I am a supporter of Barack Obama because I believe he is the right person to lead the United States at this time. He offers a rare opportunity for the country and the world to do better. It is a deep sadness to me that many of my feminist white women friends cannot see him, cannot hear the fresh choices toward movement he offers. That they can believe that millions of Americans choose Obama over Clinton only because he is a man, and black, feels tragic to me.
When I have supported white people, it was because I thought them the best to do the job. If Obama were in any sense mediocre, he would be forgotten by now. He is, in fact, a remarkable human being, not perfect but humanly stunning, like King was and like Mandela is. He is the change America has been trying desperately and for centuries to hide, ignore, kill. The change it must have if we are to convince the rest of the world that we care about people other than our (white) selves.
True to my inner goddess of the three directions, however, this does not mean I agree with everything Obama stands for. We differ on important points, probably because I am older; I am a woman and person of three colours (African, Native American, European); I was raised in the south; and, when I look at the world after 64 years of life, there is not one person I wish to see suffer.
I want a grown-up attitude to Cuba, for instance, a country and people I love. I want an end to the war immediately, and I want the soldiers to be encouraged to destroy their weapons and drive themselves out of Iraq. I want the Israeli government to be made accountable for its behaviour to the Palestinians, and I want the people of the US to cease acting as if they don't understand what is going on. But most of all I want someone with the confidence to talk to anyone, "enemy" or "friend", and this Obama has shown he can do.
It is hard to relate what it feels like to see Mrs Clinton (I wish she felt self-assured enough to use her own name) referred to as "a woman" while Barack Obama is always referred to as "a black man". One would think she is just any woman, but she is not. She carries all the history of white womanhood in the US in her person; it would be a miracle if we, and the world, did not react to this fact. How dishonest it is, to try to make her innocent of her racial inheritance.
I can easily imagine Obama sitting down and talking to any leader - or any person - in the world, with no baggage of past servitude or race supremacy to mar their talks. I cannot see the same scenario with Clinton, who would drag into 21st-century US leadership the same image of white privilege and distance from others' lives that has so marred the country's contacts with the rest of the world. But because Clinton is a woman and may be very good at what she does, many people (some in my own family) originally favoured her. I understand this, almost. It is because there is little memory, apparently, of the foundational inequities that still plague people of colour and poor whites. (Source)