female vote

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A couple of days ago, I was perusing rasmussenreports.com, when I saw an article about Oprah’s fans being upset because she is supporting Barack Obama.  According to the report, Oprah’s "website was swamped with complaints after she went to Iowa. The principal complaint was that she betrayed women by not supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton. The criticism was described as personal."  The article also states that some of the women who complained were African-American.  I have to step in and ask the obvious: If these women believe that Oprah is the type person who would make her decision about backing a Presidential candidate based (solely) on the candidate’s sex, why couldn’t she choose a candidate  based on their race?  If you are only talking about the history that could possibly be created by the inauguration of Hillary or Obama, wouldn’t the "pro-women" argument and the "pro-black" argument cancel each other out? 

Obviously, some people (including the African-American women who felt "betrayed" by Oprah)  believe that the struggles that women have had to endure in this country are more devastating that the overwhelming struggles endured by blacks.  Well, I don’t agree and I can guarantee that there are a lot of other black folks who don’t agree either.  Is it really necessary to pull out a scorecard and list the atrocities, discrimination, and broken spirits that have resulted from racist and sexist treatment?

The point of view that the race factor is not as important as the sex factor, or actually not even taken into consideration by some people,  was evidenced in a report on CNN.  A psychologist was trying to explain why Obama won Iowa.  Her response was that younger women  had not yet experienced sexism and discrimination and did not think it was important to vote for a woman.  Her message, on this nationwide news broadcast, was that women across this country should realize the importance of a woman breaking this glass ceiling.  I am assuming she was learned and that she had a doctorate (or a masters at the least)…. did she not realize with that message she was making light of the entire civil rights movement and everything that followed?  Being an African-American female, I felt as if she disregarded a large part of who I am.  Maybe she believes, like some others, that the "slavery-lynching-racial profiling-discrimination in the justice system" situations are really not factors in the whole scheme of things.

Instead of comparing trials and tribulations, let’s just call it a wash, and remember that if either candidate becomes President, the American Dream will become attainable to many more of its citizens.  As far as Oprah is concerned, I hope she treats this the same way as she treated the rappers who were angry with her after the N-word debate.  She did not change her position and she did not say anything harsh or negative about the rappers, in fact she said was a fan of hip-hop.  If we get past the  "woman making history" v. "a  black person making history" and all the personal attacks, we will have a real  contest.



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