From Farai

Black vs. Woman / Black + Woman

The selection of Alaskan governor Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential nominee unquestionably broke new ground. Barring some very unforeseen circumstances, America will either have its first black president or its first female vice president.

I took a plane yesterday directly from Denver, site of the Democratic Convention; to Minneapolis, whose twin city St. Paul is hosting the Republican Convention. Almost everyone on the flight was a working journalist. There were people speaking in half a dozen languages, reporters who'd converged on the American political conventions from all over the world.

They thought they had a big show. Well, now they have a REALLY, REALLY big show.

One question bound to emerge over the coming week is: is this election black vs. woman? ... that is, will people who want a race or gender "first" battle it out (as they arguably did during the Democratic Obama vs. Clinton bout). Or, through a different lens, could this race be black + woman? No matter who wins, there have already been historic firsts during this race, namely the first black Democratic presidential nominee; the first female Republican vice presidential nominee. This is already a double-barreled shot into the heart of politics and the history books. Regardless of the winner, could it be a positive? Could this election re-shape America's attitude towards race, gender, and achievement?

Well, we've got ten weeks until the election, and much more time to figure out how it's molding America. Our debate over race, gender, politics and achievement has been going on for hundreds of years in America. I for one am very curious how this changes the game.

Speaking of the game ... Alaskan Republicans picked Mitt Romney during their caucuses. Second up was Mike Huckabee. As we dig into the Republican convention, we'll see if we can get some black Alaskans to weigh in on their governor as the news unfolds.

Yes, there are black Alaskans. Here's a commentary from a few years ago where I reference a trip to Alaska and the black folks I met there.

Comments

 

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This presidential race is "too important" for the general public to be "unnecessarily distracted" by superficial "what if's". The middle and working classes of this country have suffered a great deal under the current administration in Washington which has overwhelmingly favored the "wealthy" and "big business". Our country has to come to the realization that "big business" is no longer concerned about the financial welfare of its' employees. Their primary focus is only the "bottom line" and reducing as much employee related overhead as possible is crucial to maximizing their profits. It's time for the pendulum to swing back to the middle in order to give the "shell shocked" middle and working classes a break.

Sent by Gail E. Cooper | 1:52 AM | 8-31-2008

THE race versus woman question is not going to be the key, but issues up against concerns.IT is the mass media that put first Republican woman next to the first serious black candicate.THE United States inferior mathematics and science competitiveness will never be addressed because race and female agenda
will dominate this 2008 election.THIS make for better media drama with major technology topics being too dull.Sad.

Sent by jerry a. Myers | 4:54 AM | 8-31-2008

I hope that the American people can get with it and look at the real issues. It is not a black vs. women decision. It is (in my opinon) a "Save the Middle Class" question. Are we as a country better off than we were 8 years ago? Hell no. Simple answer: Vote for Obama. We tried it the other way for 8 years, let's give someone else a try.

Sent by Lisa | 4:15 PM | 9-1-2008

I echo Lisa's statement that this election is not about race or gender. It's about having a candidate who fills us with hope for a better future for our children and grandchildren. Senator Obama has integrity, the courage to speak out about a government that has eroded our civil liberties and has common sense plans to bring about change. He can restore some dignity to the role of President and build respectful relationships internationally.

Sent by Jennifer Muehle | 5:22 PM | 9-1-2008

when America sneezes,the universe in its entirety catches cold goes the popular axiom.America and Americans have sufferred unprecedented losses and deprivation in the last 8years.the question is ultimately not about gender or race.its absolutely about who can do the job?i think Obama can in my humble opinion.Lets give him a chance because a vote for the republican is an extension of the ongoing losses and deprivation.God safe and bless America.

Sent by Adeniyi,Gbenga Christopher.Nigeria | 12:49 AM | 9-2-2008

This woman Palin is a long time Pat Buchannan fan.She is a fascist.

Sent by Lou Teklai | 11:51 AM | 9-2-2008

White vs Woman/ White + Woman?

Sent by Jon J | 12:14 AM | 9-3-2008

McCain showed people-sense in picking Palin. 1/2 of all Democrats voted for Hillary- The Dems didn't get it in their thick heads that meant something huge. They dissed Hillary and all those who wanted her. I am totally serious. I will vote for them for understanding that.One joke- she is already has a more accurate and better shot (gun) than Dick Chaney.

Sent by lynne pope | 4:13 AM | 9-13-2008

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