Thursday, August 09, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards: "We Can't Make John Black"

I happened upon this blog entry while perusing AOL earlier today. It illustrates quite a juxtaposition in the way this election cycle will be viewed. In past years, it was difficult for a Black man (Jackson, Sharpton, Keyes, etc.) or a woman (Chisholm, Ferraro, etc.) to be given serious consideration as a nominee for a national election. Now, it is difficult for a white man to shine through the clutter and distinguish himself because he is not Black nor a woman.

Calhoun writes: "Elizabeth Edwards is not afraid to speak her mind. And now she's catching flak for a controversial quote in a article about the way in which the Web is dominating the 2008 campaign:
The Web can be liberating. "It's about bypassing the sieve of the mainstream media," says Elizabeth Edwards, wife and confidant of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards. "The idea that you have people standing between you and the voter is diminished, and the capacity to speak directly empowers candidates to trust their own voices." With Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama hogging media coverage, campaigns can push their messages without paying for ads.
"In some ways, it's the way we have to go," Edwards says. "We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars. Now it's nice to get on the news, but not the be all and end all."

The implication that Obama and Hillary consider getting attention for being black or a woman "the be all and end all" is, of course, completely absurd, especially given how much black-on-black racism the Obama campaign has faced, and how dizzy everyone got when Hillary showed the tiniest bit of cleavage.

Her remarks are also the ultimate in irony. She spent the article praising the Web; now that same engine will work overtime to crucify her.

You can read the entire article (and the large number of associated comments) here.

plez sez: Mrs. Edwards speaks the truth, a truth that is not so pleasant to hear, but often times the truth doesn't come accompanied by a bouquet of roses. our society is rife with racial and sexual stereotypes and prejudices. this is odd and unchartered territory to have two articulate, intelligent, and viable presidential candidates who happen to be minorities. with the mainstream media falling over themselves to document and broadcast their every utterance, it will become increasing difficult for a white man to get much face time, unless he has some distinguishing characteristics that would warrant his exposure. John Edwards has neither the pedigree of Hillary, nor the fresh-face and hopeful exuberance of Obama; he is merely a face in a crowd (with a nice haircut)!

John Edwards appears to be a bright, intelligent, and articulate man, but i'm afraid vanilla isn't the flavor of the month. he is indistinguishable from Joe Biden and Chris Dodd (some people are probably scratching their heads, "like who?")... i rest my case! *smile* he is a cookie-cutter animal cracker in a chocolate chip world: he is no different from the other white men who are vying for the Democratic nomination.

Elizabeth Edwards isn't a racist, i am sure that she doesn't think that only a white man is qualified to occupy the white house: she's a realist. she spoke out of frustration that her husband is beating his head (with its $400 haircuts) against the wall wondering how in the hell is he going to get his message out when he can't deliver his stump speech in blackface nor can he grow a set of C cups (in the next couple of months).

think of it this way, if being president of the united states hinged on one having actual credentials, then george w. bush wouldn't be president today. some things (and all truths) are just out of your control.


Homeland Colors said...

It's tough when your race or sex is a barrier to your ability to get what you want, and its not fair but then life's not fair either. Non-whites and women have been dealing with this fact for a long time, and i won't be so callous as to say he should deal with it, but he will have to roll with it.

Anali said...

Great post! I do think she is a realist. I heard her speak at the Blogher conference and I like her from what I've seen. I also like John Edwards and think that he has a lot to offer.

I think it was wrong for him to spend campaign money on the haircut though. But if he wants to spend $10,000.00 of his own money on a haircut and a manicure, that's his business not mine.

David Sullivan said...

Thats what I like about you plez, you tell it like it is regardless of what anyone thinks. Your opinions usually parallel my own, great minds think alike (he, he).

DJ Black Adam said...

A very informative post.

Mizrepresent said...

Excellent post and i ain't mad at Mrs. Edwards for speaking the truth...John needs an angle or a stance, or perhaps both!