24 January 2007

Racism and sexism rule OK

I'm glad I'm not the only one to have noticed that in all the media hoopla about potential US presidential candidates Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton, practically nothing has said about their policies. It's all about race and sex. The Gaelic Starover and Priestly Goth Blog: Barack Obama have also noticed this phenomenon, so I'm not alone.

It seems that the media are playing the race and sex cards for all they are worth. There was a thing on SAFM radio yesterday: Will the American voters accept someone of Barak Obama's race or Hillary Clinton's sex? What do black American voters think of Barak Obama (he's a real African-American, with an African father and an American mother)?

This shows how racist and sexist the media still are. In a really nonracist and nonsexist society, the focus would be on their policies.

If whichever one wins withdraws all American soldiers from Iraq by the end of January 2009, then we'll know that they will have at least cleaned up George Bush's mess. The smell will linger long afterwards, of course, but they will have done what they could and can spend the rest of their presidency, one hopes, getting on with more positive things. But race and sex are far more glamourous than cleaning cat crap off the carpet.

But not a word about ending the warmongering that has made America the polecat of the world. It's all race and sex. Not only do the media expect us all to be racist and sexist, the encourage us to be racist and sexist, and to evaluate politicians on the basis of their race and sex, and not on their policies.


Jonathan said...

Addressing actual issues would involve addressing questions of value, rationality, etc etc, none of which have the titillatory appeal of the issues of sex and race- appeal only heightened by our society's official stance on sexism and racism.

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Steve Hayes said...

It's the preoccupation with image rather than substance.

Sally said...

You hit the nail on the head there Steve, our preoccupation with image is making us ever shallower - grappling with issuses requires engagement beyond the superficial level and facing up to stuff we don't like.... this is a sad refelction on our so called culture!

Anoter reflection- in the UK a reality TV show Big Brother gained milliones of viewers over allegations of racism within the "House"- people wanted to watch the abuse....crazy indeed.

Steve Hayes said...


In the late 1980s, the last years of apartheid, the "opppsition" media were forever critisising the government on the basis of whether what they did would be good or bad for South Africa's "image". They didn't care about whether we did good, as long as we looked good.

Actually the worst was a lot of media hype over a BP programme which they claimed would end apartheid, by making donations to various educational projects etc.

I wrote to them and suggested that they were in a position to make a significant contriution towards ending apartheid. At all their petrol stations they could give away free bumper stickers saying things "One man one vote now" and "Ballots not bullets" and things like that. By making it possible for people to speak the unspeakable, they coudl chamnge the climate of public opinion.

Of course they were not prepared to go that far, and in reply sent me a glossy brochure showing that they were not at all interested in ending aparthneid -- they were just polishing their public image.

Anonymous said...

Well being that women are sex objects makes Hillary a sex object. She is a woman not a leader.. Obama is a man and a leader and he has great ideas nobody cares that he is black and the other guys are afraid of him because he is young and has no dirt like hillary. i keep forgetting that Obama is black until i read stuff like this mostly because it doesnt matter to young people and the young people are getting older and are going to start taking things over from now on.


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