Race, Gender, Presidential Campaigns

23:56 Tue 09 Sep 2008. Updated: 17:48 28 Jan 2009
[, , ]

Race and gender are both deeply significant in this election, but the narratives covered by the media don’t deal with what’s really going on. I certainly don’t believe that Barack Obama’s election would mean that America has taken much of a step towards eliminating racism in reality—it means something, and is potent symbolically, but the true effects of this country’s endemic prejudice would remain, and might face even fewer challenges given the symbolism. (The “we have a black president so there’s obviously no race problem” attitude would be prevalent, I suspect.) Similarly, I doubt very much that Palin’s ascension to the Vice Presidency, or even the Presidency itself, would truly challenge the dominant gender roles in this culture. As precedent I cite Margaret Thatcher, who as far as I can tell did almost exactly nothing positive in that regard for the UK. In any case, Arthur Silber once again delivers, dissecting the current operation of both race and gender.

Leave a Reply