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General discussion


by Kees Bakker / February 1, 2009 3:16 AM PST

With Obama as President and Michael Steele as Chairman of the RNC I'd say that in the USA racism in politics is nearly beaten. There will be few people left saying that race determines if you're suited for a function like that.

With Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin as serious (vice-)presidential candidates and Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House of Representatives sexism (only a male is suited for such a function) is practically gone also. It won't be too long before the USA has a female president, I think. Any guesses?

Now for the more difficult isms.
- Sexual preferences: The new president of Iceland Johnanna Sigurdardottir (see http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/02/01/iceland.pm/index.html) is not only female, but openly lesbian. How long for the USA to have a gay or lesbian President? Why would such a person be less suited?
- Language. How long for the USA to have Hispanic President (having Spanish as his/her mother tongue)? Why would such a person be less suited?
- Religion. How long for the USA to have a Muslim or Hindu President. My guess is: very long.


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(NT) Have you established any need for such?
by James Denison / February 1, 2009 4:06 AM PST
In reply to: -isms.
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(NT) Need for what?
by Kees Bakker / February 1, 2009 6:14 AM PST
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by James Denison / February 2, 2009 12:39 PM PST
In reply to: Need for what?

Unless there's some perceived need for a person who meets the descriptions based on gender, race, and possibly perversion, then why make a big deal out of it, or ask such a question? Do you believe the best person for the job is the right course to take? If so, then why look for someone who fits a particular discrimination you are interested in?

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difficult isms.
by jonah jones / February 1, 2009 4:15 AM PST
In reply to: -isms.

A: they wouldn't
B: they wouldn't
C: not in my lifetime


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Yep, interesting.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 1, 2009 4:33 AM PST
In reply to: -isms.

I tend to go with Jonah. I don't see any of those happening soon in America, except, maybe, a female President in a few years.

The US has made a huge step this time. They may need to settle this in for a while, and catch their breath.

When the UK chose it's first woman Prime Minister in 1979 it caused quite a political stir for a while. But since her, we have not seen any likely female successor.

Unlike America, the UK doesn't seem to have any prominent black political figure who could challenge for the leadership of one of the main political parties. More the shame in my view. But hopefully that may change in the next few years.

I can see a Hindu, or other Indian religion UK citizen moving up in the political circles in the near future, but not any Muslims at the moment.

I wonder what the situation is in other European countries?


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Seems very simplistic....
by EdH / February 1, 2009 7:02 AM PST
In reply to: -isms.

How does electing Obama indicate racism is dead? Is that why we elect a President? Better to pick the most qualified person, and I doubt that is what happened.

Lots of folks voted for him only because he is black. That is racist in itself. A white candidate with the same paper thin resume would have been laughed out of the running.

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Reverse racism ...
by Kees Bakker / February 1, 2009 7:19 AM PST

is an interesting subject also. The usual term here is "positive discrimination". Like in "employ a woman if she's equally capable as a man that applies to a job". But that, of course, doesn't reflect the democratic process where each voter takes his own decision.

Do you have any actual data, by the way, on the number of people that didn't vote for Obama for (mostly) his color and the number of people who did for (mostly) the same reason? I don't remember having read about it in the poll results.

Let me assume, however, that we agree on the fact that race and gender aren't relevant factors for considering somebody unsuitable for president.
Constitutionally speaking, being an immigrant is a relevant factor (and that made some sense when the USA was being built as an immigration country), but as far as I know none of the 5 points I mentioned is.

My question was if sexual preferences, mother language and religion (or absence of it, being atheist) are considered relevant in another way than constitutionally.

Sorry if I didn't make that clear in the original post.


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Vote by race
by Steven Haninger / February 1, 2009 7:34 AM PST
In reply to: Reverse racism ...

You can look these up yourself if you wish but it was reported that Barack Obama took about 53% of the total vote... 95% of the black vote but only 43% of the white vote. Some would say that, since only 43% of whites voted for the candidate who was ultimately elected, this clearly indicates racism on their part.

