Why I would have voted for Ford

Let me start by saying briefly that I did not vote for Ford or Corker in the Tennessee Senate race. I think the bi-partisan government is horrible for the people of this country and given the opportunity I’ve decided not to vote for Republicans or Democrats.

I don’t watch TV so I didn’t see much of the smear campaign that occured back and forth between Ford and Corker before the election. From what I’ve heard though, both the gentleman seem like pretty poor candidates. But if I had to choose between the two, I would have voted Ford. And here’s why: Because he is black.*

“But, what if he’s not as good of a candidate? Race shouldn’t matter anymore! Isn’t that reverse discrimination?”
Those are just some of the things you might be thinking in response, and you might be right (I haven’t totally settled my mind on this).
The reality is media, I’m beginning to realize, is ten times more powerful then our government and senators. The reality is that even if Ford wasn’t the best candidate, A hundred more young black youth will rise up behind him with aspirations to be a senator. One reason I believe there are so many great athelete’s of color, is that sports was one of the first places young children saw heroes that looked like them.
With Nancy Pelosi becoming the first female speaker of the house, thousands more young girls will grow up with aspirations to be politicians, and they’ll be darn good ones too.

If 2008 brings us a President that is not a white male, I think it will be one of the best steps in our history. And if they don’t do the best job in the whole world (can you do much worse?), so what? The impact it would have on the youth of this country would change our world. I truly believe that.

*Harold Ford, Jr. is actually mixed race, but for the purposes of this discussion, I’m going with the word that most people, including the youth that I am concerned about will describe him as: black.

3 thoughts on “Why I would have voted for Ford”

  1. having worked with youth for many years now, i have to tell you that i really don’t think any of them are looking to politicians to be role models. some might say “that is sad”. some might say “its because they have been such poor role models in the past and no one looks up to them anymore”. one thought i have is…..do we really want them looking up to politicians anyway? i could go off on a tangent on this, but i won’t.

    i believe it is up to each of us individually to be role models for young people. no matter what the media feeds you, the person who cares enough to invest in a young persons life is going to have a far greater impact than any person on tv, on the football field, in the senate, or elsewhere. i mean seriously, have you ever met anyone whose life was changed because of a basketball star? rarely. but i have met tons of people whose life was change by one single adult who cared enough to invest in their life. i think you are barking up the wrong tree here, ariah….with your words. your actions however, i think are right on target! 🙂 (i’m referring to how you live your life….dedicated to young people.)

    oh, and i still think its racist to say that a person should be elected based on his or her race, gender, etc. being a woman, i guess i am a minority and trust me, i woud NEVER want to be given a job based on my gender!

  2. having worked with youth for many years now, i have to tell you that i really don’t think any of them are looking to politicians to be role models. some might say “that is sad”. some might say “its because they have been such poor role models in the past and no one looks up to them anymore”. one thought i have is…..do we really want them looking up to politicians anyway? i could go off on a tangent on this, but i won’t.

    i believe it is up to each of us individually to be role models for young people. no matter what the media feeds you, the person who cares enough to invest in a young persons life is going to have a far greater impact than any person on tv, on the football field, in the senate, or elsewhere. i mean seriously, have you ever met anyone whose life was changed because of a basketball star? rarely. but i have met tons of people whose life was change by one single adult who cared enough to invest in their life. i think you are barking up the wrong tree here, ariah….with your words. your actions however, i think are right on target! 🙂 (i’m referring to how you live your life….dedicated to young people.)

    oh, and i still think its racist to say that a person should be elected based on his or her race, gender, etc. being a woman, i guess i am a minority and trust me, i woud NEVER want to be given a job based on my gender.

    peace

  3. Hmmm…
    Interesting thoughts Jody. I’m still sticking to this one though. Maybe it’s particularly black male youth I’m thinking of, but I think it probably applies to others groups as well. I’ve worked with a wide range of age groups of kids and a large percentage of black males from 1st grades to high schoolers tell me they want to be a rapper or a professional athelete. Your definitly right though that individuals they know personally influence them too, because some say they want to be a judge, police officer, mechanic, etc.

    Your right on not looking up to politicians because they’ve been poor role models, but seriously you see a face on the media, and at a young age you want to be there.

    Finally, and this probably needs it’s own post too. I agree it’s racist to pick a person for something based on their race. The reality is a heck of a lot of people voted for Bob Corker because of his race. And tons of males are hired every day over females because of their gender. The reality is that many of us are racist and sexist though we’ll never admit it. Affirmative Action, and other discussion about race and gender as qualifiers, should be an attempt to combat what is already occuring of election based on race and gender. In other words, forcing people who are already biased in one direction, to pick someone they would have never picked due to their racist or sexist preferences.

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