She tweeted: Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future. @MittRomney @TeamRomney #mittromney #VOTE #voteromney
Of course, she’s received backlash for her tweet with people telling her to go kill herself, calling her an idiot and saying she’s still clueless. She then appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight this past Tuesday defending her tweets. Dash explained how everyone is entitled to their opinion and the backlash she’s receiving shows her America is still divided.
Media outlets are reporting the backlash is because Dash is a black woman opting to vote for a white man, not our black president. Like the comments Gabby Douglas received about her hair, people are stunned this black woman would receive criticism from her fellow black community members.
Two issues arise from this situation for me: reaction and voting preferences.
It seems to me that various media outlets make it a point to sensationalize certain events while disregarding others. Everyone is SO shocked that people, especially black people, would criticize Dash and say mean things to her on Twitter. Where was everyone’s shock when the Trayvon Martin case was spewing months ago? Every day for months straight as media outlets reported new things about the case, I would read the most hateful, vile comments from people. And, no shade, but most of them were from whites who openly stated they were white and happy that there was one less black person living.
Where was the media coverage of countless people tweeting racist remarks and blatantly supporting the fact that a teenager was murdered? No celebrities, so no news? The same goes with people’s racist Twitter comments about the black actors in The Hunger Games. I read a couple stories about it online, but I failed to see those actors get their “15 minutes” on TV like Dash did.
Forgive my venting, sistas, but I am so tired of our media outlets deciding which situations are wrong and racist (and giving those coverage) and which are not. Donald Trump blatantly disrespecting our president by continuously asking to see his birth certificate isn’t racist or an outrage. Fox News calling Michelle Obama Barack’s “baby mama” or saying she was going on a lynching spree is no big deal. But anyone voicing their opinions on the PUBLIC internet where an actress voiced hers is unacceptable.
Like seriously? What people prefer to react to is ridiculous.
On to my second issue: voting preferences. Back in 2008, when Obama was initially running, if I had a dollar for the number of people who said not to vote for him solely because he was black I’d be rich. And today, with the Presidential election just weeks, I am hearing this same thing.
People have been saying this in reference to the Stacey Dash “incident” as well. Just because Obama is black doesn’t mean she has to vote for him. Now, this is true. Stacey Dash, as well as the rest of America, has the right to vote for whomever she pleases.
But I wonder what you think, my sistas? Should you vote for a candidate just because of his/her skin color? More specifically, should you, as a black woman, vote for Obama because he is a black man?
I know you have to research and know the facts when it comes to choosing whom to vote for. Voting isn’t something to be taken lightly. I also know not every party or candidate’s beliefs and policies will fully align with your own views, so you will inevitably end up compromising on something. Most Americans aren’t fully Democrats or Republicans, but fall somewhere in the middle. But if you have your beliefs and see who most closely matches them, do you still allow it to come down to a person’s race? Some would say that’s like basing your voting preference on how attractive a candidate is, how they speak or dress. I say it’s something totally different.
For every one person who voted for Obama because he was black, you better believe there was someone else who voted against him for the same reason. You may disagree, but while I know it’s vital to take the issues into account, I believe his “blackness” is just as important. Being black and having the history of slavery, unequal rights and inequality; remembering how our ancestors were beaten and killed if they tried to vote or how policies like the Grandfather Clause restricted them from voting and how they walked and marched just to be able to drink out of the same water fountain as whites makes Obama’s “blackness” equally important. I think anyone who says not to vote for him because he’s black doesn’t fully understand what it means as a black woman or black man to look at a picture of the President of the United States and see someone who looks like you. To have that opportunity to put one of your people in a position we’ve never been in (this time being a second term). My grandparents never dreamed they’d be alive to see a black president and neither did I. His “blackness” means something, half black or not.
I’m very interested to know your views on both issues, my sistas. How do you feel about Stacey Dash’s tweets, backlash and the media’s coverage on it? What do you think about voting for Obama just because he is black?
Shala M. Marks
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Arizona State University
“…a woman who fears the Lord shall