Is Kamala Harris black enough?
On August 10, Forbes reported that a group of more than 100 prominent black men had written a letter to Joe Biden demanding that he pick a black woman as his running mate. They warned that if Biden failed to comply, he would lose the election. One wonders if Whoopi Goldberg would suffice.
In these tumultuous times, aren't there other criteria for high office that are more important than one's skin tones? And if the melanin in a lady's skin is so very important, then one wonders if Biden's choice, Kamala Harris, is black enough for the "melanists" who signed the letter to Mr. Biden. For years, some have been calling for a "national conversion on race," so let's start one.
I don't know if Sen. Harris has taken a DNA test to confirm her racial pedigree, but we're told her mother was one Shyamala Gopalan, an Indian émigrée. If her mother's racial makeup doesn't include any African, then Kamala's blackness (what some might call "négritude") would clock in at a maximum of 50 percent, presumably the same as Obama's. If Harris were indeed half-black, couldn't she be accused of being "black by choice"?
What might concern Van Jones, Charlemagne Tha God, P. Diddy, and the other melanists who signed the aforementioned letter is the fact that Harris, like Obama, does not come out of American slave "stock." That is, none of her forebears seems to have been a slave here in America, as her father, Donald J. Harris, is a Jamaican émigré. Not only that, but her father has claimed to have descended from slave-owner Hamilton Brown, an Irishman. If so, then Ms. Harris isn't even half-black. Yet, in her speech on August 12, Harris said Biden "has chosen the first black woman as his running mate."
The old One Drop Rule, whereby "any person with even one ancestor of black ancestry ... is considered black (Negro or colored in historical terms)" was codified into law in some states. If the melanists find that a "high yellow" like Harris is close enough to meet their demands for a black woman, then they've lost all standards. The melanists should have demanded that Biden choose a real black woman, someone like Val Demings (photos). Demings has the added luster of having been a prominent part of the effort to impeach the dread Orange Man.
Kamala Harris's claim of blackness isn't as absurd as Liz Warren's claim of redness, but it's similar. In terms of presidential politics, I'm afraid the melanists are losing ground. They've gone from settling for half-black to someone who's less than half-black, and neither has any black American slaves in his ancestry. If the melanists can be mollified by the selection of Kamala Harris, I'm afraid they can be bought cheaply. Perhaps it's not too late to issue another ultimatum: write Sleepy another letter and tell him he must do better.
In case you think I'm a racist or sexist, here's a little article of mine from 2015 wherein I suggest that Republicans nominate a black woman for president.
The reason voters should regard the selection of Kamala Harris as a serious failure for Uncle Joe has nothing to do with melanin, but with character. She's just not very nice. And she seems to be a lousy lawyer.
On August 11, National Review ran "On Kamala Harris" by Kevin Williamson that's worth reading. Yes, Williamson is a Never Trump, but the article is a succinct and eye-opening rundown of Harris's checkered, to say the least, history as a prosecutor and as California's attorney general. And here's what a real prosecutor thinks of Kamala:
Jon N. Hall of ULTRACON OPINION is a programmer from Kansas City.