When the anticipated announcement confirming the exit of presidential candidate for 2020, Kamala Harris began circulating through our timelines, there was a wave of disbelief and sadness that gripped those of us who have everything to lose, and not much to gain from this furious race to the White House.
In her compelling Medium post, the California Senator laid out the main reasons why there was no choice but to suspend her embattled campaign.
It wasn’t surprising to notice the outlined financial difficulties, and the notable challenges that traditionally plague highly-accomplished women of color in America, who have the extra baggage as the offspring of immigrants.
Here are some excerpts:
I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.
And our campaign uniquely spoke to the experiences of Black women and people of color — and their importance to the success and future of this party. Our campaign demanded no one should be taken for granted by any political party.
Naturally the loss of a strong contender for the highest office in the land, who possessed the shiny attributes and excellent credentials, that should’ve paved the way for the historic nomination that greeted Barack Obama’s epic trajectory, is expectedly garnering a bitterly sorrowful reception on social media platforms.
The general consensus rests on the truth of how Kamala Harris was targeted for extinction based on the volatile climate of discontent, that couldn’t accommodate the genius and passionate pursuits of an ambitious Black woman, who unknowingly picked the wrong time to run for president.
I’ve always admired Harris for her classy and viable demeanor. She has that poetic mix of appealing toughness, acute intelligence and the enviable ability to coherently express her summation of the active issues that matter; particularly to the populations that desperately require that level of expertise and empathy.
We also can’t forget the viral clap back that swiftly shutdown the “Triggered” eldest son of the bullish oaf in the White House, who dared the pathetic attempt at a senseless and dull character assassination.
Looking back, we can agree that Kamala Harris had a much rougher debut, compared to her White women counterparts, which was evident some months after she officially joining the presidential race.
After the launch of her campaign, there was a rush of narratives that ran the gamut from the debates about her questionable “blackness” and the not-so glowing report of her time as attorney general. She was relentlessly vilified for her alleged contributions to a woefully biased judicial system.
I will readily admit that I wasn’t fully committed to the vision of a Harris presidency, but that speaks to my overall exhaustion and disillusionment as a citizen of a terrorized country, that shows very little sign of that much-needed turnaround.
We began this decade under the bosom of the most beloved and capable American president to ever historically bless the White House, and we are ending the same decade, weathering a national emergency, stemming from the enabled toxicity, and celebrated dysfunction of a dangerously unqualified White nationalist.
And as the impeachment process against Donald Trump plays out with the violent tremors emanating from both parties, as the ever-widening gap continues to deepen, it’s impossible to even contemplate what lies ahead in 2020, when you’re held hostage by the shackles of White supremacy.
That being said, the forced resignation of a promising presidential campaign, that began with the vitality and optimism that lost steam way too soon, has to be examined against the backdrop of this unprecedented landscape, that retained the damning themes that crippled a Black woman’s journey to earned greatness.
The media’s uneven treatment of Harris was mostly engrossed in battering her foundation, by establishing the messaging of how she wasn’t focused or committed enough to realize hose lofty dreams.
Unlike Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who has enjoyed the remarkably favorable and balanced assessments from roundtable pundits, Harris had to contend with the messy coverage that was purposed to leave that gigantic question mark, plastered on her best efforts.
And right after the breaking news about the dissolved Harris campaign, Julian Castro, who is still trudging through the race, publicly shared his thoughts about how the media is essentially borrowing from the same blueprint that stained the 2016 elections.
Regardless of whether you were an avid support from the very beginning or a cautious observer who needed more time to warm up to her brand, we can’t deny why it matters that Kamala Harris was forced to drop out.
The last few weeks proved to be a harrowing period for an already ailing operation, that couldn’t avoid the nonstop pummeling from prominent news organizations, that seemed to be eagerly on standby for the gritty dirt, that ended up derailing the only candidate who was vulnerable enough for the dishonor.
The scathing TV segments and online articles didn’t relent in the task of distorting the disposition of Kamala Harris with talking points that praised her resilience, but also passively mocked her wasted energy in recognition of her poor performance at the polls after a steep dip, that was unrecoverable.
It was routinely pointed out that Senator Obama also had a rough start at the launch of his campaign back in 2007, but he was able to catch up and even surpass the competition. It was the golden era of engagement that was spared the curse of algorithms and the ratings game, that only responds to salacious and coerced programming.
The last month was particularly brutal, as both named and unnamed sources embedded in the dying mission statement of the Harris campaign, generously provided the terminal diagnosis that served as the ominous warning of what was inevitable.
The chatterboxes were convinced that Kamala Harris was doomed because of the disorganized and dysfunctional roadmap, that was only getting worse by the day. And when the recent headlines that touted the utter betrayal of a valued staffer, who boldly joined the Bloomberg train, became the viral tidbit that wouldn’t fade, forecasters could sense the hovering clouds.
It certainly felt like Harris was sinking before she had the opportunity to triumphantly rise above the currents, armed with the same privilege and afforded flexibility that has propelled Buttigieg to the heights of his unhampered ascent.
And even more disconcerting was the annoying chants in the background that nonsensically begged former First Lady Michelle Obama to consider an unappetizing proposition that she has repeatedly and forcefully rejected.
Why on earth would we even go there, when we already had the selfless and dignified participation of another distinguished Black woman on the national stage?
In the next few days, we will be buried under the avalanche of think pieces that will try to curate the award-winning schedule of events that converged to prematurely halt the zigzag race to the top.
But the only thing that matters is what remains.
We are left with stark realization that the power of diversity in this evolving society, that’s rapidly reflecting that relatable view, is no longer a feasible characteristic of the remaining presidential hopefuls, outside of Cory Booker and Julian Castro.
The presidential race is now a glitzy contest that showcases the ultra-wealthy prowess of attention-seeking White males, who are more driven by their disdain for Trump, and the strong will to heroically defeat him with the cameras rolling.
And Black women have to contend with the all-too familiar emptiness, that presents the chilly alienation that won’t be warmed up with the snug embrace of a future candidate, who will be outfitted with the unyielding devotion to the causes that are close to our hearts.
It sucks that we’ve been deprived of the chance to witness the elaborate anointing of Kamala Harris, during this season of strife that matches the climate that transformed Barack Obama to a newly-minted Commander-in-Chief.
And while the word on the street is drafting the likelihood that Harris could be offered the second-best option as a possible VP, we can’t help but downplay the validity of those predictions.
If leaving the race at this pivotal point in the process means anything, it has to be the future presidential run in 2024.
Because obviously, nothing else will do.