Male vs female, white vs black

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.

MFBW GridTake 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.

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38 thoughts on “Male vs female, white vs black

  1. I may be a minority, but I pay less attention to race than I do gender.

    While re-reading these posts, I think I have come up with the “answer” to my own statement above.

    I was brought up very southern baptist, in a very racially and gender biased home. My home was one where dad did the working and bill paying, mom folded clothes and ironed dad’s shirts for work. Those “roles” are firmly ensconced in my head. Dad was a racist. (I love my dad and wouldn’t trade him for the world… but he’s a racist.)

    During those years, I saw black americans working. The fortunate thing is, I didn’t assign a “class” to them. The were “colored” and they worked. It didn’t dawn on me that digging a ditch was any different than working on Wall Street.

    Many of you will jump in an say that is exactly the point. No. It is exactly MY point which is a bit different.

    I saw black men employed. I saw white men employed. I so no difference in their employment. They were simply employed. I saw black women at home all day with babies. I saw my mom (white) home everyday with babies (me and my sister).

    So while I still see a “difference” between races, I see more of a difference between genders.

    Vivian, I disagree with your chart now. I see three options. White male, black male and female.

    I am still not comfortable with a female stepping outside her role as defined in my mind.

    Its an odd split, and I don’t know that I can fully explain it. I will say this. If White Man “A Lister” is running against Black Man “A” lister, I would have a hard time if all things were equal, race not withstanding. I believe I have matured to that point anyway. Still working on the gender issue.

    And I am not saying this on your blog because it’s your blog. I am saying this because it’s true on my end. Vivian, you do change my equations.

  2. Interesting, Scott. Thanks for coming over and sharing it. I think you have hit upon something that we ofttimes fail to acknowledge: how much our upbring affects our perception of things, even much later in life.

    And it gets to something that I see as critical: role models.

  3. you have to remember. the president is the executive of the united states military industrial complex. we aren’t looking for the head of the USA social services. Ralph Nader or Gloria Steinem would have been elected long ago. The President is a business agent and entrusted with the secrets of the whole war machine. I know it LOOKS like we are trying to vote for the most caring, kind hearted and efficient, but that’s not how it works.

  4. Should it also be pointed out that the first black secretary of state was a black man who had spent decades paying bona fides to the white male leadership.. the ONLY black male that a large number of white Americans indicated they would even consider voting for as President of the U.S. Yet once he took strong opposition to the view of white men holding power in the Bush administration he was as good as MUD. He was thus replaced by a black woman who had a strong personal tie to the President and who has managed to survive opposing those other white male leaders in the administration because whereas Powell opposed the white men BEFORE they acted in a manner meant to increase their power through military means, Rice’s opposition occurs when it is clear that these actions are in a mess.

    Anyway… the President is the CHIEF EXECUTIVE.. there is no way that Americans will easily put a black man in that post no matter WHAT they said about Colin Powell back in 1992 or 1996 and no matter what they say about Obama now. White women ARE number 2 because even the most sexist white man can be the father of a white daughter and handing power to her merely means deciding that BOTH his daughter AND his son can inherit his power and wealth and not just his son. Whereas handing power to the stranger’s son down the street is out of the question… when faced with the possibility that the blood of whites and blacks may be mixed enough to suggest interrelation… i.e. the black man as illegitimate son .. you get OBAMA.. whose father is unquestionably a NON African-American.. No descendant of slaves shall hold THIS office because the symbolism of that is too loaded and not something we’ll see in this generation.

    Black women can be trusted by the white power structure because the same thing that makes them “lowly” as women also makes them trustworthy. Like Oprah… like Condi… like Della Reese on Touched By An Angel.. the black woman doesn’t compete with 1,2, or 3 on any level a white man defines. And for those of us who don’t make the distinction between white male and white female interests because ultimately the money “stays in the family.. even when that family gets a divorce” non competition IS the coin of the realm and so while black men are theoretical no. 2’s and they got the vote.. those facts led to a war of terror and murder against them for 100 years in this country and a propoganda war for the last 40 that continues on MTV to this day.

  5. White women are #2. You’d be deluding yourself if you think otherwise. A white women has far better chances to be elected in a statewide or nationwide election than a minority. White women basically double up minorities in elected office. Black folks only reach congress only thanks to gerrymandering based on racial redistricting. White women don’t need that. After all, they are the mothers, sisters and daughters of white men. I could even argue that a Latina has a better chance of being elected than a black man.
    Even white feminists are closer to white men than they are to minority women. The whole feminist or sisterhood movement has always been a sham because of its racial exclusivity.
    Why do you think black women were cheering after the OJ Simpson verdict in 1995? Why didn’t they relate to Nicole as a victim of domestic abuse? Why did they choose to support the black man instead?

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