In his editor’s column this week, Jon Meacham of Newsweek writes:

Americans are grappling with the question of whether they are ready for a female president or a black president, both in the abstract and in particular. It is possible, of course, to be in favor of a woman or a minority for president but to be against Senators Clinton and Obama; many Republicans will soon find themselves in that position.

As the first truly competitive female and black candidates, Senators Clinton and Obama are substantially raising the stakes of an already historically noteworthy campaign… [emphasis added].

Debates about the two senators are interesting. But I sense no grappling about the issue of a female or black president.

Small minorities (no pun intended) of the electorate are unwilling to support a black and/or female candidate. Most of us would have no problem supporting a candidate with those characteristics. I suspect that no voter is grappling with his or her stance on that issue.

What disturbs me about Mr. Meacham’s assessment is the implication that votes for either Clinton or Obama equal votes “for” a woman or a black. Why would we not vote for or against them because of their stances on policies?