The Shoat Statements

Random musings by the multiple voices inside my head.

The Americans never cease to amaze me. Just look at two of the Democrats presidential hopefuls - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. And the endless articles about them. I have never read anything on them that failed to mention Clinton's gender or Obama's skin colour.

The U.S.A is supposed to be the most multi-cultural, liberal country there is - open to all, discriminating none. So then why are these two people being judged to such a great extent on two aspects of themselves that they have absolutely no control over? Why is America so obsessed with the notion of having a female president and it's acceptability? Other countries had such occasions decades ago, and seems to have handled it with more maturity and finesse than Americans seem to be able to muster. Were the English so obsessed with Thatcher's gender? Were French voters basing their votes on Segolene Royal's gender? I think not. Certainly, we never got to hear about it. We read bizarre articles that state that Clinton's victory in New Hampshire was due to her gender, and this is by no means the only news service to report on it.

And then we move onto Obama. He's black. Is America ready for a black president? Who cares - what America needs is a good president. Sonia Gandhi isn't even Indian, but seems to manage ruling India's main political party just fine. At the height of Sri Lanka's conflict with the LTTE, we managed to have a Tamil Foreign Minister, probably the best we ever had. Not a cat was concerned about his ethnicity (save for the LTTE), and were only concerned with how he executed his job. Not so in America, where people are actually encouraged to vote because Obama is black - we have articles actually advocating this, not to be outdone by those on Clinton's gender.

Race and gender should not have been given any thought in this contest - it should never have been given such prominence in any type of media. A presidential candidate should be chosen on ability. the more we see of America, the more reasons we find to explain the Iraqi debacle.

If this is how the American voters think, or worse still, are encouraged to think, it is no wonder that America is where it is. We shouldn't be surprised if they present the rest of the civilised world with yet another cartoon like George Bush come November.


What the hell? I live in America and I have never heard anything on Clinton being a women or Obama not being white. If it is a big issue, it's only with small hidden pockets of people.

It may be small pockets, but it is certainly not hidden. I've seen this subject (race & gender, separately) discussed on countless CNN programs on the elections, and the sources I've quoted are BBC & Slate, not some backwater tabloid. If you have somehow missed the discussions, you are very fortunate, but that doesn't mean they are not happening. I particulary encourage you to rea the article on Slate on Obama, which I have linked here. It is disturbing, to say the least.

Further, the issue is not whether it is a big or small issue - it should not be an issue at all.

As always, thank you for reading, and your feedback & comments are much appreciated. Have a nice day, and I hope you vote!

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