Daily Editorial: Hung up on differences | VailDaily.com

Daily Editorial: Hung up on differences

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

The diversity of the Democratic presidential candidates has been widely celebrated, and it is indeed a historic moment of which Americans should be proud.

A little less inspiring is the media’s continued obsession with race and gender. While it is of course relevant, even critical, to find out what women, blacks and Hispanics think about issues and candidates, the media seems to want to force these groups to vote only for “their” candidates.

The media’s message is: Blacks should vote obediently for Obama, Hispanics should adore Bill Richardson unconditionally, women should be fanatical about Hillary. The media is aghast when, for example, a black civil rights leader endorses Hillary over Obama.

But it’s not that clear cut. Barack Obama’s mother is white and he grew up far from the both the South and the inner city, the hotbeds of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. Hillary’s white but her husband, Bill is, by all accounts, revered by African Americans.

It also was revealed that Obama is a distant relative of both Dick Cheney (an eighth cousin) and George W. Bush (an 11th cousin). That fact should tear off all the superficial labels.

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So, despite the diversity, the candidates can’t be labeled or typecast by the media, and voters shouldn’t be pigeonholed either. While maturity cannot perhaps be expected from the media ” which expects people not to think outside their own race or gender ” Americans should be happy when a woman, for example, “crosses the divide” and endorses someone other than Hillary.

Because what should unite voters beyond gender and race is that we are all Americans and we all have a stake in our neighbors not choosing someone blindly, basing their choice only on background or culture. Hopefully, enough Americans will be wise enough not to vote for the candidate the media has assigned to them.

” Matt Zalaznick for the Editorial Board

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