Today on my lunch break I check in with Martha McCallum at Fox News, and to my delight* the discussion turns quickly to gender and race in the Presidential contest. This is truly one of my favorite topics, because I believe it is a complete waste of time and energy to even discuss.
Anyway, clips are shown of Oprah at an Obama Rally - the three ladies leading his campaign, Oprah, Caroline Kennedy, and wife Michelle. Oprah claims she would never vote for someone on the basis of skin color, but is choosing Obama "Not because he is black, but because he is brilliant."
We have all known Oprah to be supportive of the advancement of African Americans- no matter the cause. A true philanthropist, she does not give on the base of race, but she is quick to hold her luncheons for influential black women and NAACP events or what have you. To me, clarifying that she is supporting Obama for his platform of change and not his skin color is a good statement to make, once. For all the rest of the times she may state it, I feel it is only a mechanism to convince others of an untruth. Oprah is actually glowing at the fact that Barack Obama is a black man. She is proud of him. And that's fine. If he were white though, would she feel the same way?
Finally, I am very disenchanted by a female, black commentator on the Fox News panel today. The topic was Oprah's comment. And this woman, Angela, starts to say "Obama never entered this race as a black man, but it's the Clintons that have made it about race." While I will never stand up for the Clintons, I find it a tad self-righteous for a black woman to be turning the discussion to criticize white people, even the Clintons. She is pointing her finger at white people, the only racists, who keep bringing the discussion back to race. Puh-lease.
If race isn't a big deal in this contest- if Obama isn't running as a black man- why the hell is Oprah talking about it at his rally? Why is that all the media can focus on?
Just some thought-provoking questions. Gender comments to follow...