09 January, 2008


Hillary, Barack and John go to Manchester

No, not the title of some obscure comedy "romp" fillum, or even a hitherto undiscovered Enid Blyton.

But given that the Democratic hopefuls include, for the first time I believe, both a tart and a spade (sorry, a female and a man of genuinely African-American heritage), the pundits have been speculating about the impact on the female and the Black vote. Will women be tempted to vote for Hillary because she's one of them and empathizes with their needs? Will Blacks be inclined to vote for Obama because he's Black, or at least Blackish, and therefore perceived to be on their side? Such speculation and the reactions it posits have been accepted as natural, reasonable and expected.

Well, I am White and male. If I were also perchance an American living in New Hampshire and a registered Democrat, and I expressed the intention of voting for John Edwards because he is also a White male who will understand my needs and be on my side, I wonder if that view would be seen as reasonable.

Somehow I think not.

I am minded of the agitated Indian commentator, interviewed on the radio, who was insistent that Harbhajan Singh could not be accused of racism because he is a brown man.

Curious aren't they, life's little asymmetries?

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