Folks who have read me over the years know that I am somewhat turned off by Identity Politics — all that "MY race," "MY gender" stuff. That’s one reason why I like a guy like Barack Obama, whose appeal transcends skin color. I am even more pleased that his supporters get it, chanting "Race Doesn’t Matter" in the moment of his South Carolina triumph.
Morrison writes of her admiration for Hillary Clinton but says she "cared little for her gender as a source of my admiration".
"Nor do I care very much for your race[s]," Morrison continues to
Obama, "I would not support you if that was all you had to offer or
because it might make me ‘proud.’ "
Even better is this passage quoted by The Associated Press:
"In addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare
authenticity, you exhibit something
that has nothing to do with age,
experience, race or gender and something I don’t see in other
candidates," Morrison wrote. "That something is a creative imagination
which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom. It is too bad if we
associate it only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing
vision naivete. Or if we believe cunning is insight. Or if we settle
for finessing cures tailored for each ravaged tree in the forest while
ignoring the poisonous landscape that feeds and surrounds it.
is a gift; you can’t train for it, inherit it, learn it in a class, or
earn it in the workplace — that access can foster the acquisition of
knowledge, but not wisdom," Morrison wrote.
When I read that passage, "if we believe cunning is insight," it occurs to me that her respect for Hillary Clinton must have suffered a setback in recent days, which may have led to this endorsement.
Mind you, this is the writer who dubbed Bill Clinton the "first black president." For HER to embrace the idea of brushing race aside is particularly meaningful. Just as it was so powerful for a victory won with 80 percent of the black vote to be celebrated with "Race Doesn’t Matter."
Black folk are, generally speaking, more mindful that white folks of race — it’s a source of much of the tragic cognitive divide in our country. If Obama’s support had been mostly white, that chant would have meant less. As it was, it was a huge step forward for us all.