Sunday, January 6, 2008

12% and 50%

Bob Herbert wrote this feverish piece on New York Times as Barack sips his champaign in Iowa. Yes, it is a great achievement to win the tight race in Iowa. But then, as I read on, this sentence caught my eyes "I expect that African-Americans, under those circumstance, would view his campaign with almost religious fervor." As if Barack's winning is not an individual winning but the winning of a race. That is perhaps a common revelation for most people: blacks are finally gaining their equality and proper place.

However, this revelation is based on the premise that winning the caucus, or even finally winning the election means a realization of equality and power. Okay, so blacks are finally equal. Then what about women? Let us not forget, before we uncork the bottle saluted to black equality, that blacks only make up of 12.9% of the U.S. population whereas women make up of more than 50%, of all races. Let us not forget, before we hail the representative of the 12.9% into the White House, that we are legging behind Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar (Burma), Rwanda, etc etc, all of which have had a female prime minister or president.

People are speaking about dynasties, comparing a Hilary Clinton administration in the same "family-dynasty" trait as the Bhutto dynasty in Pakistan. Usually I love LA Time, but this commentary really enrage me. It comprises the role of a wife the same as that of a daughter. I thought a columnist in one of the nation's best newspaper ought to know the meaning of the word "dynasty" and ought to know the difference between a wife and a daughter, but it seems that explanation are needed as to why another Clinton administration is not a dynasty (unless it's their daughter that won the election): A daughter, no matter how independent, how infused with Oxford-Harvard education, is genetically carrying her father's legacy. She's raised up under her father's teachings, she probably, as most girls do, looked up to her father as a kid. They may be both ambitious, they may be both inclined to violence, who knows. But is a wife carrying her husband genes? Is a wife educated and brought up by her husband? Saying another Clinton administration would be another dynasty as we are in right now is the most degrading understanding of the role of a wife.

Back to the NYTimes article, the author appraises Barack wholeheartedly, and justifies his support for Barack, (besides that he's black) by saying: "He’s smart, hard-working, charismatic, good-looking and a whiz at fund-raising... He has an incandescent smile, but it’s not frozen in place. He seems authentic. When he laughs, you have the feeling it’s because something is funny." Wow, since when does the presidential election become Mr. America Pageant, you might as well nominate Brad Pitt in that sense, at least he's doing some real work for the environment and for the people in New Orleans. Oh sorry I forget you want the nominee to represent equality of the black people, then I think you should go for Will Smith. he's smart, hard-working, not only charismatic and good-looking but smoking hot, and he doesn't even to be good at fund-raising, he is the fund. And yeah, you bet he has an incandescent smile.

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