A Voice at the Table Features Showcase

Let’s not: no Kamala Harris 2020

I know, okay? I know that you all want to believe and have great faith in Kamala Harris’ candidacy to be the first Black Woman president, but she is literally dangerous. Before I get into her oppressive and problematic politics, let’s first discuss the importance of aligning ourselves with good politics and people versus automatically assuming any black person with power is good for us.

As black and brown folks, this country and its politics are historically anti-black, racist and viscerally violent. So, we need to be mindful of politicians and their records within the criminal justice system. We also need to be vigilant about what communities have the most to lose or are at the highest risk of being negatively impacted.

When Black Women and other Women of Color are under attack by someone’s politics, we all need to collectively stand against it. Think about the impact of someone who isn’t actively looking out for the betterment of their own people: black trans and queer women and femme’s, people with disabilities, poor people, non-traditionally educated and uneducated people, and all other black folks.

Now, think about the kind of community and society that would create. As many black scholars, artists and activists have said, “none of us are free until all of us are free.” Therefore, we cannot align ourselves with a candidate because they look like us. Jay-Z looks like some of us and he appears to have blamed police brutality on single mothers. Kanye looks like some of us and is buddy-buddy with 45. We have literal, current examples of why we can’t automatically trust people based on their looks.

To the women out there, I know that you want so very strongly to have your first woman president. Believe me, I do too, and I know we are closer than ever before. However, not every woman is a good woman. Hilary Clinton has supported racist politics and has said a few microaggressions, to say the least. Susan B. Anthony, the woman whose tombstone everyone loves to put “I Voted” stickers on, didn’t include black women or any black people in her activism and said she’d cut her arm off before a negro gets the right to vote. Margaret Sanger was great for introducing birth control to us, but was a leader in the Eugenics movement. She believed in sterilizing Women of Color so they wouldn’t have more babies that didn’t look like her and all the other white people she supported.

These three women that so many folks idolize have all been racist, whether overtly or covertly. It was a woman who signed the abortion bill in Alabama. It’s women who constantly exclude Women of color and trans and queer women from their “feminist” movements. I am not denying the amazing work of women all over the world. One of my main political and personal beliefs is that black women and femmes are the most radical and revolutionary group in the world. Thus, because of this politic and belief, I expect people to always protect and respect the most marginalized groups of people. I expect for inherently racist laws and policies to be so absurd to someone that they don’t think twice about speaking and working against them.

I expect for black women and femmes in particular, but all women and femmes to be safe and protected on every front. I expect for the prison industrial complex to be reformed at the least, and abolished and recreated as most. I , Nahje Royster, AVATT Sept. 16 Issue, expect for supremacy, patriarchy, racism, sexism, xenophobia, classism, heterosexism and cissexism, ableism, ageism, elitism and all other systems of oppression to be worked against. In short, I just want—and need—a government for the people and by the people. Kamala Harris ain’t it. I went through some articles on Kamala Harris from The New York Times, L.A. Times, and Out.com to gather some information. Harris has advocated for and “tested out” a law that prosecutes and fines parents for their children truancy record. First of all, this will funnel more people of color into the prison industrial complex. Secondly, this does nothing to change what causes truancy or offer help to parent who may need it to ensure their children’s success.

Additionally, we all know that the prison system is predominately people of color. Deathpenaltyinfo.org tells us that black people are more likely to be executed, especially for the rape or murder of a white person. This is public information and yet, Harris appealed a judge’s decision to deem the death penalty unconstitutional. It’s also glaringly obvious that police target and kill black people non-stop and she actively chose not to support legislation that would require the Dept. of Justice to address deadly police shootings. At least three men have been wrongfully convicted due to tainted evidence and testimonies. Instead of seeking justice for these men, she stood by their sentencing which left the real perpetrator free.

Lastly, Harris opposed incarcerated trans women’s court-ordered surgeries. If you didn’t know, trans people are usually misgendered and placed in the wrong prison. Therefore, their access to any surgeries they may want or need, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), and any other resources they rely on need to be readily available. Otherwise, it’s unfair and unjust. The larger issue is that most trans people are in prison for survival crimes which is a problem in and of itself, but maybe we’ll discuss this in another issue.

This is not a full record of her history, but I hope it’s enough for some of y’all to think critically about who you’re offering support to.

I know that a perfect candidate doesn’t exist, however, a person whose capable of true justice and humanity is. Instead of saying what isn’t possible, let’s shift the expectation of government leaders. Oppression cannot continue to be something we overlook or brush over occasionally. We all need and deserve a government that will actively protect and support our livelihood and I’m here to tell you: Kamala Harris ain’t it.

Nahje Royster is a fifth-year student majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies with minors in  African American Studies. NR852560@wcupa.edu

Leave a Comment