Watching the Sunday morning political shows is always entertaining, if not informative. Sometimes, the talking heads are so full of themselves that I just laugh. Of course, the hottest national political topic these days seems to be Barack Obama. This post isn’t about him, but expect one (or more) from me on him soon.
Clarence Page, the Chicago Tribune columnist (no, we are not related – notice the missing i ), brought up the issue of race versus gender in discussing Obama and Hillary Clinton. Page argued that we will have a white female president before we have a black male president. He bolstered his claim based on the fact that we currently have just one black US senator while there are fourteen white women.
Take a look at this chart, which I devised a number of years ago. I think it’s safe to say that in the pecking order of things, white males are at the top and black females are at the bottom. Male is preferred over female and white over black. The only question is which is next preferable, gender or race? In order to buy Page’s argument, you must believe that race (white) trumps gender (male). That makes white women #2 and black males #3. But is that accurate?
Who got the right to vote first, black males or white women? Why, that would be black males. (Of course, with Jim Crow laws, they weren’t allowed to vote.)
Who served on the Supreme Court first, black males or white women? Thurgood Marshal, in 1967. Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female, joined the court in 1981.
The first black man was elected to the Senate in 1870. The first white woman to serve in the Senate was appointed in 1922, but she only served one day. The first white woman elected to the Senate was also appointed but won the seat in an election in 1932.
So the argument can be made that black men are #2 while white women are #3. Gender (male) trumps race (white).
Have the gains made by white women, the largest beneficiaries of Affirmative Action, skewed the numbers so that it appears that they have moved up to #2?
I don’t know. I’m a 4. There are none of us in the Senate or on the Supreme Court.