Harvey Milk vs. Barack Obama

26 05 2009


 vs. 

Last night I saw the movie, Milk and I really liked it. I thought the movie was well casted and I especially liked the costumes and hair/makeup design. I loved the 1970s setting and the soundtrack as well. My only problem was part of the story line. (I know that can’t be changed, as it was part of history.) 

In the movie, Harvey Milk is an openly gay man who runs for City Supervisor of San Francisco. Milk’s platform for running is that he is gay. In other words, he wanted people to vote for him because he’s gay. I thought that was a dumb reason to elect someone. If Milk had run for office and be gay that’s one thing. But I thought it was a dumb thing to run for office because he was homosexual.

That’s like what if Barack Obama ran for presidency because he’s black. No. He ran for office and was black. His race just happened to be a side issue. It was not his platform. It’s one thing to vote for someone because they are a minority and you want to support that.

I think it’s dumb for someone to use their “specialness” as their sole reason for getting attention and in a sense, being popular. It’s like a, “look at me! I need attention” sort of thing to do. That’s fine if you want to run for office, but at least have some reason for doing so. Harvey Milk was able to almost do this by using Gay Rights as his main interest and issue to run with. (True, he helped clean up public parks and may have assisted with other issues not covered in the movie.)

Anyways, Obama shows us that he is Post-Racial. He ran for office regardless of his skin color. While he tried to make it clear that his candidacy was about his issues and not his race, I’m positive that voters continued to see him for just his race. The difference between Obama and Milk is that Obama, himself was not focusing on his differences, but rather his politics. With Milk, his difference was his politic. Milk required his difference. Obama went above his.

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