Wednesday, October 22, 2008

If things were switched around?

Of you have been reading my blog for any length of time you will know politics are close to my heart, and that I lean LEFT, very very left in fact. Today I came across something about race and this election, race and racism is something I strugle with. I am not color blind and find that I occasionally will make an assumption about a person based on the color of their skin. I am NOT proud of this, but I do admit itand think a lot more people do this than admit it. It is something I am trying to change within me. When that happens I try to be aware of why I have made such an assumption and then disregard that assumption, being aware of my behavior. At all times I try to never let an assumption direct my behavior. I am really only two generations removed from direct racism. My father's parents are Greek (thus have very dark skin) and faced racism growing up in the South including being called the N word and my grandmother couldn't be friends with a girl in her class because she was "whiter" than her. This is nothing compared to the racism, both individual and systematic, that face our youth of color today but it does make me more aware of racism in general. All of that being said I want to share the following:

What if things were switched around -- Obama v McCain
Ponder the following:

What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?

What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?

What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?

What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married?

What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)

What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?

What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?

What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?

What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?

What if the Obamas had adopted a white child? You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

Educational Background:

Barack Obama:
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cume Laude

Joseph Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)


John McCain:
United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin:

Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the e world. You make the call.

There has to be a reason that, in spite of the above, we are where we are today.
Of course, there is a generous dosage of country-wide stupidity too.

I would love to know how this makes you feel. Please feel free to leave a comment on either side of the issue. I do ask that you be respectful of me and that this is MY blog not yours, so if you want to do name calling, or be disrespectful do it on your own blog.


Busted said...

Racism aside, I think the educational backgrounds are terrifying. I'm an admitted educational snob, but I seriously am terrified at the prospect of the two most powerful people in the country having such lackluster educational backgrounds. Intellect is the most important quality in a politician to me, and their ticket doesn't display it at all.

ggop said...

You are preaching to the choir (fellow Bay area resident here!)

I am not a citizen yet and regret not being able to vote for Obama/Biden. :-(

Jon Stewart on the Daily Show quipped "I WANT my president to be an elitist" when Obama was accused of elitism.

It mirrors my thoughts. Enough said.

Also last night was sick to see a Yes on prop 8 sticker in our neighborhood.

christina said...

Great post, Ariella. I'm going to copy and send this out because I think it gives people something to consider no matter who they are backing.

Working in higher education, I might be a biased opinion, but I have to say that the backgrounds of McCain & Palin are laughable. Education is EVERYthing.

Anyway, enough of my rant, but thanks for the thought provoking post.

Ariella said...

Busted, Christina and GGOP: I agree with all of you. I WANT my VP and President to be well educated and even Elitest. If someone with my education is qualified to run the country I find that scary! And my education level is actually BETTER than Palin!

GGOP: I might be preaching to the choir but if this just reaches ONE person who thinks of things a little differently, even if it doesn't change their mind, then I feel like I made a difference. And the yes on 8 stickers make me sick too, but more so they make me sad, very very sad.

ggop said...

I just feel sad that the "real" America does not respect their geeks. I mean come on, I took the GRE/TOEFL and all to attend grad school in engineering here. I thought America's post world war meteoric rise in science and tech was due to the geeks of the West. Why should the President be folksy and less academic? This really bothers me.

Education is so important and its clear Obama overcame so many obstacles to rise in his career. I'm angered when beauty queens like Palin belittle his achievements.

OK your blog - i will stop ranting :-)

Sasha & Mark said...

I voted today! We have early voting in NC. I'm from a 'battleground' state this time, and I am really hoping we'll go for Obama. DH and I have donated, canvassed, worn shirts, and displayed our "flair" so I hope it is enough. NC state politics is usually democratic (even though we go R Nationally), so I think there's a good chance.

Stephanie said...

I think the President and Vice President should be smart people, they are to be a role model to children and young people alike.

I agree with your post 100%