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Friday, January 25, 2008

Should I Vote With My Vagina or Melanin Content?

Just about everyday there's some news report or poll interested in the voting habits of Black women. The attention we're getting is attributed to our alleged race vs. gender paradox regarding voting as a woman or voting as a Black person. This alleged conflict has been covered in The New York Times and CNN.

I can always appreciate the attention we receive from the media. Too often does the media paint us pathetically as a group. If you don't believe me,
NBC Nightly News ran a series a while back that substantiates my claim.

What bothers me about the attention Black women are receiving is that, per usual, the media depicts us as group thinkers. The only difference this time around is that we're not one-dimensional --- we are now Black and woman. We are two separate entities in the same body who are supposedly confused as to whether we should vote for the woman or the Black dude. We couldn't possibly be a complex group who determines the best candidate by his/her credentials, scruples, ideas, and voting record. We are a shallow group with equally shallow choices to make with regards to politics.

I have yet to meet one Black woman that is conflicted on choosing between Obama and Hillary on the grounds that they're sellouts no matter who they choose. Absolute nonsense. I know there are some people out there that want Black women to choose a candidate based on her race or gender but this situation is not as alarming as the media suggests.

Here are my suggestions for the media, HIllary supporters, and Obama supporters:
- Black women are adults who can decide what's best for them so stop telling us what to do. We can really do without the guilt trips levelled against us by your self-serving agenda.

- Message to the media: Quit blowing things out of proportion. You can't do your research at one hair salon and conclude that Black women are conflicted off of the strength of a few conflicted women. It just isn't a fair assessment to make and it looks like sloppy journalism. Give us the same respect that you give our racial counterparts. They're never depicted as anything other than diverse so why not afford us the same favor?

- NEWS FLASH: Black women go to work, houses of worship, college, the supermarket, and the mall. We are also members of organizations and can be found on the street heading somewhere. We don't only exchange ideas when we're at Ree Ree's Cut It Up getting our hair did y'know.

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