Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Into History’s Dustbin?

Kathleen Parker [picture] hides her age, but she’s apparently roughly as old as Obama (46). Her age is important, because in her latest column, she says the real gap between Obama and Clinton is age, not race or gender. As Parker writes, “politicians who seek ascendancy with arguments of a boomer past will merely highlight that his or her time belongs to history.”

Parker’s target is Clinton supporter Gloria Steinem, and indirectly, Clinton herself. According to Parker, Steinem (73) in a recent speech on behalf of Clinton “tried to make the case that Hillary's faltering campaign was owing to America's greater guilt over racism than sexism. Voters feel worse about slavery and Jim Crow than they do about ‘gynocide’." Parker quotes Steinem saying, "A majority of Americans want redemption for racism, for our terrible destructive racist past and so see a vote for Obama as redemptive." Parker similarly assigns Shelby Steele to history’s “dustbin” for writing a book that indicates Obamamania is largely a white phenomenon “for the reasons Steinem mentioned.”

Unfortunately, I belong in the generational dustbin along with Steinem and Steele. I recently wrote, “Americans feel good when they think of a black man running the country. It fulfills our dreams of a post-racial America, a multi-racial nation leading the world toward its better nature. . . [I]t’s nice to have a woman in the top spot. But we never fought a civil war to separate women from their chains, and white women got the vote in 1920, not 1965.”

Making Parker’s point that my views are “history,” my daughter took exception to what I wrote, saying America’s support for Obama has little to do with race. Parker found that one-third of voters under 30 are Hispanic, black, or gay/lesbian/bisexual, and that they and the younger other two-thirds “show almost identical attitudes toward Hispanics, blacks and whites.”

Of course “boomer” whites and Hispanics, obviously not voting to make anybody’s point, defeated Obama in Ohio and Texas last night.

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