Kamala Harris was announced as Joe Biden’s running candidate for Vice President yesterday via email and twitter. Kamala Harris is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party, and only the fourth woman in history to be chosen for one of their presidential tickets according to The New York Times. Even all-adored Bernie Sanders is endorsing Kamala Harris new running candiancy.
I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 11, 2020
While celebrating a “historic moment” for the United States political (very cis white male) landscape, the Internet and others cant help but raise eyebrows at Harris’s political background and past. Many wonder how that will play out in the elections coming up in November.
Before VP nominations and even before running for President in the 2016 elections, Kamala Harris political history has been well known as a US Senator and California’s Attorney General.
Through Governor Gavin Newson state's immigration policy change, Attorney General Kamala Harris prosecuted convicted undocumented juveniles by putting them in the hands of ICE in San Francisco, leading to deportation back in 2008. These juveniles, were convicted of minor crimes. "In one instance," reported by CNN, "a 14-year-old who had been in the United States since he was 2 was handed over to ICE after he took a BB gun to school to show off to friends, In another instance, a 13-year-old and his family faced deportation after he punched another boy at school and stole 46 cents.”
With Harris’s identity in Jamaican and Indian ancestry as Brahmin, which is the top ruling caste system in India, folks on the Internet have very mixed feelings on how that will help further push representation of Black and Brown people in political landscapes in the U.S.
Request @JoeBiden to nominate anyone he wants except @KamalaHarris as his running mate for VP. Caste system invented by Brahmins is more cruel than racial segregation found anywhere in world. Casteist are more racist than white supremacists.#DalitLivesMatter #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/8qBGiRoSqZ— Dilip Mandal (@Profdilipmandal) August 4, 2020
Senator @KamalaHarris congrats on your nomination. I hope you will take this moment to push to defund the police domestically, fight for the dignity of working people, and speak against the increasing violence, bigotry, and ongoing arrest of dissident voices in India by BJP govt.— Suchitra Vijayan (@suchitrav) August 11, 2020
Kamala Harris is also a huge fan of the legalization of marijuana yet in the past she put at least 1,560 people behind bars, who are mostly Black and Brown, for marijuana-related offenses from 2011-2016, according to the Washington Examiner.
In an interview with The Breakfast Club, when asked about her opposition to weed, she laughs exclaiming "That is not true,” Harris said. “I joke about it, but half my family is from Jamaica. Are you kidding me?” Furthermore, she goes on saying she has smoked weed and “inhaled” it back in her college years.
While 2020 is full of historic moments, I too am raising my eyebrows at the Kamala Harris nomination in lieu of her shady political past. In the words of Cher Horowtiz from 90’s film Clueless, “It is one thing to spark up a doobie and get laced at parties, but it is quite another to incarcerate Black and Brown people for marijuana while Chad from Silicon Valley received 100k for his new organic weed delivery startup”.
I think we can all agree with Clueless’s timeless message.
Top photo of Kamala Harris taken from PBS News Hour
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Natalie (she/they) is a graduate from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Feminist Studies and a Editorial Intern for BUST mag. Hailing from the Bay Area, California they love to read, write poetry and analyze their birth chart. Check them out @hunnistix on Twitter for causal updates on how Mars square Saturn transit has been treating them.