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Read “Rights Vs. Rights” an excellent article in the New York Times about the decision supporters of the Democratic Party soon have to make in the run up to the Presidential elections later this year.

Should they go a way they have never gone before and elect a lady as the Democratic party candidate? Should they go a way they have never gone before and elect an African-American as the Democratic party candidate? Lines are drawn between Sen. Hillary Clinton of NY and Sen. Barack Obama of  Illinois.

Ideally the party supporters would have liked one of them but since Clinton is not an African-American or Obama a lady, they have to make the tough choice. No, there is no African-American lady in the fray at this stage.

Over the years, traditionally supporters of women’s rights have been supporters of African-Americans and vice versa. There have been conflicts too. One bitter case from the 19th century saw a split between the abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the women’s rights’ pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Stanton was herself a fervent abolitionist, and a close ally of Douglass, but later confined herself to the cause of women’s equality. These ideals would eventually clash, resulting in increasingly divisive rhetoric that reached a harsh climax after Stanton condemned the 15th amendment — which gave black men the right to vote but left out women of all races — as something that would establish “an aristocracy of sex on this continent.”

This is going to be a tough one. In far away India, I have been a supporter of the Democratic Party since the Kennedy days. I, for one, root for the greater political experience and charisma of Hillary Clinton.

I found a lot of information on the US Presidential election due in November 2008 here.