Here is my beef with the political media: the more they talk about issues that don’t matter – the more they will. They keep talking about how race SHOULD NOT matter in this democratic race, but yet, they keep talking about race and gender. It has been the media who has been so transfixed with the race issue more than anything. The reality is this, the more they talk about irrelevant issues, the more relevant they will become in the minds of American voters. I think that the Clinton campaign had a lot to do with making Obama appear as the “black” democratic candidate, but the media had a hand in it too. That is all they have been talking about for the past week leading up to the South Carolina democratic primary. You know, there are probably a lot of folks who didn’t even view Obama as necessarily a black candidate, but more as a legitimate candidate. But after all this media coverage, I think that the media has tremendously helped polarize the American voters – a lot more people now view Obama as the black candidate. You CANNOT keep talking about a NON-ISSUE and expect it not to become an issue. I mean, let’s be real here – if the race issue should not be a big deal, then why keep focusing on that? If you let it go, the American people surely will too.
In poker, sometimes you will play a hand that you have no business in playing, or in poker terms, you overplay your hand. Simply put, you either believe in it more than you should or you are trying to bluff out your opponent. Often, this can end very ugly. I think the media has clearly overplayed their hand. They believe the issue of race matters more than it does. It does not. They should have folded this hand from the beginning.
I know you have to win the ratings game and you want to be able to draw people into your publication or program by discussing the more controversial side of this race – but realize this: you have a responsibility to be fair and unbiased. You have a responsibility of knowing that your opinions and/or discussions can shape the minds of thousands of voters. Yes, I am calling out the media and asking them to be more cognizant of what they say and how they say it. The voice of the media resonates the loudest – and there is a certain responsibility that comes along with that. Don’t go around pointing the finger at Bill Clinton and saying that he is the primary reason behind this whole race debate. The media simply gave Bill Clinton the platform to express his views – and then, by the media engaging themselves in the discussion of an irrelevant issue, it somehow become relevant. The media is exasperating this whole race situation. The media always wants to wash their hands clean of any controversy and any responsibility, but they need to be smarter about how they go about their business.
Look, I will admit that there is a discernible racial divide, but the results have proved that the American voters really don’t give a damn about that. They are going to vote for who they feel is best qualified for the job and who they feel can best lead the country. This nation is ready for a black or female president – there is no denying that. It seems as though political mountains have been made of insignificant molehills.
Race does matter, but only to an extent. Take Senator Obama, for example. Obama has fared well with all folks of all ages and of all races. He has transcended racial and socio-economic differences. People, it seems, are ready for a change. I just hope that people can leave the race issue in South Carolina and we can move forward to what should be an exciting Super Tuesday (Feb 5th). As the Obama camp has been saying this entire campaign, I am “ready to go” and “fired up”.