Tuesday, October 14, 2008

NOT a political post, really

This is from the comments section of a post made on one of my favorite blogs: www.peacebang.com. The commenter's username is janeybird and I have no idea if this is original with her or not. Also, this is not intended to be nor should it be read as political commentary. Instead, I'm interested in how it surfaces some implicit assumptions we have about race and class. Here it is:

Ponder the following:
What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?
What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?
What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident?

What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five?
What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?
What if Obama couldn’t read from a teleprompter?
What if Obama was the one who had military experience? What if that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?
What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on occasion, a serious anger management problem?
What if Michelle Obama’s family had made their money from beer distribution?
What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?


Again, take off your political hat and put on your sociological one (you do have a sociological hat, don't you? Sheesh . . . ) and it's an interesting and thought-provoking exercise.

3 comments:

Electric Monk said...

I think that first question is the most telling. That really makes one ponder...

pcmfo said...

HMMMMMM...stirs up some interesting thoughts and feelings

Anonymous said...

I think these questions would be more thought provoking if the lead in the polls were reversed. For quite some time, Obama has held a lead over McCain and that lead is now in the double digits. So it's obvious that the positives that Obama/Biden have (Harvard Law Review president/eloquent speaker, etc) and the negatives that McCain/Palin have (member of the Keating Five, pregnant unwed teenager, etc) are in fact impacting their place in the rankings. If the roles were reversed and it was Obama/Biden who had those same negatives, I would expect them to be behind in the polls as well.