How Did the ‘Cancel Kamala Harris’ Campaign Launch So Quickly?
  

Kamala Harris, a graduate of historically black Howard University, announced her bid for the 2020 presidential campaign around 7:30 this morning on ‘Good Morning, America.’

By the time the noonday news segments were airing, several op-eds in national news papers were making the rounds on social media and in email inboxes about Harris’ record as a California prosecutor, and state Attorney General.

The New York Times, the Intercept,and Mother Jones all offer varying takes on Harris’ professional work on issues like attorney misconduct, punishment for youth truancy and policing reforms. They all published within hours of her announced presidential candidacy, the first black woman to declare such a campaign since Carol Moseley-Braun in 2003 and Shirley Chisolm in 1972.

Debating Harris’ record is a legitimate effort, as it would be for any middle-aged white male candidate who has had the spirit and finance to pursue such ambitions. What separates the debate around Harris’ campaign is the speed with which the criticism and potential talking points which have surfaced on day one of the formal Harris For President campaign.

These same issues were present for Harris successful campaign for U.S. Senate. Maybe they’ve always been there and not just in the national line of sight for the average American voter or Twitter commentator. Typically, the HBCU community would love to chase down such a coordinated effort as racism or sexism against one of our graduates, but the truth is that at the heart of this campaign are black folks taking issue with her politics as enacted through legal activity.

At first blush, it is a painful echo for what has long plagued black folks pursuing power and influence inside and outside of politics; who really is responsible for smear campaigns against our best and brightest, and how much should we trust them? Through the lens of conspiracy, this has the look of a Democratic National Committee hit on a candidate seen by many as a front-runner for the party’s nomination, with echoes of how Bernie Sanders was railroaded in the effort to support Hillary Clinton.

This round of political mudslinging may be that, but it may simultaneously be a sign of how far we’ve come as a country and as a people. Could it be that all kinds of people are supporting and opposing Harris for DNC-driven political reasons, and for individual and meaningful grievances with a candidate?

On day one, there are reasons to worry about a successful Harris 2020 bid, and reasons for HBCU stakeholders to give it a chance. Her prosecutorial moves from years ago are now dueling with today’s actions as a candidate looking to court key communities.

A press conference at her alma mater, a meeting with members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc in South Carolina later this week. A likely slate of HBCU outreach in the years to come. Harris will know how to play this game and play it well with a changing Democratic base.

All of it suggests that Harris may earn the right to be canceled, or earn the right to be supported. But with all that we know about her past record, today is not the day for a submarine effort which could’ve been launched against her bid for senator in 2017. The timing, the details, and the prospects don’t quite stack up for her to be out just hours after she got in.

She’s earned the right to explain herself and to win us over. Now let’s be sure to pay attention to make sure she’s doing more than simply speaking our language.

9 comments
  1. Such negative responses often more immediately come from folks who always hold Black people to a different standard than they do others and hold sisters to an even higher standard. This sister is smart and has courage. Maya Angelou said “Courage is fear that has said its prayers”. I am praying for this sister, and she has my unwavering support. Her presence will make a difference.

  2. I admit,I’m skeptical of Kamala’s policies but it doesn’t mean that I would just throw my votes to the other candidates either.

    Nothing would disappoint me more than a Black person..whether male or female…than for them to support something that will hurt the African American community. While I didn’t support everything that Obama did, I went on to vote for him because he impressed me and I didn’t want John McCain/ Mitt Romney to be president and if push comes to shove, I will vote for her.

    After voting for certain candidates locally and in the Whitehouse and coming out empty,I just can no longer afford to put just anybody in there. I’ve been disappointed by Black/ non Black candidates to the point where it has caused more harm than good to the Black community.At the same time,I’m less crazy about the other candidates because I just feel like it’s about getting the Black vote and nothing more.

    Regardless,I still commend Kamala for her accomplishments.

  3. Kop-Kamala doesn’t deserve our votes or support. Her record as AG in California was ANTI-BLACK. Accept this fact Black people. She describes herself as a “proud American.'” Proud of WHAT? A nation built on genocide, enslavement, theft of land and violence? She does NOT describe herself as African or Indian American. Our History: BLACK People died, bled, were maimed, had careers ruined, had to leave school, made HUGE sacrifices for Black people to be able to vote. In 2019, w are STILL fighting for our votes to be counted! Let’s not throw it away on this over ambitious “climber.” We CAN do better than her. We HBCU grads and BGLO supporters and ALL Black people for that matter, don’t need to be seduced by this “user.”

    1. Our ancestors built this country through their blood, sweat and tears. I see nothing wrong with identifying as a proud American. Perhaps, that is what we should proudly identity as sense many of you lack a true identity. Every other group is taking our hard won rights and priveleges all because many of you want to be POC. Find your tribe as an ADOS aka an American and advocate for yourselves. And no, she will not get my vote because she’s following the DNC agenda on immigration.

  4. Nope she doesn’t deserve not one black vote. Black people have learned nothing from Obama who was a bi-Racial face on imperialism and so is she. Black sororities can motivate all they’d like. But the grass roots organizations will never allow a supposedly bw who stood against her own to represent us. I for one will lead the charge

  5. This question is class struggle within the African community. People who identify with this empire see African visibility in the capitalist system as power for our people (although they cannot produce any evidence of our mass empowerment from participating in empire politics). People who see this society as an exploiter of African people and Africa see bourgeoisie polititians as spokespersons for the empire e.g. capitslism in blackface. Harris, like obama, is capitalism in blackface. Looks like us. Sounds like us. Smells like us, but performs to uphold white supremacy against the masses of our people (except the African petty bourgeoisie, the benefactors of our mass struggle for justice who now do more to uphold the system instead of challenging its inability to provide justice for our people).

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