Op/Ed By Dr. E. Faye Williams
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Every woman and every Black person in this country must be asking, “What’s Going On?” Forty-three times, white men have held dominance in consideration and representation for the position of President of the United States. With two elections, President Barack Obama has shattered that stereotypical image of the “elderly, white male president” and, as we stand on the verge of electing the first female President of the United States, he’s opened the door to diversity in the Presidency. This fact has driven some people out of their collective minds!
We find that haters of Black people (even a few self-haters) and haters of women (of which, more than a few are women) have gone over-the-cliff with their self-induced madness. Their vitriol against a well-qualified woman who has torn down, and continues to tear down, traditional barriers to women’s equality is absurd. First Lady Michelle Obama laid it out more clearly than anyone in the campaign has yet done, but were any of the haters listening? If so, will they allow themselves rational judgment for the remainder of the campaign or even a moment?
Of Secretary Clinton, the double-standards are obvious. I don’t recall anyone questioning whether the first 43 white males were qualified, healthy or were enablers/responsible parties for actions or statements of their wives. Nor have I seen any criticized for not smiling enough, for being overly-prepared for debates or threatened with imprisonment for matters already settled. As with President Obama, none spent years having his citizenship and legitimacy questioned, nor did their opposition make their number one goal the failure of their President’s administrations. The haters didn’t succeed against President Obama, who will be regarded as one of history’s most successful Presidents; and they will not succeed against Secretary Clinton.
Her resume is more than exceptional. She has been a successful attorney, First Lady of Arkansas and the United States, a successful leader of a healthcare movement for children, a U.S. Senator, a Secretary of State and more. What does it take for a woman or a Black person to be qualified? As both a woman and a Black person, I have asked myself this question many times. For years, this same question has been asked by highly-qualified, highly-regarded members of our society. There is no rational answer. Most recognize and agree that ruling-out a person based upon their color or gender is plain and simple ignorance, jealousy, insanity and hatred without just cause.
The so-called patriots, who deny the continuing “greatness” of America because a Black man is President and a woman may soon be President, need to ask themselves, “Other than someone who appeals to my basic bigotry, who can I reasonably expect to manage the affairs of government as effectively as Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?” If there is someone, line up their accomplishments with President Obama’s or Secretary Clinton’s. The comparisons would be illuminating.
With the many obstacles thrown in his path, President Obama is most qualified to evaluate Secretary Clinton as “the most qualified candidate ever to run for President.” With record high popularity, President Obama is leading the way for his successor. His endorsement of Hillary is good enough for me. Even in these crazy times, both have shown that you can’t keep a good man or woman down.
As we move closer to Election Day, we must remind people that, in the words of our First Lady, “When they go low, we go high!” We can save our GREAT nation with our votes. We must vote in numbers matching or exceeding the past two elections. Let there be no doubt who was most responsible for electing the first Black President or who’ll be most responsible for electing the first woman President.
(Dr. E. Faye Williams is President and CEO of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. www.nationalcongressbw.org. 202/678-6788)