Senator Kamala Harris announced herself as a candidate for the 2020 Presidential Election and I feel – meh. I know Black etiquette implies I should be excited. I should be outside my house waving some sort of Kamala Harris flag. I should be out in the streets talking about Black Girl Magic and how sistas get it done regardless. I’m “supposed” to be thrilled. I’m “supposed” to show that exhilaration in all the typical ways because if I don’t, I get thrown into that pile with the women who allegedly don’t support other women. The pile of people labeled as those who say they don’t like a woman in power, be it politics or otherwise, just because her “womaness” makes them uncomfortable. I’ll be thrown in the pile with the other “crabs” in the barrel crabs don’t belong in anyway based on me “trying to hold another Black person back from her greatness.”

See sometimes for some people, being Black and a woman makes me obligated to support certain people, art, places, and causes. Just by placing in the melanin and gender categories, there are expectations I follow the unspoken Black ass protocol or risk being a sellout of some sort. And I get it. I get that sistas are rarely supported on a large scale by anyone other than other sistas. I get that more often than not, we’re all we got. I get that it would be a good look if the majority of sistas in this country all jumped up to support Senator Harris. I get how her Blackness and her presence in the senate and potentially in the highest offices is huge. I get how important it is for us to be in these spaces and I would love to feel excited like a lot of other folks, but I have questions and ponderances.

What does Kamala Harris think of prison reform? Is she still on some lock ‘em all up type shit or has she reached the understanding how imperative it is to enforce fair sentencing practices? Does she understand the preschool to prison pipeline and if she does, is it of concern to her? How is she going to address the reputation she had as the AG? Will she blow off all the Black folk’s questions or will she go in head on about her past? And if she goes in, will I like what she says or will it leave me pissed off? Is she going to acknowledge racial inequities, the fact Black lives absolutely matter, and the way the life playing field isn’t the same for everyone? Is she willing to take that unpopular stance and risk scaring off pretend allies or will she talk about all lives mattering as if that’s the point?

And look, I don’t want to be unexcited. I want to smile and cheer and make signs and all the shit. However, I can’t do that at the risk of abandoning what’s important to me for the sake of a Black presence in the whitest of houses. I can’t throw my people under the bus just to cheer on a woman whose ideologies just might belong in a barrel with a bunch of crabs. ©


Malikka RogersComment