Election is victory vs. racism — but is also proof of sexism

It’s the day after the presidential election and I am pondering how Barack Obama’s election signifies the change in our country’s history of racism, a change that would no doubt put a smile on Abraham Lincoln’s face. And, while I celebrate the progress of our great country, I am disheartened to see that a capable woman, regardless of the color of her skin, was not able to walk the same road to the White House as that of a man. I witnessed our country’s inability to transcend sexism in the same way it did racism.

The excitement and pride I felt for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) was similar to what many African-Americans did about Barack Obama. At the same time, I was sensitive to the sexist comments in the media during their coverage of Sen. Clinton. I struggled to understand how racism was kept in check, while sexism went unchecked. I wondered how Bella Abzug or Shirley Chisholm would have responded to the media’s preponderance of sexism and questioned how Gloria Steinem could be left out of the dialogue of whether sexism would be a silent factor for voters. I watched while women in the media pandered to their male colleagues with little awareness of how women around the country perceived the chauvinist attitudes and elitism of these same women.

Sen. Obama was given primetime coverage to deliver his speech on racism while we did not hear from Sen. Clinton on how sexism creates lost opportunities for females in this country and around the world. I would like to have heard that speech, for it has been too long since we as a nation have had an update on the status of women in the United States.

I wonder if we are able to recognize that the gains of a few women can mistakenly be viewed as the totality of gains for all women, rather than understood as an indication of the tokenism afforded a minority of women that do not represent the economic and political gains needed by the majority of them. Until we are willing to recognize this difference, our daughters will face the same attitudinal barriers that women face today regardless of their qualifications and abilities.

As we have often heard, behind every good man there is a good woman, and behind this man was one woman in particular, a woman with the audacity to hope that she could be the next president of the United States.

Greenwood, Ind.



Name Jackson to Senate

From the Rev. Dr. Lita L. Kerr

I believe Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) should be appointed to fill the Senate seat that President-elect Barack Obama is vacating. Congressman Jackson is a respected leader who also respects the office that he holds and political offices in general. He is a great spokesman, dedicated, intelligent, and represents his constituents well. He was born for either this position, or one of higher stature. May God bless him and his family, and also Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has the power to make the appointment.

Markham, Ill.

Stroke of evil genius

From Serafin Quintanar Jr.

In a stroke of evil genius, President-elect Obama has already tamed Speaker Nancy Pelosi and placed her on a short leash. By taking Rahm Emanuel out of the House of Representatives and keeping him safely in the White House, Obama did Pelosi a huge favor.

He both eliminated a threat to her leadership position and avoided an embarrassing public fight for power among Democrats in January. Have no doubt that he made it perfectly clear to Pelosi that she is now in his eternal debt.

As for the majority leader, rest assured that His Worshipness will make him an offer he cannot refuse as well.

Fresno, Calif.