Please forgive the title of today’s article, but yesterday I heard a discussion on the radio of the 2008 Democrat race for president and the topic was: “The Bitch or The Black?”

Hillary and Barack!

The conversation fast degraded from the title topic into Hillarygender discrimination and Race baiting that suggests there is a wider, deeper divide in America — and the world — where gender and Race define us before anyone even begins to determine our greater worth in the world based on good deeds, perseverance and character.

“The Bitch” was Senator Hillary Clinton, and while she is wildly loved and adored, she is also deeply despised and hated. Is she hated because she stood by her husband in many hours of distress? Or is she hated because she is a woman who stands a great chance of becoming the first female president in the history of the United States?

Why is the idea of a woman leading a nation such a terror in some minds? Other nations like Israel, Germany and the UK have had female leaders and survived.

Why should America be any different? “The Black” Barackwas Senator Barack Obama, and while he is currently “hot” and “on fire” in the political arena as a future presidential candidate, there is also great despise shot at him from those who live behind microphones and those who cannot bear the idea of having a Black president of the United States.

I understand that even though Senator Obama has yet to declare his intentions to run for president, he already has Secret Service protection because of Racist threats made against his life. Are we a nation of guns and fears or are we a nation of ideas and values?

Why is Barack Obama so feared and despised?

Will his candidacy die in the same sort of Race baiting advertising smear that ruined Representative Harold Ford, Jr.’s chances in the recent Tennessee senatorial race?

Hillary and Barack!

Is scraping candidates against the lowest common expectation the only barometer of presidential fitness?

Hillary and Barack!

How can we begin to have a discussion beyond gender and Race?

Will that sort of intelligent dialogue only happen after “the first one” in each minority category finally becomes president?

Hillary and Barack!

How does the rest of the world see this folly-as-political-discussion where — “The Bitch and The Black” — are used to describe those who only wish to lead us into brighter futures?

49 Comments

  1. I agree. We need to choose political leaders based on experience, education, accomplishments, and their plan of action for serving the county. What you see when you look at them is immaterial; what’s in their mind and their strength of character is far more important. We need leaders with integrity and intelligence. Let’s get beyond surface assessments.

  2. icedmocha —
    Where does the irrational hated come from?
    Why is there such a full-body gut-wrenching response in so many people when it comes to having a woman president or a president of color?
    How does that response get into the body? I know we aren’t born with that attitude.

  3. Dave!
    I agree both Hillary and Barack can win — if nothing untoward happens to them. I honestly fear for their lives because they are irrationally hated so much and there are a lot of nuts out there with guns.
    I found it disappointing in another discussion that neither would join the other as VP if the other won the nomination. I think together in any form they are much more powerful than they are apart.
    Barack has a long history of service. His views and experience are on the record. He may not have been a Senator for very long, but that’s what’s good about him!
    😀
    Colin Powell has a longer history in politics than Barack Obama? Explain that, please. What has election has Colin Powell ever won? Barack started his political career in 1996 with his election to the Illinois State Senate.
    There are no attractive options on the Republican side of the aisle. Romney will never be the candidate and McCain will explode if the scepter is handed to him.
    When you can’t win, all you can do is bash.

  4. Hi David,
    The race is on, but maybe its better to hold back to prevent a bitter pre-primary fight that could erupt.
    I wonder if Hillary’s private investigators have already been digging for dirt on Obama (he seems like a pretty clean guy to me) and he wants to avoid getting covered in mud before the election season starts in people’s minds? (Would Clinton resort to using private detectives to destroy her opposition?)
    The first hint of something bad came out in the news not too long ago:

    U.S. Sen. Barack Obama expressed regret late Friday for his 2005 land purchase from now-indicted political fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko in a deal that enlarged the senator’s yard. …
    “With respect to the purchase of my home, I am confident that everything was handled ethically and above board. But I regret that while I tried to pay close attention to the specific requirements of ethical conduct, I misgauged the appearance presented by my purchase of the additional land from Mr. Rezko,” Obama said.
    “It was simply not good enough that I paid above the appraised value for the strip of land that he sold me. It was a mistake to have been engaged with him at all in this or any other personal business dealing that would allow him, or anyone else, to believe that he had done me a favor,” the senator said.

    If Obama and Hillary go head to head in the primaries, it will be interesting to see what happens because I assume Hillary will want to twist arms and break legs, then invite the bruised and battered to join her in opposition to the GOP candidate.
    On a side note, I saw an ad from a huge mega bank where a young man is holding open the door to the bank branch inviting customers to borrow, borrow, borrow, or maybe put a deposit or two into the bank. The bank employee looks exactly like a younger version of Barack Obama.

