Pasqueline Agostinho explains why Kamala Harris, despite her black and Asian heritage, isn’t a friend to the USA’s surging movement for racial equality.
Millions of US citizens cried with joy when Joe Biden was declared the President-Elect of the United States of America. They were even happier to see that the Vice President, Kamala Harris is not the only first woman to take the role, but the first black and south Asian person to be the Vice President. Finally, from a liberal perspective, we will lead to a better, progressive USA, not head towards fascism.
But don’t be complacent. According to Harris’ past, Harris is the opposite of being progressive. Harris may be making history due to her identity, but we need to remind ourselves that it is provable that identity politics is an outdated concept. Just because she’s a woman and a person of colour, doesn’t mean everything she does is right.
It is important to note that Harris used to be the district general attorney from 2004 to 2010 in San Francisco. She was also the Attorney General of California from 2011 to 2017. Although she has helped to reduce prison sentences, replacing several sentences with community service, she has also helped damage black lives.
Firstly, she refused to support the legalization of marijuana during her time as attorney, in which black people are arrested at the highest rate for.
Secondly, she defended the “3 strikes law”. This law provides mandatory life imprisonment to someone if they committed a series of felonies with two or more strikes. This disproportionally affects black people as they are 12 times more likely to be incarcerated under this than white people.
Thirdly, she has supported the death penalty which has executed hundreds of innocent people and once again, disproportionately affects black people. Actually, she advocated for a former death row inmate named Kevin Cooper, a black man, to be executed even though Cooper had DNA evidence proving his innocence. Harris opposed the evidence, but thankfully this was exposed by the New York Times.
Fourthly, Harris locked up black parents because their children missed school. When she was districted attorney, she imprisoned black parents. When she was the attorney general of California, the punishment was a $2,500 fine or the parents could face a year in jail. Surely, there is a problem with these parents not sending their kids to school but looking into why their children are missing school is the best way to sort out the problem. Sending the parents to jail isn’t.
Harris has also refused to prosecute police that murdered black people. Her presence at a black lives matter protest is ironic when she contributes to a massive part of the problem. As the attorney general, she opposed a bill requiring her to investigate police killings.
If many more black people knew who Kamala Harris really is, they will know not to trust her. Surely, voting Biden might have been “better” than voting Trump, but at the end of the day, the black people and the working class in general will always lose. A vote for liberal democracy is a defeat for the working class, especially marginalised groups. How can any pro-black lives matter person trust a woman who has actively helped to destroy them?