Why The Ideal Candidate For #2020 Can’t Be Squeamish About Equality
As 2020 fast approaches, there is a sense of trepidation that grips, when you conceive of how high the stakes are, and why nothing can be overlooked, downplayed or glazed over for the sake of loyalty or political etiquette.
The rules and regulations that permitted a thuggish bigot like Donald Trump to seamlessly purchase his first-class ticket to the White House, certainly have to be submitted for an overhaul. The irrevocable damage that has been exacted on the dignity of that office, and the painstaking process of reversing the unsightly defacement of once dignified stations, will require the expertise and relentless endeavor of a natural soldier with the passion and endearment to boot.
When Barack Obama appeared on the scene like a rising sphinx with all the reputable qualities intact, and the sealed armor of Blackness that magically allowed Black people to proudly reclaim the truth of our ancestry, without the tainted strokes of White supremacy devouring the unfolding narrative — the tranquility of observing the activities of the first-ever Black family in the White House was periodically disrupted by loud-mouthed White bullies.
The only other buzzkill was witnessing the helplessness of a Black president, who was caught in between the frenzy of societal violence against his own community, and how his judgment call to cautiously grieve in order to sustain the validity of his position as the “American President,” ultimately created the legacy that he undoubtedly wishes he could rewrite.
Inauguration Day 2009 seems like a lifetime ago, and even while re-watching clips of the festivities in anticipation of that sweet embrace of nostalgia, the emotion that surfaced was wrapped up in the bitterness that stings when you realize how the dream was really a well-rehearsed nightmare.
We really believed it when America accepted “Yes We Can” as the anthem of “Change” that needed to happen with the astute assistance of a charismatic and diligent leader, who seemed too good to be true. And while it sucks to be robbed of the complete pleasure that evokes the pride that comes with helping to elect a presidential candidate, who was more than worthy of the role — there’s also the currency of awareness that propels maturity in an arena that gradually becomes potently familiar.
In this assaulting era that has been hijacked by the deadly promise of #MAGA, and all that it has imposed on the vulnerable and the needy, the main criteria that hovers above the rubble is seeped in the determination to sift out the applicable contenders, who are equipped with the tools to engineer systemic rejuvenation.
When it comes to the candidates that deserve my investment, the goal is to tread lightly, and thoroughly avoid the “Messiah-like” references that bathed the template of Obama, when his ordained arrival was heralded with biblical reception.
For instance, an almost near-perfect replica like Cory Booker can’t come close to being the preferred distraction, despite his track record of community service and mayorship to the city of Newark. Yes, his chosen anthem that seeks the “revival of civic grace and bringing people together” to achieve great things is a much-needed rally cry in these trying times. And his past political entanglements that propelled the need to “against the machine” in order to gain the necessary results that were deemed impossible, will undoubtedly work in his favor.
But Booker is also not prepared to distinguish himself as the “unapologetically Blacker” successor of Obama, who will not be politely responsive about the epidemic of police brutality and hate crimes, that are tragically thriving in the climate of hostility that the Trump administration has helped to foster with callous gusto.
When asked point blank if he thinks the president is racist, Booker disappointingly offered a watered-down version of the blatant truth, that didn’t at all satisfy the appetite of those of us who are desperate for a Black leader with the balls of a Pit Bull.
The first Black U.S. Senator from New Jersey acknowledged that Donald Trump does have a tendency to use “bigoted language,” but instead of expanding on the examples that validate the president’s well-documented bigotry — Booker opted to play it safe by cowardly adding — “I don’t know the heart of anybody.”
It’s impressive that Booker believes we should be able to smoke weed without threats from the legal system, and his mission to straighten out the kinks of criminal justice reform is also a step in the right direction. But the nagging concern about his inability to proactively initialize the cycle of healing for a terrorized community, that needs a Commander who can aptly lead this country, and still uplift the value system of Black America without skipping a beat — will most likely be his undoing.
Former Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris, is hoping to win big by achieving what Hillary Clinton wasn’t able to manifest. She could be the first woman in history to call the shots in the Oval Office, but as the debate wages on about the percentage of Blackness that validates her allegiance to a community that she claims, there’s a danger of how the swarm of naysayers could derail access to her version of the American Dream.
