Hi Jay Jay
I agree with everything you said minus “It has nothing to do with her being a woman and him being black.” (Or her being white and him being a man for that matter.) Considering American laws made it illegal for black men to vote up until the 14th Amendment passed (approved by Congress in 1866 and ratified in 1868), there is an extra weight on any kind of voting question. This isn’t just some thing you do if you feel like it for black folks. There is an added pressure (and resistance) because we know how much people fought for even the right to vote, specifically former slaves.
So to ask a black man like Denzel Washington who is fully cognizant of that background is extra insulting on top of being a “shit” question. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t ask a black man that at all, and I’m saying that as a black woman. Factor in the Voting Rights Act and that “literacy test,” and it’s just not as simple as whether “celebrities” should stay out of politics. This question holds more weight because of the celebrity she’s talking to.
Still though, I agree with the rest of what you said. The backlash about his resistance to her question didn’t quite go the way she may have wanted it to. She took a helluva lot of blame (on Twitter anyway). I was confused about why so many people were complaining about her the day before I wrote this post. When I read what happened, my shoulders slumped. She was one of those journalists who I respect and felt like should’ve known better. You live and you learn.