The political culture, so to speak, has been modified by the structure of the presidential race at present. With Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton running for office, their presence in the race for presidency influences the society’s view on race and gender. If Obama or Clinton wins, they would represent the first black or female president, respectively, in the history of the United States. The media has been successful in reiterating the issue of race and gender, as societal concerns have been magnified in newspaper articles and news reports published all over the country.
We all know the long struggles that the black and the female populations have been experiencing since time in memorial. It all started with slavery on the part of the African American community, and the inequalities regarding the status of the female population.
Ever since, these two primary groups of society have been fighting back, claiming an equal place in society, lobbying for societal considerations regarding the acknowledgement of human rights and equality in all aspects. Looking back, culture has been the root of all these inequalities and injustices brought upon “minority” groups such as the black and female population, and even homosexuals, indigenous tribes, etc. Ethnocentrism and patriarchy are the prevailing beliefs that ushers inequality and injustice.
The growing changes in society are changing the trend in society’s view of race and gender. With education, members of the black population now hold important roles in society such as in politics and business, and so as women. Women have taken part in the corporate world, and have contributed a great deal in all fields of societal concerns with them being members of the senate or cause-oriented organizations. Although, racism and gender inequality is still present in society, the prevalence of multiculturalism and the acknowledgement of females is slowly changing society’s take on these issues.
Obama and Clinton are strengthening the views on race and gender issues, simply because they are able to reach the point of holding an important place where people depend their future on. The people, especially democrats, look to the two party candidates, and weigh their importance in battling the Republican-Democratic race to the presidential seat. Suddenly, their views become important. Suddenly, their concerns are being heard. Suddenly, all the issues about being black or female are interest over society.
There are two sides of the story, however. As race and gender consciousness elevates with the presence of Obama and Clinton in the media, people who hold traditional views are also voicing out their opinions about the issue. Perhaps, the world will not run out of people who believe in ethnocentrism and patriarchy, and the world will not run out of people who believe in race and gender equality.
Since the side of ethnocentrism and patriarchy has been ringing all over the world for centuries, it has become too old for people to pay attention to their side. Although Obama and Clinton are competing for the Democratic primary, still, they remain to be icons of justice and equality. Looking at them battle it out for the one of the most important positions in the world is empowering people, especially those who belong to the minority groups.
Black people believe in themselves by looking at Obama. Obama has become an image of change and inspiration for them to step up and have a say about the issues in society. Other people see failure if Obama wins the Democrat primary, saying America is not yet ready for a black president. At the same time, the black community wields all the support and inspiration they can get in order to show the world the change it is waiting for. The female population is on the same side, looking at Hillary Clinton vie for the presidential elections. Looking at how Hillary Clinton have become even with her success as first lady, and eventually a senator.
On the extreme side of things, the presence of Obama and Clinton eliminates all issues behind race and gender. Their involvement with politics, especially with the presidential race, is not a matter of whether they are black or white, male or female. It is a matter of what they can do if they become the president of the United States. Through this, the person in Obama and Clinton, or McCain for that matter becomes more important than culture, gender, or any other superficial issues that society used to look upon. This is what society has realized.
Mukhopadhyay, Samhita. “The Black, the Female, and the Invisible.” Passing
Through. 07 Mar. 2008. . Retrieved from The Nation. 06 May 2008 <http://www.thenation.com/blogs/passingthrough/295586>.
Warner, Judith. “For Clinton and Obama, the Burden of Identity.” Domestic Disturbances. 17
Jan. 2008. Retrieved from The New York Times Company. 06 May 2008 <http://warner.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/17/for-clinton-and-obama-the-burden-of-identity/>.