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by EdHannigan / February 1, 2009 10:31 AM PST
In reply to: Reverse racism ...
Do you have any actual data, by the way, on the number of people that didn't vote for Obama for (mostly) his color and the number of people who did for (mostly) the same reason? I don't remember having read about it in the poll results.

It's obvious. Did you pay any attention at all during the campaign? Anyway, who would admit it?

Funny how people claimed that people were against Obama because he is black, but never acknowledge that that is the reason they voted for him.

Do you really think there was another reason?

It's NOT "reverse racism"; it's racism.
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RE; it's obvious
by JP Bill / February 1, 2009 12:51 PM PST
In reply to: Please..

who would admit it?

They don't have to admit it...someone (some white guy?) will tell them.

How many will admit they didn't vote for him, because of his colour?

Is this also "obvious"

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Lincoln had a similar paper thin resume
by Diana Forum moderator / February 1, 2009 9:44 AM PST

Racism and sexism is not dead. In polls about the same percentage of voters voted for or against him because he was black, so it was a kind of wash. I don't know know the polls for male or female candidates. I do know a lot of press was given to the Oprah bumb.


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Not really...
by EdHannigan / February 1, 2009 10:39 AM PST

His resume was a lot more substantial than Obama's.

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Yes, and look what resulted.
by James Denison / February 2, 2009 11:41 AM PST

a bloody civil war!

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by drpruner / February 1, 2009 7:07 AM PST
In reply to: -isms.

"She has been a member of Iceland's Parliament for 30 years"
US Presidents used to come up from state legislatures and Congress; it's said that is missed these days.

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Nearly beaten...
by J. Vega / February 1, 2009 10:37 AM PST
In reply to: -isms.

Something coming up next year may eventually give input on it being nearly beaten. It's the U.S. Census. The results usually result in changes in Congressional representation.
The 2000 census revealed dramatic growth in Hispanic and Asian populations in many places. This was also true in Chicago, and after that census in the Illinois General Assembly Obama said "while everyone agrees that the Hispanic population has grown, they cannot expand by taking African-American seats.".
O.K., its census time again and press reports I have seen predict that there will again be a dramatic growth in Hispanic population. I think those reports are right. What we must wait to see if that is the case is will Obama retract his statement about Hispanics after the last census and what happens with Hispanic representation in the Congress. We can only wait and see what happens. After that, then we can consider the question of racism being nearly beaten.

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Just maybe
by Roger NC / February 1, 2009 12:09 PM PST
In reply to: -isms.

they shouldn't matter? However they will. One reason that many will call just racism, or sexism, or prudism, etc, is that to some degree an electorate is going to choose someone they believe can understand their feelings.

Many if not most people are going to feel someone they can't understand can't understand them. So as long as they don't feel they can trust certain groups to understand or care for them, they're not going to trust those groups.

Wrong? sometimes maybe yes, but it's a basic attribute of human nature, indeed of animal nature not to trust that we don't understand. Indeed it's basic nature not to trust those that are difference. To do so requires overriding instinct by intellect alone.

One particular point in the having Spanish as a mother tongue. To me, that probably means they weren't raised in the USA and probably weren't born here. Are you saying the requirement for a leader to be a "native born" citizen is wrong? That can already covers anyone born of American parent with little or no regard to where he/she grew up.

Besides, I'm not sure that it's a requirement to elect a person of a group to respect that group. If so, how small a group must we choose a representative of and put them in office? That's a bit like requiring a second language, then a third, then a fourth to be accommodated in schools, civil offices, everywhere, until there is a section in ever class and office for ever minority in the US. I don't think that is practical, even if there is no "official language" here.

And seriously, how does anyone have the final say so on what 'isms the majority must recognize as a valid separate group that must be accommodated officially in some capacity? And why?

