Let’s make history

Who can remember the last time the faces of Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton didn’t wave from the front pages of the national media?

So it may seem as though the media are ignoring the Republican candidate, but this is not a case of the often-perceived liberal bias.

This is a historic year for the Democrats and the nation – neither candidate is a white male. And there’s no need to explain why, after 219 years of presidential elections, it is historic that someone who is not a white, Christian male may have a chance at the presidency.

But historic events are only remembered if they affect change. We must use this election to re-route the way the United States views race and gender. Our current attitude only sets us further back.

If we use this election to start a series of much-needed change, think of the progress we could make by the time the next generation enters the political arena.

Racism is still rampant in the United States, and it has been going on for so long that it is institutionalized and not confronted. Over the past few decades, we’ve made significant progress, but the work is not done.

Maybe this year, we will move farther than ever before.

We teach children that they can achieve their dreams, as long as their dreams keep them in roles society tells them they must conform to. Women must be soft, even in corporate or leadership positions, or they are viewed as too cold or too calculating.

Maybe next year, young girls will be told to be themselves and women in the workplace will be seen as no different than their male counterparts.

We promote an image of being forward-thinking and trend-setting, and criticize countries who we don’t view as up to our standards. But many countries have already had leaders of different races and genders.

Maybe next year, we can live up to that image.

We focus on what makes us different, expecting that voters will elect who is the most like them. So we interview black women and question how they can choose between a black man and a white women, forcing them to choose an aspect of their identity.

Maybe next year, Americans won’t be asked to stratify the different parts of their lives.

We are a country that views itself as welcoming, tolerant and equal, but we still identify people by what separates them from the majority.

Perhaps next year, every candidate, regardless of his or her race, gender, sexuality or background will be viewed only as a candidate, no more, no less.

We thought Super Tuesday would create a definitive nominee and when it didn’t, we looked to Ohio’s primary this week. Still, no Democratic nominee, which means a few more weeks of political war.

But regardless of who triumphs and who loses, we all still win.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.