Sharing Sisterhood Across the Globe

Sister to Sister is a place to renew for women of all cultures, faiths and races. Coretta Scott King said, "Women, if the soul of the Nation is to be saved, I believe we must become its soul." I would like to add "Earth" instead of "Nation." We need to widen the borders and challenge the world to become a better place. Join the conversation.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Back to "OUR" Future

It has been more than two years since I posted to the Sister II Sister blog. I offer apologies to all of you as I use this moment to bring us back to our future. This is the year for firsts. First time both a black man and a white woman have come this far in the race for president. That in and of itself is momentous. This race has placed many on opposing sides, but it has made for interesting conversations. Recently I had a woman I've known for a few years come to me. So, are you politically involved during this presidential campaign?" I wasn't sure about the reason for the question and I did question her motive, in part because the question was loaded.

I vote. Was she asking if I vote? Yes, that's what she was asking. But then, why did I feel she was baiting me into a discussion about the Democratic presidential race, more specifically the Hillary/Obama race. Why didn't she just ask, "So, what do you think about the presidential race?" or even "Who did you support?" Yet even feeling baited, I remained calm and answered her question with a question. "Do you mean am I supporting Obama?" Her response was quick and forceful. "Oh, I had no doubt that you'd be an Obama supporter." Hmmmm. This is interesting. So, another question. "So, why would you assume I'm an Obama supporter and if you assumed that, why the question about being politically involved? What is you really want to know?"

I think that in the grand scheme of things, we should just start the conversation from the beginning. Her question wasn't about me being politically involved or even about Obama because her next statements clearly marked her intention.

"I'm a Hillary supporter and I'm so mad." She went on to explain that Obama should have stepped aside and let Hillary run first. "He could have run in 2012," she stated. Then she wondered out loud if Obama was now losing steam since winning the nomination and just where are those crowds that followed him around? But, she wasn't through. She was upset. She needed to let me know that she was upset and whatever else she wanted, I simply had to remind her, "But, Obama IS the presidential candidate now. What are you going to do about it?" I never got an answer.

I have had many friends who supported Clinton and many who supported Obama. The divide had little to do with race (the percentage factor of my friends are mixed). Equal number of black women supported Hillary (percentage-wise) as supported Obama. More of my Latino sisters, however, voted for Hillary (about 3 to 1). Younger Latinos seemed to support Obama if the political events in Houston were any indication, but then the crowds seemed to be a mix of the very young and the much older members of my Houston community supporting Obama. However, I was surprised that more of my white female friends supported Obama than Hillary (again percentage-wise) and that they were surprised that I was surprised that they did. The divide did have a lot to do with age. The very young (18 to 35) supported Obama from all races, while those whites closer to my age (45 to 55) voted for Hillary. But, again I was surprised that many of my friends over 55, all races voted for Obama. Religion seemed to have sway, too. Many of my Catholic friends voted for Hillary. My other Christian friends were mostly supporters of Obama, while my Lutheran (I'm Lutheran) friends in Texas supported Hillary. However, my Lutheran friends on the East and West Coasts supported Obama. My Muslim friends seemed to support Obama, but don't tell anyone and no, it wasn't because his name is Obama. Other religions created a schism that couldn't been defined by race or religion. Hillary spoke to the hope of women from all races, religions and ages that we might have a female president, but Obama spoke of the hope of change that transcended race, religion, age and sex--those of us wanting something new. I noticed that my Jewish friends who supported Obama were mostly in my field (media folks), but just as many voted for Hillary. Jewish friends outside my field mostly supported Hillary and I was told that it wasn't because they didn't like Obama, but that Hillary represented experience.

But all of us are looking to our future and moreover, we have an idea that the future we want has some similarities and some vast differences as well. The economy among my friends is high (gas prices notwithstanding), and while the majority of my friends were against the war in Iraq and are equally against a war with Iran, the war WILL be an issue in this presidential election. Most of my friends rate the environment high on their agenda in choosing a president and health care is definitely going to be high on the list as well, especially mine. The cost of education (since I'm in school and paying exorbitant fees) will be a focus of mine as well.

So, this is my unofficial look at the race. How do you see it? How do you think the members of your community see this election? If you could have 5 minutes with both Obama and McCain, what would you ask them? Let's start the discussion and get back to our future--a future that belongs to all us.

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