As we watched coverage of the Kennedys endorsing Obama, a colleague, black and female, turned to me and shook her head. "If my grandfather was alive to see a black man this close to becoming president ..."
This FEMALE voter didn't seem too bummed that a WOMAN might well be denied the presidency by a BLACK MAN. She shouldn't have to choose sides, but if anyone can weigh the obstacles faced by African-Americans and women, it's a black female. Her reaction to Obama -- and indifference to Hillary -- spoke volumes.
I'm guessing most blacks, regardless of gender, are similarly unmoved by the plight of a privileged white woman.
But if you listen to the privileged Caucasian president of one of the better-known indignation councils, no one has more to overcome than women, regardless of their background.
NOW accused Ted Kennedy of "abandoning" an entire gender by supporting "the new guy over us." No mention of the bigotry faced by blacks. (No mention of following your conscience, either, but that's another story.)
It brings to mind the regrettable sentiments of suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, reflecting the patronizing attitudes of her time:
The representative women of the nation have done their uttermost for the last thirty years to secure freedom for the negro, and so long as he was lowest in the scale of being we were allowed to press his claims; but now, as the celestial gate to civil rights is slowly moving on its hinges, it becomes a serious question whether we had better stand aside and see “Sambo” walk into the kingdom first.
I'm not going to call NOW racist, but they're certainly not much for inclusiveness, let alone history.
I belong to a minority group, but comparing the gay struggle to that faced by the civil rights generation is at best irresponsible. Plenty of people hate me because I like dick, but I've managed to navigate the system without much resistance.
I'm lucky. That fight has been waged, at least the bare knuckles part. Women of my generation are likewise fortunate. The glass ceiling may not be broken, but it's riddled with cracks. Groups like NOW don't like to acknowledge that progress because it mitigates their very existence (even though they could rightly claim a bit of credit).
Obama intrigues because he doesn't view the presidency as an entitlement. America has been burdened by its past for too long, and Obama may well be the candidate who moves us forward, not by ignoring -- or patronizing -- the truly victimized, but by empowering them. His ascension alone brings hope.
It sure as hell beats the droning pessimism of the professionally aggrieved, led by you-know-who.