Affirmative action at the top ?

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America is playing a dangerous game these days : it seems to have forgotten that electing a president has nothing to do with trying to heal racial divide or repairing the wrongs of the past.

A presidential election is politics : it must not transform itself in a fight for equal rights for minorities.
A president must be a competent, skilled, able to deal with intricate, complex situation.
Americans should choose their next president judging from who is the best capable of leading the nation into the new challenges of the 21st century.

This has nothing to do with race ! This has nothing to do with promoting a member of a minority at the top, just because people feel guilty of their past !

Throughout the primary period, one has had the impression that a lot of members of the Democratic party were proud of Obama's candidacy, just because he represented the possibility for African Americans to reach the top, to climb the social ladder. It was as if Democrats had decided to implement the program of affirmative action within their own party.

And Obama has largely profited from that. He has built his entire candidacy on "change", and of course this word has referred to the change in mentalities, the change that is supposed to make Americans redeem themselves by electing a Black man to the presidency.
But will America be on the right track after doing that ?
Will America recover economically and internationally just because it elects an African American ?
What are the concrete solutions proposed by Mister Obama to solve the many problems that his country is currently facing ?
"Elect me. As I am Black, everything will be better."
Is that really serious ? Can Americans afford to take such a risk ?
McCain has just accused Obama of playing the race card. He is totally right. And this must stop. This has become unbearable. And people are starting to become fed up with it : today for the very first time the Gallup daily presidential poll shows that the two men are dead even.
It seems American voters are starting to realize how everything has been fake from the start. It's always easy in such a country with a history marked by centuries of slavery to be tempted to play the race card. It may have worked in a context a great disillusionment and weariness, after eight years of an unbelievably arrogant Bush administration.
But as the prospect of the election becomes nearer, people are starting to reflect : it would have been a great symbol to have a family of African Americans as First Family.
But what is the use of symbols to fight a deep economic crisis ?

In American history, women have always been the most neglected minority. African Americans were granted the right to vote by the 15th amendment to the Constitution as early as 1870, after the Civil War. Although women had fought with them to abolish slavery hoping that their rights would be considered too, they had to wait another 50 years to obtain the franchise.

Similarly, in the sixties, Black people were systematically favoured in vast affirmative action programs in all aspects of life, whereas women had to fight in the seventies asking for sexual equality. Nevertheless, they are not equal to men yet. There are still great disparities between men and women's wages in the world of work, and in the private sphere, their right to abortion or to get contraception is being questioned regularly, and it has become worse during the Bush administration.
Women's march for their rights, april 2004

During the primaries, a lot of people asserted it was absurd to vote for Hillary Clinton just because she is a woman. It does not bother anybody to know that no woman has ever been the official candidate of one of the two major parties. But everybody insists on the extraordinary opportunity to heal the racial divide thanks to Obama's candidacy.
Women have always been considered as second-class citizens. However, nobody should have voted for Hillary just because she is a woman.
So the question is : why should Americans choose Obama simply because he is an African-american ?


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