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irregular times logoConfronting the Sexism and Racism of 2008
With Mocking Humor

The dominant, yet dramatically underreported, dynamic of the 2008 presidential election has been the use of sexism and racism against the two Democratic Party frontrunners.

Oh, it's mostly not been so blatant as to call Barack Obama a "nigger" or to tell Hillary Clinton to get back into the kitchen, although John McCain did joke about how he would "beat the bitch", and Obama has been labeled Osambo.

Most of the sexism and racism of the 2008 presidential campaign has been more underhanded than that. It's been sexism and racism pretending not to be sexist or racist - sort of the Intelligent Design of bigotry.

Here's the code: Instead of calling Obama a "nigger", people will say, "Oh, I like Barack Obama, but do you really think that America is ready to elect a black man as President?" Instead of telling Hillary Clinton to get back into the kitchen, people will say, "Oh, I like Hillary Clinton, but do you really think that America is ready to elect a woman as President?"

Catch that slick maneuver? The person asking the rhetorical question gets to simultaneously pretend not to be sexist or racist and yet slyly engage in the promotion of sexism or racism. All the while, if anyone questions their motivation, the person can just say that no, it's the other people who are sexists or racists that they're worried about, but that sadly, we must be realistic in choosing an electable candidate, and so Democrats Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton just have to be ruled out.

I've heard this disgusting rhetoric in person. I've read it in newspapers. I've seen it on television. I've even seen it come from readers of Irregular Times.

I've had enough of this ugly, cowardly form of bigotry, and so I'm confronting it in the best way that I know of: I'm mocking it.

Confront the racist and sexist rhetorical questions about the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with a satirical rhetorical question of your own:

"I like Clinton, but is America ready for a President with a brain?" or "I like Obama, but is America ready for a President with a brain?"

These rhetorical questions turn the focus back where it ought to be: On the qualifications of the candidates. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama clearly have the intellectual capacity to be President. No bigot could possibly accuse either candidate of being stupid, and so they have to turn to the ugliness of identity politics.

The absurdity of it all is that the same people who are now questioning whether Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama could be elected President are those who voted for George W. Bush, a candidate who most certainly did not have the intelligence necessary to be an effective President.

Competence matters. Intelligence matters. But, is America ready for a President with a brain? You bet your buttons America is ready. Let's prove it in 2008.

I've created the following campaign gear with anti-bigot rhetorical questions to reframe the debate around Clinton and Obama for the 2008 presidential election.

barack obama brains for president tshirt
Barack Obama - A President With A Brain T-shirt
hillary clinton brains for president tshirt
Hillary Clinton - A President With A Brain T-shirt
Obama the Prez w/ a Brain Large Poster
Is America Ready for Barack Obama's Brain? - Large Poster
I Like Clinton's Brains Large Poster
I Like Clinton's Brains Large Poster
Barack Obama With a Brain Extra Big Button
Barack Obama With a Brain Extra Big Button
Barack Obama President with Brains bumpersticker
Barack Obama President with Brains bumpersticker
Barack Obama A President With Brains coffee mug
Barack Obama A President With Brains Coffee Mug
Obama the President With a Brain Button
Obama the President With a Brain Button

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