Now that the campaign has shaped up a bit, what is coming through is a distinct trend, on the part of the media, to accentuate and agitate for gender and racial tension.
Visually, it has been pumped pretty hard in terms of male versus female and, even more so lately, black versus black. Working the combination, check out this image leading yesterday’s NYT piece titled: “Southern Blacks Are Split on Clinton vs. Obama.”
The image pits Vivian Creighton Bishop, a city official in Columbus and a Hillary supporter, against her husband, Representative Sanford D. Bishop Jr., co-chair of the Obama campaign in Georgia.
Playing on emotional stereotypes, the woman looks put out, while her husband appears to humor her. The intensity of “the split” — set up by the language of the headline — is intensified because Mrs. Bishop demurs from the black candidate (as represented by her husband) in a gathering that is mostly, if not exclusively black.
The racial split is also reinforced with a curious, if happenstance element in the background. Notice the woman in the white dress at the top of the photo aligned with Mrs Creighton Bishop’s face, especially her eyes and forehead (or mind). The fact the woman in white has her back turned seems to accentuate the idea that Mrs. Bishop — favoring the white female candidate — is being both emotional and racially oppositional.
In the meantime, I can’t wait for Super Duper Tuesday, where in California, at least, the media is already hyping a split between black and brown.
(image: Erik S. Lesser for The New York Times. Georgia. January 2007. nytimes.com)