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There's always somebody
by Angeline Booher / February 2, 2009 3:53 AM PST
In reply to: -isms.

....... "lowest on the totem pole".

Because of the diversity in the population of the USA, the fact that it is a nation of immigrants save for native Americans, we have had no monarchy, and compared to European countries is only a babe, perhaps our differences might make the news more than our successes.

I suspect that the celebrated words from Lady Liberty ("Give me your tired..... yearning too be free") puts a spotlight on what we do and say, as well.

It's only been since the 60's that Civil Rights were finally addressed nationally, and housewives began working outside of the home in earnest because of WWII. For both groups there were individuals who blazed the trails and set the examples for those to follow.

Are there "isms" in America? Of course. As much as we love our Constitution and Bill of Rights, we are human with human foibles. Some of us have to work on it harder than others. In the tenement sections of large cities each group that works their way out of them might look down on the group that followed them. Happily, there are those who work to create understanding.

I suspect that your country also has it's "isms". European countries fought each other for centuries. But like in the USA, democracy is relatively new in the scheme of things, and there are new issues re: the European Union.

I conclude that people are people, have the same wants and goals, and their chances can depend on the local and national leadership.

Speakeasy Moderator

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Why are you deliberately posting an item
by Kiddpeat / February 2, 2009 8:39 AM PST
In reply to: -isms.

which is calculated to create controversy? Is that what a Mod is supposed to do?

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If someone else had posted it....
by James Denison / February 2, 2009 11:46 AM PST

....I suspect it would have been pulled.

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by oldie and goody / February 2, 2009 12:07 PM PST

And did you notice he got all of the banned topics into one post?? Religion and politics! Of course this will be deleted too, just like my last post was.

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the only time i saw controversy, was in your post
by jonah jones / February 2, 2009 7:43 PM PST

ever heard of civilised conversation?


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See no evil, ........
by Kiddpeat / February 2, 2009 10:17 PM PST

You don't see any problem with a sexual deviant who has a first man (if the President is a man) or a first woman (if the President is a woman)as the President of the United States? When Israel does that, I will know that it is a serious topic.

As a matter of fact, what are the odds that this post will survive? Cnet must again be hard up for message traffic.

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RE: Cnet must again be hard up for message traffic.
by JP Bill / February 2, 2009 10:26 PM PST
In reply to: See no evil, ........

Thank you for YOUR support? Devil

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Let's see the Dutch put a hooker into their "Presidential"
by Kiddpeat / February 3, 2009 12:25 AM PST

office, and then we can comment on who will win the US Presidency.

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see no words.....
by jonah jones / February 3, 2009 1:31 AM PST
In reply to: See no evil, ........

do not mis-quote (by implication)

#You don't see any problem...........#

nobody asked if i (or anybody else) had a problem.

the questions asked were:

How long for the USA to have a gay or lesbian President?
How long for the USA to have Hispanic President?
How long for the USA to have a Muslim or Hindu President?

i answered:

A: they (as in 'you' i.e. Americans') wouldn't
B: they wouldn't
C: not in my lifetime try to imagine "they wouldn't" sevenfold


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Speak for yourself, Kees.
by Paul C / February 2, 2009 8:02 PM PST
In reply to: -isms.

I'd happily vote for a man, a woman, a gay, a lesbian, a straight, a practitioner of any faith - or no faith at all - as long as that candidate shared enough of my political beliefs that I was assured that he/she would not make a hash of things and was a person of sufficient character and integrity that I believed that I was not just being taken for a ride.

For me, it's a candidate's character and what the candidate believes in the arena of public policy that matters. Alas, I find myself increasingly disenfranchised these days, as the American political system continues to churn out ethically and morally challenged candidates who haven't a clue as to what the Founders intended for this nation to be...

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by caktus / February 2, 2009 11:24 PM PST
In reply to: -isms.

It all sounds like a lot of bs'ism's.

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