What does Any Sane Person Care About Who Kamala Harris Married?
Dr. Boyce Watkins, the self-proclaimed “People Philosopher” is at it again. He has a penchant for throwing rocks then hiding his hands when the backlash comes. “Oh,” he’ll say, “I was just asking a question.”
Watkins seems to question whether Harris attended an HBCU (Historically Black College and Universities). She has an undergraduate degree from Howard University, which is as prestigious an HBCU as you can get. It is worthing noting, Watkins did not obtain any of his degrees from an HBCU and several years ago he had a thread on Facebook stating he would not teach at an HBCU.
Philosophically speaking, one can only conclude that it is disingenuous for Watkins to play the HBCU card. At least, Harris attended college with other Black students.
If Dr. Watkins never went to an HBCU and would not profess at an HBCU, does he get to question the motive of HBCU graduates?
Since this is a rhetorical question from an HBCU grad: “Hell No!”
In the midst of the backlash Watkins acknowledges that his daughter married a white man, then answers his own retort: “KamalaHarris marrying a white guy is a typical power move among some ambitious black women. It gets them access to the club.”
First, whose business is it who Kamala Harris or anybody marries, including Boyce Watkins?
Secondly, who with a sane mind cares who Kamala Harris or anybody else marries, including Boyce Watkins?
I could care less who either of them is married to currently or otherwise.
Forty years ago tomorrow, I was at work covering a pre-Valentine poetry reading by Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis at Macon College for my newspaper. A young broadcast journalist walked up to me afterward, introduced herself, and struck up a conversation.
We married three years later and have been talking every day since that chance meeting. When I was ready to marry, I did not consult anyone but the young lady I wanted to be my bride. She was fine with the idea and it did not matter to me what anyone else thought about it.
Watkins is not alone in this belief that being married to a white man is a disqualifier for Harris’ presidential aspirations. A few weeks ago I was interviewed on a radio talk show, “Tan Town Coffee Club,” that broadcasts out of Montgomery, Alabama. One of the hosts of the program asked: “What do you think about the fact that Kamala Harris is married to a white man?”
“Who the fuck cares,” I replied.
“I have a problem with it,” the host fired back, his vehement objection puncturing through the airwaves between Montgomery and Atlanta.
I have not begun to assess the presidential candidates for 2020, but it appears that others have and some perceive Harris as a threat to become the next President.
Three weeks ago, the critics pointed out that because her legal career has been on the prosecutorial side of the law, she would not be a good president. I’m not sure how anyone comes to that conclusion, but that was the first round of attack against her. As far as I know, our 44th President dubbed a constitutional scholar, never tried a case. Harris has spent her entire legal career in the courtroom.
When I was in college at Tuskegee Institute, one year I volunteered to help the Student Government Association Public Defender’s Office represent students before the student disciplinary board. We were able to keep all of the students in school. This was a feat that had not been accomplished in the past. Tuskegee was notorious for shutting the door on students who ran afoul of its rules. The next year I ran for the student prosecutor’s position. The administration declined to bring any students up for prosecution. The administration knew that my goal was to seek ways to keep students in school. The fact that I was the student prosecutor in college did not prevent me 20 years later from volunteering pro bono representation to over 200 college students from across the country who were prosecuted by the City of Atlanta during Freaknik in 1996.
Similarly, Harris as a prosecutor found ways to impact the criminal justice system without throwing the book at every defendant that came before the court for adjudication.
Last week, the critics accused Harris of not being black enough to be president. They cited her Asian and Jamaican heritage as the reasons for this belief. I can’t buy this as a disqualifier for the presidency.
Now, this week, she married a white man in 2014 and thus can’t be worthy of the support of the Black community.
These attacks would be laughable, but for the fact, these attacks are being waged by men and women who heretofore were believed to be some of the more progressive minds in the African diaspora.
Woe to the Black community. A word to the wise, ditch your Black leaders and read a few books and do a little thinking on your own before pledging or refraining from pledging your support for a candidate in 2020.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Medium, and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org