America might not be ready for historic presidential race

To start off, I’m not too big on politics. I really don’t know any of the ideas that either Democratic candidate is supporting. I do know the main candidates, but from there you lose me. But this upcoming election will set a precedent never before seen by any American. Either an African-American male or a white female will receive the Democratic nomination to run for the president of the United States.

Either way it goes, it will be a great moment in the history of America. Both women and African-Americans fought so hard for their rights in the ’60s and so on, so a moment of this caliber will mean that we have come a long way and that the fights of those civil-rights activists and feminists weren’t for nothing.

The question that I ask is this: Is America more ready for a woman president or an African-American president? In the months to come, there is no doubt in my mind that there will be Americans who vote for a different candidate based on race or gender. I know for a fact that someone will not vote for Barack Obama because of the color of his skin. Also I know for a fact that someone will not vote for Hilary Clinton solely because she is a female.

The bright side of this entire debacle is that one or the other will get picked for the Democratic nomination. The fact that one or the other will get the nomination is huge. Whether or not the nominee will get elected as president is a whole different story.

There is no doubt in my mind that racism is still going on in today’s world. And along with that, I know women are being discriminated against because of their gender every day. To say that neither one of these still happen would simply be ignorant and show that you are apparently oblivious to the world around you. So this brings me back to the question at hand: Which is America more ready to have?

Personally, I don’t believe that America is ready for either one. With both being still discriminated against, it makes me feel that America is not mature enough to have a woman or African-American president. The fact that some Americans still base judgments of people on the color of their skin or their gender screams ignorance and assures me that at least some of America is not ready to make a monumental decision like this one.

But the good thing about this is that the population that makes decisions based on prejudice doesn’t outnumber the ones who don’t, which is why I hope in the end America makes the right decision. Obama’s race doesn’t mean every black person should vote for him, and Clinton’s gender doesn’t mean every woman should vote for her. The positions that both candidates have on the pivotal topics that face our government today should be what makes the final decision.

To come out and say who I think should win would be ignorant of me because I don’t know what either candidate stands for. I hope a black man is elected president, but that doesn’t mean Obama has my vote. At the same time, with my background in gender studies, I believe it would be great if a woman were elected president.

In the end, I hope that America makes the right decision. Whichever candidate receives the nomination will hopefully run a campaign free of prejudice based on their race or gender. Only time will tell, but I hope you as a student, faculty or staff member will make the right decision.

Bryan Kennedy is a journalism sophomore. E-mail [email protected]