Open Phones: Race v. Gender

Friday, January 18, 2008

A call-in for African-American women on the tension between race and gender in the presidential race.

Comments [20]

Darrell from Queens

I'm emotionally drained by this debate and frankly tired of having this conversation. I find it utterly fascinating that during my trip to New Hampshire I spoke with predominately white people from all class spectrums about my views on who should lead the country and the conversation was refreshingly substantive. However, in New York when I speak to my friends of color of the same subject the topic cannot transcend the issue of race and gender.

Thankfully while campaigning I see the young people who are not bound by these issues and are just genuinely excited about the prospect of change in this country. I may be 27 but I definitely identify with the youngsters. And being the only black person on the campaign team rallying for Obama this week was also a little disheartening.

Jan. 18 2008 03:48 PM

Please lose the "Baby Boomer" insult. I am a baby boomer but I simply do not want to see a Bush/Clinton cycle. I am tired of these two groups. In other words, "now for something completely different". Race has nothing to do with MY decision here. I will admit; I am holding my breath to see if America is still as racist as in my youth. We'll see. I'll either be wild delighted or deeply depressed.

Jan. 18 2008 01:18 PM
Jennifer from Bedford Stuyvesant

I find the identity politics fueled by the baby boomer generation to be exhausting and divisive. We have so many problems in this world that need to be seriously addressed. I am sick of the democratic party establishment. We've already had 27 years of either a Bush or Clinton in the White House. I think it's time for a change. I'm voting for Obama on those grounds alone. I'd like to see and Obama-Edwards ticket for 2008.

Jan. 18 2008 12:09 PM
Katrina from South Orange, NJ

I'd be more interested in hearing non-Democrat black women (or really, any non-Democrat) speak to whether they are persuaded by the race or sex of the two Democrat front-runners to vote Democratic. For those who vote Democratic, this seems like a lightweight discussion - a difficult choice between two very good options.

Jan. 18 2008 11:58 AM
Janet Crawford from nyc

I attended Carl Bernstein's talk about his biography of Hilllary that he researched for 7 years. A primary point he made was that as a result of her upbringing, her father's and mother's relationship, she is constantly trying to overcome shame and humiliation. He points out that her launch to be a senator was made when Bill was being impeached to "save" the Clinton legacy and that her running for President is an extension of all the shame and humiliation that occurred during Bill's presidency.

How will this emotional background play out in the international arena? I wonder. When humiliated in Iowa she cried--is she going to have to control the world or be humiliated? I'm worried.

Jan. 18 2008 11:58 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

What an empty segment! Why are you continuing to fan the flames of this debate?

Jan. 18 2008 11:53 AM
laura miller from montclair, nj

I am shocked at how the accusations of Obama's supposed Muslim roots are always handled by vociferous affirmations of his Christian roots, as if being a Muslim were the equivalent of being a criminal or some other disqualifying, shameful attribute. Last I checked the Constitution, requiring office-holders to be Christians was not only not listed, but oath tests are expressly unconstitutional.

Jan. 18 2008 11:51 AM
slowereastside from manhattan

On Obama's Reagan quote: Are these people 'literal' idiots?

Any American who has a sense of history -let alone read a newspaper in, oh I don't know, the last 20 YEARS- knows Reagan moved the country to THE RIGHT.

This isn't even a point of debate among the pundits from either side of the political spectrum.

And finally -Brian, yes we all get the show's theme this season:

Hilary=Good (and why question her '35 years of experience')


Obama=I don't know, but he seems to be surrounded by a few question marks that the show will try to

Well done.

Jan. 18 2008 11:51 AM
James Brownski from Harlem

As a black man I find this segment utterly disgusting. Nothing worse than an ignorant voter. People need to realize that none of the candidate's true ideas and messages are portrayed clearly via the media. Making decisions based on this popularity contest is a shame. I look forward to next week where we can get a good breakdown of each of these candidates political records.

Jan. 18 2008 11:47 AM
Ellen from Soho

I love how you pick the "top" candidates. Keep Kuccinich last.

Jan. 18 2008 11:44 AM
Brian Duncan from Red Bank NJ

Obama's comment about Reagan purely addressed "change" of direction and not the substance of the policies or the particular direction. His comment was an observation on a direction change per se and not the whys and wherefores.

Jan. 18 2008 11:43 AM
Robert from NYC

Absolutely Mr Harris, let's just drop this unimportant stuff because we're all being sideswiped by these "disruptors" so as to get us off the important issues. The media continue these petty gossipy pieces because it brings in ratings among the gossip mongers and there are lots of those. So it's not about issues it's about gossip. The gossip columnists have conquered the media.

Jan. 18 2008 11:43 AM

Consider a black family in the White House. A powerful symbol and reality.

I don't know Mrs. Obama's penchant for political involvement, but the options seem huge for a black first lady, in a county which has traditionally ignored black women as human beings.

Jan. 18 2008 11:43 AM
Hugh from White Plains, NY

Could somebody define Hillary's experience9s) as president?


Jan. 18 2008 11:42 AM
Ellen from Soho

This is all so upsetting. How backwards is this conversation? What year is it people? We should not give one moment of thought to sex or skin color. Again what year is it?

Jan. 18 2008 11:42 AM
Liz from Westchester

Check out Hillary and Barack's Senate Issue pages:

Hillary includes direction for Children and Families as well as Women's Issues where Barack does not.

Jan. 18 2008 11:41 AM
Denice from Brooklyn

I have to admit that when I saw Hilary tear up, my heart went out to her. Take this with a grain of salt as I also had a pang of sympathy for Saddam Hussein before his execution.

More than the gender/race issues that have come up in the last few weeks, I'm offended by the debate over Obama's "blackness". My ethnic background is almost identical to Obama's (my dad is Ugandan) so the "debate" hits close to home.

With regard to gender and race, I think it would be more difficult for Hilary to be pro-woman in office than for Barack to be pro-black. In my (admittedly limited) 24 years of experience, I've found racism to be more openly criticized and called into question than sexism.

This is not why I'm supporting Obama, but it contributes to my decision.

Jan. 18 2008 11:40 AM
Chad Harris from Ridgewood

Karl Rove is behind all of this sexist and racist talk about Hillary and Obama. It was published on January 10th and is called "Why Hillary Won."

I'm sorry but sex and race have no place in the democratic primary. We are beyond those issues and I am disgusted you would spend one minute discussing this "issue." It's 2008. No one is discussing REAL issues like what do the candidates think the reason for the Iraq war is/was.


Jan. 18 2008 11:38 AM
Ethel M. Washington from New Jersey

As a Black woman, I don't believe
we, as a group, are not responsible for creating and perpetuating this so-called "tension." This tension over the African half of Obama's heritage was inevitable within the White community, especially among the females. The irony here is that Obama's mom and grandmother were white and the dominant figures in his upbringing. I am confident that he knows exactly what is behind this entire issue and will handle it accordingly.

Jan. 18 2008 11:27 AM
hjs from 11211

ombama belongs to a "black nationalist church"

what does that mean?

Jan. 18 2008 11:03 AM

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