"...The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1 Sam. 16:17 NIV)
Americans should be duly proud of the fact that a woman and an African-American are candidates for the office of President of the United States. Both women and blacks have come a long way, baby.
At the beginning of the republic neither women nor blacks were regarded as full fledged citizens of this country. The lofty language of the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal" was not enough to secure equal rights for women or blacks. "Men" apparently did not include those of the female persuasion, and it most certainly did not include those of a darker hue. In early America, the law largely treated women as the property of their husbands. It took a lot of agitating and a constitutional amendment just to secure women the right to vote. And, of course, it took a civil war, several constitutional amendments, and lots of civil rights legislation to put African-Americans on a par with whites in the U.S.A.
So it should come as no surprise that there is a lot of enthusiasm for the fact that the two top Democratic contenders for the top political office in the country are a woman and an African-American. After all, leaders like Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King, together with many other unsung heroes, paid dearly to assure that women and blacks are treated equally in this country. Their goal was to ensure that members of the body politic were blind to color and oblivious to gender. Dr. King cast the vision for the future in his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, when he urged his fellow Americans to judge one another on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.
Americans have done well in paving the way for a woman and an African-American to run for president. They will do better by ignoring the race and gender of the candidates and judging all of the presidential hopefuls on the basis of the content of their character and their qualifications to serve.