CNN.com has an article by reporter Randi Kaye about the difficult choices facing African American female voters in South Carolina. The premise is who will black women vote for? Will they vote their race or their gender. Read the Article Here.
I think that is a degrading oversimplification about a group of people. While I highly doubt Randi Kaye is a sexist (Randi is a women) or a racist (she has had wonderful coverage of Katrina and other potential race issues). The article smacks of racism and sexism. I expected to read the name of some 65 year old white man on the by line.
Black women are both black and female. It is not trading on either to vote for the candidate of one’s choice. The article does not acknowledge until 3/4 of the way through, and only then with one sentence, that black women are capable of voting on the issues.
The tone of the article just didn’t sit right with me. It takes a serious topic (and a serious portion of the voters in South Carolina) and trivializes it into black and female stereotypes.
At Anjay’s Salon in Charleston, the only thing louder than the hair dryer is the chorus of political opinions.
Salons are a target for the campaigns — across the state they have turned into caucuses of sorts. They’re where women gather and gossip.
Why is it when women are gathered talking about politics a reporter has the nerve to call it gossip.
For these women, a unique, and most unexpected dilemma, presents itself: Should they vote their race, or should they vote their gender? No other voting bloc in the country faces this choice.
Race and gender are not the two separate halves that compose black women. I think if a black women is torn between the two candidates over race or gender, it is about race and gender issues. There is a difference between voting for Clinton, as a woman, because you believe she will more vehemently right for reproductive rights, and voting for her because she is a woman and you think it is neat to have female president.
It could just be me reading too much into the article. But I think a few revisions, better selection of quotes, and a little more caution in using stereotypes and this could have been an actual piece of journalism.