Senator Kamala Harris is unfortunately not revolutionary enough
I was actually holding my nose waiting for this review to come out. I have read your reviews and you have made points that stress the awareness that there will be no perfect candidate for president. We will however, have to decide on a candidate that is the best suited in the defining moment. The hard part is getting everyone on the same page in defining this very moment.
As a sidebar I suspect that if I were to throw my hat in the ring your review would have me picking up my trampled on hat or better yet buying a new one just to throw back in. 😂
Your research and analysis is both informative and focused. So focused that you have been able to find needles in the haystacks of conflicts in the public records for these candidates. Certain aspects of all political candidates can and will appear flawed, but in that same moment of politicization serve as a means to an end.
Politics in the US is a rigged game of distortions and perversions. There is no sanguine way to play it. And when we add race into this potent mix it becomes even more distorted and perverted.
While I do not have a clue of who I am voting for especially this early in the race, I do think Senator Harris’ entry into the fray will keep the campaign and its debate somewhat brutally honest. It certainly won’t hurt or tip the balance either way.
Harris’ record brings into question the legal system that trained her to be a prosecuting attorney. We all know that the judiciary system in the US is race consciously and class consciously biased to a fault. The system is laden with defects. Her own parents questioned why she would want to become a prosecutor.
IN A RECENT NPR interview, Harris revealed that her own parents questioned her choice to become a prosecutor. “My family and extended family thought, at best, it was a curious decision,” she recalled, saying that she had to defend it “like one would a thesis.” They asked, in Harris’s words, “why would you go and be a part of an institution that is not always fair and does not always pursue justice?” An understandable question from parents who met in Berkeley in the 1960s — a bastion of American progressivism at a time of rapid social progress — speaking to a daughter who was making the choice to jail people for a living at the start of the mass incarceration crisis of the 1990s.
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There are, far and few in between, attorneys who are working towards prosecutorial reforms like civil rights lawyer Larry Krasner, as noted in the article for theintercept above, but Senator Harris does not compare, rather she contrasts with those efforts.
Those efforts were informed by callous institutions that systemically inculcate racializations. Because she is Black, but not pro-Black, she could not be seen as being soft on crime, she had to be tough. This is what is so troubling about Black existentialism juxtaposed against European American existentialism. Most progressives have come to the conclusion that voting a Black person to high office is counterintuitive to the type of reforms needed to make the country a true democracy and to reduce inequality.
I don’t want to believe that this is true. That would be unhealthily pessimistic of me.
However, this is true when the institutions in place reward and incentivize racializations. Again this is why no major corporation would hire me as their Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). I would have to prove to the board and the CEO that I can give the appearance of diversity which would suffice for public perception, while the system of hyper-racialization could remain the same within the status quo culture of the organization. So in terms of hiring and salary practices, they would continue to favor non hispanic whites.
It has become normal to see Blacks who have risen in influence and power have with them a prerequisite of racial etiquette and pedigree in tow. Could she use that prerequisite to get in and once in shift that Overton Window to progressively and radically reform our callous institutions?
There’s a concept in political theory developed by Joseph P. Overton which suggests that there’s a “window” of acceptable ideas and policy proposals in public discourse. Everything inside the window is normal and expected, while everything outside the window is radical, ridiculous, or unthinkable. And Overton argued that the easiest way to move that window was to force people to consider ideas at the extremes, as far away from the window as possible. Because forcing people to consider an unthinkable idea, even if they rejected it, would make all less extreme ideas seem acceptable by comparison — it would move the “window” slowly in that direction.
How Trump makes extreme things look normal
"Don't normalize this" has become a kind of rallying cry during President Trump's first year in office -- a reminder to…
Bucking that trend would be seen as reverse racism or worst…revolutionary🤨. Asking or expecting Senator Kamala Harris to buck that trend would also be seen as revolutionary.