So, We Really NOT Here For Kamala Harris?

black girl empowerment

Given the dread we feel each day in having President 45 continue to make our lives a living hell and in hearing and reading his insensitive and often quite embarrassing remarks about our country, everyone is questioning who will run against this man in 2020? Will it be Senator Elizabeth Warren, Former Congressman Beto O’Rouke, Former Vice-President Joe Biden or will it be Senator Kamala Harris? There has been a lot of buzz and extended conversations surrounding the prospects for Senator Harris candidacy, clearly more interesting and inspiring than any of the other prospective and announced candidates.

Senator Harris candidacy is especially exciting, being a black woman, following in the footsteps of Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm. After more than 47 years, Shirley Chisolm, the first black women to seriously challenge the ballot for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, is joined by an equally high profile, highly qualified woman, who can make a credible bid for election to the highest position in our country’s seat of government. Wow, not in my wildest dreams did I believe that such an opportunity for a black woman, would see the light of day!

When I first heard that a black woman was being considered as a serious contender in the 2020 presidential election, I was ecstatic! I thought real change was occurring before my eyes and now someone who looks like me has a chance to take on the most important role in our nation.

However, my level-headed self reminded me to stop, think, and not get carried away…Let’s not jump to conclusion or get too far ahead of myself.

There has been a heated debate about Mrs. Harris’ announced candidacy. There are many people, surprisingly many black men and women who are not quite ready to jump on the bandwagon, or should I say the “black-wagon” at all.

Historically, black women have proudly held the role of “backbone” of the Democratic Party, having led the migration of minority political power from the Republican Party. As much as Senator Harris’ candidacy represents great progress for black women in this country, it seems we are not sufficiently forgiving of her criminal justice track record as a prosecutor. This positioning reminds me of a similar challenge black people strongly held in opposition to Hilary Clinton candidacy, based on her support of the mass incarceration policies of her husband, President Bill Clinton. And we now have two years of experience to understand how far that has gotten us!

Here are some online reactions about her candidacy announcement:

In retrospect to the mixed views about her candidacy, her policy positions she stands for her candidacy include supporting free tuition at four-year public colleges, universal healthcare, same-sex marriage, climate control, and cut taxes for the middle and lower class .

I like what I hear, but her “aggressive prosecution” of criminal law doesn’t sit well with some in the black community. Is this a serious, legitimate reason to not rally to her candidacy? She was a prosecutor, who took her job seriously. Tough choices, and controversy in every decision. What I would give for a president who took the job seriously…sigh…but I digress…

Senator Harris admitted that during her time as California’s attorney general she took on some client interests that were in conflict with her personal beliefs. She has expressed some regrets for failing to act on or stand by the princials of her personal beliefs and has been fully accountable for the mistakes she made during her legal career [2]. With that, can we forgive her past and take her word, or should we see her as two-faced, willing to exploit her “black” identity to gain our votes? The real question is whether we can trust her to support our values? Given the current cast of announced and prospective candidates, we have to seriously consider our options, but ultimately, we have to be prepared to bear the consequences!

Featured photo: Kamala Harris

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