This current Presidential race is just loaded with ‘isms.’
Isms are those prejudices that people have that we don’t like to talk about. Racism. Sexism. Ageism. We like to believe that we are past all of the ‘isms,’ but we often find, much to our dismay, that we are not.
The candidacy of Barack Obama, the excerpts from some of Jeremiah Wright’s sermons, the reaction of many, indicates that there is still a racism issue going on in the United States. Whenever we presume that someone is going to behave in a predictable fashion with that prediction based upon race, racism is alive and well.
I like to think that much of the racism we have endured in our country is in the past. When the Division Street School was rededicated I was fascinated to hear the premise that schools were segregated back then, in my lifetime, to make sure that people were separate but equal. Separate but equal. Right. Sure. A nice illusion. It was quite a racism approach to the issue back then that is mostly in our past. Mostly. It doesn’t mean that we are not a color blind society.
Sometimes I wonder if some of the angry comments of Jeremiah Wright made people angry because of what he said or if they were angry that he is still angry. We often like to gloss over things and make nice, but racism still exists. We have been reminded that the ‘ism’ of race is alive and well, however.
The candidacy of John McCain has demonstrated that ageism is still alive and well. Many television pundits found it wildly entertaining that McCain, as a child, remembered Pearl Harbor. Age, obviously, is a factor in terms of health and stamina, but it often evolves into an ‘ism’ kind of thing. A person is not capable of something because of his or her age. It often borders on the absurd. Remember Rush Limbaugh said about Hillary Clinton that people shouldn’t vote for her because she’s 60 and who wants to watch a woman age in the White House? I mean, duh, how crass is that. Of course, Rush Limbaugh ventures into all the ‘isms’ and it’s very difficult to take him seriously about much of anything.
Of course, with Hillary Clinton running for the Presidency we have seen sexism rise up as well. Women are still so often seen as not having the fortitude, wisdom, or knowledge of men. Churches remarkably still ignore Scripture and keep women from speaking in churches. People are often still convinced that women don’t have the fortitude to make difficult decisions. There are still people who have the moronic attitudes that aging women’s appearances mean something bad. Ugh.
One of the many things I am finding interesting about the current Presidential race is that it is a race loaded with ‘isms.’ It continues to confront us in ways that might make us uncomfortable, but also force us to grow.