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Victory

Yesterday, in a major party’s primary election for the presidency of the United States, about half the people voted for a woman, and the other half voted for an African-American.

We won!

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20 Responses to “Victory”

  1. True… this is wonderful. But we’ll know we’ve really won when this happens and nobody even notices… baby steps.

  2. Neither Hillary nor Obama would be happy to read your comment, David. They’d see it as somewhat “diminishing,” I guess.

    My impression is that most people are already starting to “not even notice”… (not surprising – people don’t have much of a political memory anyway).

    Let’s have some discipline and stop talking in categories (or tags) we all want to become irrelevant to this subject matter.

    Obama definitely (and rather successfuly) is trying to make the “African-American” thing irrelevant to his candidacy. Even just calling him “African-American” is helping the Republicans. And we DON”T want that, do we… :)

  3. :) great post..thnx

  4. Yes, Emil, you’re right. Americans are so used to electing women and people of color as president that it’s not worth noticing or celebrating.*

    Jeez!

    *Sarcasm

  5. All I wanted to say is that we are still in the beginning of the presidential elections… and how Democrats vote in their primaries is not yet Americans electing a president. I’m sure that Obama and Hillary aim for the presidency – not just the party nomination.

    McCain – a war veteran, white guy, moderate, experienced, media savvy – still might very well become our next president. Just imagine for a moment this happening – and you’ll see how utterly unhappy and unsatisfied we (the Democrats) would be – no matter the “historic” party nomination of a woman or an African-American.

    Anyway, my feeling is that something that should have been possible long time ago (should I bring the comparisons with Pakistan, Indonesia, Chile, etc.) is not something to be so excited or proud about.

  6. I’m also 4Obama and just had a 2h discussion with my wife about Hillary (…), but then: anyone else than GWB will be fine.

  7. … and the woman in my house thinks either of these winners will be creaned by whatever white guy the GOP puts up. But … who knows.

    I do want Obama to win. It all.

  8. Wait, Doc, are you telling me that ALL the Republican candidates are men and are white?? How could such blatant racism and sexism be tolerated? And you’re telling me Americans take that party seriously?

  9. I “and the woman in my house” both voted for Obama… and we believe that he could beat McCain.

    But if we want to give him (or Hillary) a better chance – we better stop talking about gender and race… like immediately.

  10. Emil, we’re on the same side, but I disagree with you tactically. The fact that the Democrats are nominating a woman or a person of color obviously shouldn’t be the focus of the campaign — and no one I’ve ever heard has suggested that it should be — but there is no ignoring it. We ought to be acknowledging it and celebrating it because its going to be a big plus for us overall. IMO.

  11. I still feel a bit stange about commenting on another country politics

    but this thing doesn t recognize national borders
    and in a way I think I had the same exposure to this candidates as any other phisically in the states

    that is actually why I do am amazed by obama
    I can agree with him almost completely
    even when he talk about the internal policy of tha states
    it sounds respectfull for the rest of the planet
    not denying usa power but pushing it toward a common goal
    and by common I mean global

    clinton on the other end it s just plain good old politic
    where there is the inside and the rest of the world
    it s a disconnection that simply cannot work anymore
    for any country
    and it will be more and more so in the years to come

    so far there isn t one single international leader that realize that

    I think
    that would be a real first

  12. David, I would celebrate privately (for now at least)… I’m just too afraid that – in this rather divided America – any public celebration on one side tends to fuel a hate fest on the other (apologies for the mixed metaphors).

    And really – I sincerely don’t see Obama as a “person of color”… Let’s not mess around with his rather successful “transcending” of colors – white, black, brown, red, blue, etc. – exactly in a tactical sense.

  13. When we identify Clinton by her gender (only) and Obama by his color (only), we are still reinforcing the norm, that which need not be spoken, as white and male–and heterosexual. Thus, Clinton is off by one factor, and Obama is off by another, but each can claim two points of normativity. One alternative would be to call attention to Clinton’s color and Obama’s gender (“a white woman” and “a black man”). Another alternative would be to note that neither of the leading Democratic candidates is a white man. Yet another would be to identify the other candidates (so, at this point, the Republican candidates) as “straight, white males,” whenever they are mentioned. I’m somewhat partial to the practice of referring to all the candidates as “non-gay.” But my primary recommendation here is that we name what is assumed to be unnecessary to name–especially when we would like to unsettle the ideology that unnaming supports.

  14. Wow. Why is it so hard to be happy out loud that after hundreds of years, we’re nominating two people who are members of categories that until now have been discriminated against?

    Yes, in order to do so, we must — for this moment of celebration — actually acknowledge that H. Clinton is a woman and B. Obama is a person of color.

    Guilty. But still happy that Democrats are about to do something profoundly right after centuries of being profoundly wrong.

  15. I think there are lots of different reasons why people don’t want to celebrate it the way you did. I think the “we won” bit was what did it for me. This is not victory. Not yet. It’s a battle won; a win that should be celebrated. But, we have not yet won.

  16. It brings to mind the fear of a lot of Black folks and women. In 2009 hearing from people “What are you talking about, racism/sexism? We just/almost elected a black/female president.”
    At least that where it comes from for me.

  17. Historical relevance is at stake. I can’t remember this much passion in a primary.

  18. David,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. While race and gender should not be “what the election is about”, it seems foolish to me not to acknowledge the historic nature of this November’s election. I find it fascinating, enheartening, and newsworthy that the two major Democratic candidates are political minorities.

    I wrote a bit more about this here:

    http://www.thefigtrees.net/lee/life/2008/01/race_and_gender_and_historic_a.html

  19. David,
    a question from an outsider: could this impression of “bottom up campaign”, used by will.i.am and Youbama, be just an strategy to create the feeling of something new? I mean, some fake emergency of people not envolved with parties before, taking advantge of the values of spread by the net?

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