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The Kamala Harris Pick Proves How Tone-Deaf Washington Really is

navid · politics · opinion · 10/10/2020 · edited

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It's taken him a while, but Joe Biden finally announced his VP pick. It's Kamala Harris.

*sigh*

There was no question that his nominee would be a woman of color but Kamala Harris? C'mon Joe. 

It's no secret that a presidential nominee's VP pick is more about diversifying their voter base than it is about actual policy. I think that's part of the reason Clinton failed so badly. She was struggling with the young, progressive vote but instead of selecting an Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders who would help her image in their eyes, she selected Tim Kaine. No disrespect to Mr. Kaine, but he is quite possibly the most boring man in the world and also aggressively centrist. Pair him with the robotic woman, and you're not winning any favor with young people.

In theory, Joe Biden's made a decent pick. Kamala's a strong woman of color who can speak to the somewhat-alienated female voting populous. Not to mention--discounting the all-too-frequent, annoying, canned one-liners--she's a solid debater who can go toe-to-toe with Pence.  

But then there's the question of appealing to the African-American voter base. Biden already has a decent foundation there due to his association with Obama. However, I'm a little tired of the tokenization of their vote. Just because Kamala is a half-black woman doesn't mean she automatically earned the black vote. It's frustrating that Washington thinks it's that easy.

Mass incarceration and criminal justice are perhaps the biggest issues concerning the black community. So, naturally, Joe Biden has selected a former attorney general who is notorious for aggressively prosecuting non-violent drug charges. As recently as 2016, Harris was opposing marijuana-legalization propositions1. Her position as an attorney general means that these stances aren't without consequences. She's overseen 1,900 marijuana-related convictions during her tenure2.

Conveniently, as she started noticing the public's shift in opinion towards legalization, she slowly changed her stance as well. It seems rather disingenuous for someone who was so staunchly anti-marijuana to suddenly gain a new perspective as it started threatening her viability as a democratically-elected representative.

It's pretty funny to see her twitter nowadays: championing racial equality bills and movements. While no more than a few years ago, she was making sure those same people ended up behind bars.

Now, this isn't to say that people can't change. I just think it's awfully convenient when she did. 

Kamala Harris isn't a champion for black voters. She's another token VP selection that proves that Washington is more focused on pandering to a voter base than they are to actually helping them.

This doesn't mean that Joe's lost the black vote, it just means that he willingly selected a candidate who directly opposes the values of their community. 

Good job Joe. Good job.

Sources

(1) https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/kamala-harris-marijuana-policy-tulsi-gabbard-debates-866102/

(2) https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/09/11/kamala-harris-prosecuting-marijuana-cases/

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navid

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