  5. Hi Chris!
    I agree it is too early for Barack or Hillary to declare — but that doesn’t stop the hate mongers from trashing them.
    Barack seems to be pretty open about his past. I think if there’s a “gotcha” out there he’ll explain it, accept it, and take all the steam out of it by not burying it.
    I agree the Hillary gang are experienced and smart and they need to get with Barack or get him out. Wounding him isn’t enough because the holds too many dear hearts and votes in his hands and so she must tread lightly to not insult his valuable, and growing, base. I still think he’s the perfect VP to prime him for the presidency after two more Clinton terms.
    😀

  6. Hi David,
    Barack Obama has been doing pretty well getting all of the “gotcha” items out of the way early but addressing them and not giving silly answers that everyone knows aren’t true.
    Here’s an example:

    Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat who said Sunday that he was considering running for president in 2008, has created a little sunlight between himself and both Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
    For one thing, he said, “When I was a kid, I inhaled.”
    “That was the point,” Obama told an audience of magazine editors.
    The direct admission was in contrast to Bill Clinton’s denial in his 1992 campaign for president that he had smoked marijuana.

    Source: International Herald Tribune.
    Maybe Obama was getting the Rezko stuff out of the way so that Hillary couldn’t spring it on him right before Iowa or some other inopportune time? If he was, he’s showing that he’s a smart guy who can play a good game of political chess. We’ll need someone like that to sort out the mess in the Middle East and elsewhere. It also shows he isn’t afraid to confront tough issues.
    I wonder if Hillary and Obama could run in the primary without beating each other up, then join forces at some later date? Maybe it would be a start to the end of the politics of personal destruction.
    Maybe Hillary could be persuaded to be VP if Obama continues to be able to remain as popular as he is now?

  7. Hi David,
    I think I went into moderation again. 🙂
    I’m thinking I might be able to solve the problem by setting up a password-protected proxy from ChristopherHedges.com that uses a static IP address.

  8. Chris!
    Yes, when you confess your faults it makes it really hard for them to be used against you later. That is a lesson the Clintons never learned despite their innate political genius.
    Didn’t Barack also admit to cocaine and heroin use as a teenager? I think we’re of those generations now where most of the candidates from here on out will be of the Meth Mind in one way or another.
    I think either Hillary or Barack would do great as president. My fear is they will try to demolish each other in the primaries but I don’t think Barack needs to actively do that because he already has so much goodwill in his pocket just by not being Hillary.

  9. Hi Chris!
    What message of yours is in moderation? I just checked my Moderation queue and Askimet and I don’t see anything from you.
    Your IP address idea sounds very interesting and you should write it up as an article for publication here because it might benefit others!

  10. Chris —
    WHY ARE YOU LISTENING TO RUSH?!!
    :mrgreen:
    I thought I read something yesterday that said Barack asked a reporter to apologize for making fun of his ears. If he’s that sensitive to his ears, he better get over that because harsher things are going to cover him!

  11. Hi David,
    I have promiscuous listening habits!
    It’s better to admit that, than have it come out later on as a “gotcha!”
    When I’m in the car, I usually listen to Al Franken — yesterday he was telling about his Middle East trip while on the USO tour.
    Here’s the IP to put on the good list: 216.69.143.102 🙂 It’s dedicated to me 🙂

  12. Hi David,
    I have promiscuous listening habits!
    It’s better to admit that, than have it come out later on as a “gotcha!”
    When I’m in the car, I usually listen to Al Franken — yesterday he was telling about his Middle East trip while on the USO tour.
    Here’s the IP to put on the good list: 216.69.143.102 🙂 It’s dedicated to me 🙂

  13. David asked:
    Why is there such a full-body gut-wrenching response in so many people when it comes to having a woman president or a president of color?
    Great question. Here’s my take. I don’t think racism or misogyny are inborn; unfortunately, the tendency to fear what’s different seems to develop rather quickly. The status quo for positions of influence overwhelmingly favors men, white men in particular. Women and minorities see and feel discrimination continually; many eventually join the ranks of those who fear rocking the boat. Lack of confidence in the viability of doing things differently is beaten into the collective mindset. Until “the first…” breaks the ice, the instinct for most people is to avoid change.

  14. David asked:
    Why is there such a full-body gut-wrenching response in so many people when it comes to having a woman president or a president of color?
    Great question. Here’s my take. I don’t think racism or misogyny are inborn; unfortunately, the tendency to fear what’s different seems to develop rather quickly. The status quo for positions of influence overwhelmingly favors men, white men in particular. Women and minorities see and feel discrimination continually; many eventually join the ranks of those who fear rocking the boat. Lack of confidence in the viability of doing things differently is beaten into the collective mindset. Until “the first…” breaks the ice, the instinct for most people is to avoid change.

  15. Well said, icedmocha!
    The fraternity of Old White Men are going to be in for a rude awakening over the next 10 years because the social trend is to be multi-cultural, open-minded, of color and to speak more than one language. When those changes begin to solidify in the social and economic structure powers we’ll all be the better for it and maybe we’ll start leaving each other alone when it comes to private matters of the mind.

  16. Well said, icedmocha!
    The fraternity of Old White Men are going to be in for a rude awakening over the next 10 years because the social trend is to be multi-cultural, open-minded, of color and to speak more than one language. When those changes begin to solidify in the social and economic structure powers we’ll all be the better for it and maybe we’ll start leaving each other alone when it comes to private matters of the mind.