Harris, who has a Jamaican father and Hindu mother, is weathering the storm of discontent that erupted from the residue that was already menacingly swirling with the aptitude of White supremacy, and how slavery and colonialism has successfully kept Black folks woefully divided.
Regardless of how her heritage is received and processed when the ballots are verified, we can’t pretend not to care about how Harris weaponized her prime influence during her tenure as both District Attorney and Attorney General, to ensure that the judicial system continued to play dirty when it came to the inflexibility that keeps innocents behind bars.
There is enough evidence to prove how she operated against the welfare of people of color, especially those who are susceptible to the consequences of societal betrayal, that permanently halts the trajectory of Black families; thereby setting back generations and reaffirming the supremeness of Whiteness at the expense of Blackness.
But it’s not all gray clouds when it comes to Kamala Harris, as her good deeds in the realm of offering second chances for “first-time nonviolent offenders,” initiating bias training programs, and spearheading dependable functionality of rape kits, has to be resoundingly lauded.
And when it comes to championing the issues that directly affect Black America, Harris seems to be the spirited warrior who will fight tooth and nail to prove her devotion. Her verbal prowess is impressively infectious, and the fact that she chose Martin Luther King Jr. Day to announce her candidacy definitely showcases her willingness to be refreshingly dramatic about her faithfulness to a somewhat scattered community, that she pledges to keep united.
Actions speak louder than words, and for the candidates of color who are roaring with bloated optimism, it’s going to take a lot more than town halls and over-flowing rallies to convince skeptics to loosen up their combative rhetoric.
As a Black woman who went from healthily hopeful to bleakly disenchanted in one fell swoop, the relevant issues that occupy my interests are securely embedded in memory cards.
But this time, it has to be all about the subject of equality, and how the toxicity of Trump’s venomous presidency will have to be doused with the antidote of swift recovery by an ideal candidate, who isn’t squeamish about effectively tackling the disease of racism.
Another presidential candidate who could possibly emerge as the favored frontrunner is Julian Castro, who not only served as Mayor of San Antonio, but also worked under the Obama administration as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. His background as the child of Mexican immigrants, who grew up to be the very embodiment of what the American Dream can produce when you discard Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric, is the classic tale of hard-earned success that could appeal to non-White America with epic results.
As for the other candidates who are hoping to utilize their Whiteness in ways that won’t drive away the population that they need to effortlessly woo with genuine pledges that stick, it’s still difficult to figure out the best of the bunch.
Although we can’t deny that the unfavorable forecast for Sen. Elizabeth Warren will remain unchanged, thanks to the controversy stemming from her ill-advised self-assignment as an “American Indian,” and how her past and present recklessness will haunt her out of the race.
Kirsten Gillibrand appears to be a little more presidential than Warren, and thankfully doesn’t have the weight of bad judgement calls on her shoulders. But there’s nothing in her trajectory that proves her intolerance for racial injustice. The only justice she notably sought was on behalf of the most famous intern in the world, who was societally ostracized for the fateful dalliance with President Clinton.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar seems affable enough with the guts to stand up to high-powered bullies and alleged sexual offenders, as was proven when the Congresswoman from Minnesota remained poised and firm while engaging with the master-of-ceremony during the Kavanaugh hearings.
And we already know that she’s tough enough to ride out snow storms, and the low-grade controversy regarding her reputation as boss-lady, without shuddering from the freeze, but whether she’s able to command the forts of a biased justice system is the mystery that hasn’t been solved.
Tulsi Gabbard, the Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii, who is under the age of 40, is the youngest contender, and while her ambitious climb to the top is worthy of praise, her past transgressions as a dangerous oppressor of the LGBTQ community, thanks to a conservative upbringing — is an off-putting quality that should automatically disqualify her.
Her staged apology only enhances the damning transparency of trying to atone for the sins that could stifle her otherwise stellar political career.
So in the end, it’s quite obvious that it’s still too early to “ride or die” for any of the candidates that have bravely signed up to go where very few would dare to venture.
And while I’m contentedly taking my time with the sorting out process, I’m also eager to find “the one” who will make my heart skip to the beat of the soundtrack, that gives Black people the reinstated privilege of trusting the reality that features a bright future where equality reigns.
If you can’t say that president Trump is a racist pig in front of an expectant crowd — then perhaps, you need to reassess what you’re fighting for and why.