Who you are, what you are

Geraldine Ferraro, campaign adviser to Hillary Clinton, has resigned in the face of accusations of racism from the other democratic candidate, Barak Obama.

Ferraro‘s comment in dispute was that part of the support that Obama has is due to the fact he is black.

This is not racism. This is a fact. It is entirely true that many people do base their vote on issues absolutely unrelated to the political program of the candidate they are voting. If the candidate is too short, too fat or too bald, he/she will be at a disadvantage over a candidate who is taller, slimmer and has hair. The same goes for other factors, such as the sex or race of the candidate.

If someone is voted because they are taller than the competing candidate, that is wrong, but it happens.

Likewise, if someone is voted because of their race, it is also wrong, but it happens as well, in the same way it would be wrong to be in favour of a particular candidate only because she would be a woman rather than a man, or vice versa.

Any consideration about who the candidate is, as opposed to what they say or do, is wrong. To point out that humans do take who you are into account, and to point out that such behaviour is benefiting someone in particular, is not wrong.

I do know people in Spain who wish that Obama be the next president of the United States, because they would like to see a black president in the USA. This train of thought does reveal racism. On the other hand, to say that such thought is present in some or many people’s head is not racism.

Barak Obama was not right to criticize Geraldine Ferraro, who should not have resigned.

Obama‘s accusation of racism on the part of the campaign of his opponent is mere opportunism. Accusing others of racism is a good way to earn votes.


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