  17. I didn’t miss your point, Dave, you are pimping Colin Powell as an example of your point and I refuse to take your point with him as your lead stab.
    A good man would have gone public for the benefit of those soldiers Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld condemned to death with an unwinnable policy. Powell knew the truth and didn’t act on it. He faded away instead of taking a stand for the rightness of his training and his experience — to his ultimate and eternal damnation.
    There’s a big difference between “supporting the war” and knowing when the war is lost. Powell knew from the jump it wouldn’t work and he gave up and walked away instead of fighting for what he knew was right. If you can’t defend your own beliefs then what do you stand for? You stand for nothing but an empty shell of shame.
    Islam is important but it should not be the deciding factor in the next president’s experience.
    Giuliani is less qualified than Barack to serve as president because he doesn’t have the necessary political experience of compromise and unification Barack has had to hone to get where he is today. There isn’t a Black Man alive in America who doesn’t understand the need to work those two ideals as one in order to survive in an unfriendly world.

  18. I didn’t miss your point, Dave, you are pimping Colin Powell as an example of your point and I refuse to take your point with him as your lead stab.
    A good man would have gone public for the benefit of those soldiers Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld condemned to death with an unwinnable policy. Powell knew the truth and didn’t act on it. He faded away instead of taking a stand for the rightness of his training and his experience — to his ultimate and eternal damnation.
    There’s a big difference between “supporting the war” and knowing when the war is lost. Powell knew from the jump it wouldn’t work and he gave up and walked away instead of fighting for what he knew was right. If you can’t defend your own beliefs then what do you stand for? You stand for nothing but an empty shell of shame.
    Islam is important but it should not be the deciding factor in the next president’s experience.
    Giuliani is less qualified than Barack to serve as president because he doesn’t have the necessary political experience of compromise and unification Barack has had to hone to get where he is today. There isn’t a Black Man alive in America who doesn’t understand the need to work those two ideals as one in order to survive in an unfriendly world.

  19. So, if the answer to both was yes, (from one of the people yesterday-Part A) you would have given one of the 3 magic pills to the candidate… Well if you, the candidate, and one other person of your choosing were the only one left, then your candidate would definitely win by a landslide.

  20. So, if the answer to both was yes, (from one of the people yesterday-Part A) you would have given one of the 3 magic pills to the candidate… Well if you, the candidate, and one other person of your choosing were the only one left, then your candidate would definitely win by a landslide.

  21. I love the analysis, A S!
    Today, in the above example in my previous comment, I would be willing to do A). but B). is totally out of the question!
    I’d never win because this Urban Semiotic blog would be held against me — BY BOTH SIDES!
    😆

  22. I love the analysis, A S!
    Today, in the above example in my previous comment, I would be willing to do A). but B). is totally out of the question!
    I’d never win because this Urban Semiotic blog would be held against me — BY BOTH SIDES!
    😆

  23. Short quick answer to this is a reaction from disenfranchised white males who of course think they can do better than a woman and a coloured man.
    Over here there is a lot of discussion about Condi Rice and her persedential suitability as well ! ( she scores on both counts! ).

  24. Hi Nicola!
    I fear Condi Rice is forever tainted by her unflagging support for a failed war effort. Unlike Colin Powell, who faded away in disgust, she has continued to fight the bad fight even in the eye of being forced to bend the truth and being caught is misleading comments.
    She’s already said she has no political aspirations and plans to “retire” back to Stanford University in two years when her job will, thankfully, run out so she can write her book and try to salvage any reputation for goodness she used to possess.

  25. Condi has betrayed her intelligence — and that is the worst sort of betrayal by being loyal to the absolutely wrong sort of boss. It condemns the whole of you.
    Hillary will be the direct opposite of Bush as president and, along with that, create all the hatred and the divide in just the exactly opposite ways. I don’t think I can take the same level of cruelty — except in the opposite direction.
    I think the country senses that need for moderation and quiet and change and that’s why Barack is so appealing to so many. He’s fresh and new and smart and we might move in some different directions under his stewardship.
    I also think that’s why some people are calling for Gore to run. He’s just the sort of intelligent bore the country needs to simmer down for a bit.
    John Kerry is a bitter and cruel man. He may get us out of Iraq the fastest but no one will want to follow him anywhere else after.

  26. Oh, and Nicola —
    Wasn’t Condi taking in a Broadway show and shoe shopping when Katrina hit and people were dying? She didn’t leave her shoes to help save the people. It’s just so ugly and fitting!

    Like President Bush, the Secretary of State has been on vacation during the Hurricane Katrina crisis, with Rice enjoying her downtime in New York Wednesday and yesterday. The cabinet member’s responsibilities are usually international, but her timing contributed to the “fiddling while Rome burns” impression given by her boss during the disaster, which may have claimed thousands of lives.
    On Wednesday night, Secretary Rice was booed by some audience members at “Spamalot!,” the Monty Python musical at the Shubert, when the lights went up after the performance.
    Yesterday, Rice went shopping at Ferragamo on Fifth Ave. According to the Web site http://www.Gawker.com, the 50-year-old bought “several thousand dollars’ worth of shoes” at the pricey leather-goods boutique.
    A fellow shopper shouted, “How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!” – presumably referring to Louisiana and Mississippi.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/342712p-292600c.html