K. Love | Race Matters | Women’s History & Social Work Month
Are we really (still) concerned if a Black person is “Black enough” to get our support? Do we hold non-Black individuals to this high standard when they run for office?
No, we do not. Once an individual becomes a public figure, we criticize them for showing up claiming to be “Black Black”.
I think we have it all wrong. Especially when it comes to scrutinizing a Presidential candidate who is a woman, a Black woman.
Kamala Harris, on MLK Day, Jan 21st, 2019 announced her bid to become the next President of the United States for the Democratic Party. She went back to “The Mecca”, her Alma mater, Howard University (surrounded by the Student Government) to make her announcement.
We (Black folks) immediately went into attack mode. Questioning her blackness, her intentions, her marriage to a White man. Really y’all? Do we have to tear each other down and when we do, do we have to do it publicity? We stay ready to provoke a person’s Black Card, no questions asked.
Please don’t get confused. I’m not saying, “Vote for Kamala because she is Black”.
I am simply questioning your motive behind this higher standard you place on Black people than we do for others. I understand that some of us were hurt by the seemingly disregard that former President, Barack Obama had specifically for the Black Community during his presidency.
Most of his policies did not directly affect us positively or negatively. He did more for other individual groups than for us (i.e. Prison reform, Immigration laws, LGBTQ). I understand that pain, however; what has any President done specifically for our community to directly strengthen us in terms of wealth, equality, education, or health care?
What is our agenda anyway?
What is it that we actually want from a Black politician? If we do not know we can’t expect them to fight for us. Even still- who cares how Black a person is. Kamala Harris is Black- born to a Jamaican father (Professor) and an Indian mother (a scientist and civil rights advocate). Born and raised in Oakland, CA. Spent her high school years in Montreal then attended Howard University (Washington, DC), a Historically Black College/University.
Who are we to take her Black Card away? What constitutes if a person is even Black enough anyway? Please show me the rule book of standards, because we are doing too much.
When your decide on a candidate try this formula:
- Visit the candidates website and read their platform
- Understand how they have voted for policies in the past
- Know their slogan
- Support them financially, volunteer, or share via social media
“Study to show thyself approved”
“We perish for lack of knowledge”
We will not agree with every issue (policy) candidates are concerned about. However, what matters are the issues you’re concerned about. How are candidates addressing issues important to you? Look at the present Presidency- seemingly, folks agreed with one or two policies he “promised” while IGNORING his character, his antics, and his lack of experience. Yet he is in office.
Kamala does not have to prove herself or spend time on “how Black she is”. Blackness is too broad for us to sit here and debate about it. Lastly, who really cares that she is married to a White man. That does not dismiss her ‘blackness’.
Today on the first day of Women’s History & Social Work Month , consider what really matters to you. Critique yourself on these issues as you plan to support a candidate
- Race Relations
- Climate Change
- Criminal Justice
- Pro Life or Pro Choice
- Religious Freedom
- Global Affairs
- Voting Rights
Here is a list of individuals who have announced their bid for the Democratic Candidacy so far
- Cory Booker (D), a U.S. senator from New Jersey
- Pete Buttigieg (D), the mayor of South Bend, Indiana
- Julian Castro (D), a former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development and San Antonio mayor
- John Delaney (D), a former U.S. representative from Maryland
- Tulsi Gabbard (D), a U.S. representative from Hawaii
- Kirsten Gillibrand (D), a U.S. senator from New York
- Kamala Harris (D), a U.S. senator from California
- Amy Klobuchar (D), a U.S. senator from Minnesota
- Elizabeth Warren (D), U.S. senator from Massachusetts
- Marianne Williamson (D), an author and lecturer
- Andrew Yang (D), an entrepreneur from New York
Do your own research this time around. Yes, race matters- but let’s not criticize and tear down our brother(s) or sister(s). Support, vote, show up to town halls, and hold them accountable. Visit her website https://kamalaharris.org/
*Set aside time this month and beyond to read a book written by a Black woman and buy from a Black owned business. Share your experience.