20201108 Time to be truthful about race.

20201108 Time to be truthful about race.

Nigel Morris-Cotterill

As the dust continues to swirl around the US presidential election much media mileage is being made of the USA's "first black woman vice president."

There's just one issue: Kamala Harris isn't "black."

Kamala Devi Harris, an accomplished lawyer, former District Attorney and Governor of California and a US Senator did not achieve that because she's a woman: she has not got her ticket through positive discrimination nor through quotas. She has achieved all of that, and her role as running mate in support of Democratic presidential hopeful, and now (perhaps for now depending on Trump's actions) Vice President Elect because she is very good at what she does. And because she is the acceptable face of socialism in a way that Bernie Sanders isn't.

Equally, all those positive factors are why she is where she is, not because of racial quotas or discrimination.

That's important because there are those who want to hijack her success . They want to make her an icon because she's a woman, or black , or part Indian. It's all nonsense: she's an icon because she's very, very good at what she does.

She, herself, says that her race isn't material, that's she's American. There are those that try to claim her as "a woman of color" (sic). Again, that's not the point, is it? The point is that she recognises both her South Indian and Jamaican roots but say those are not the reason she is what she is.

Reuters "Fact check: Kamala Harris did not switch from identifying as Indian-American to Black" (here: https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-fact-check-harris-did-not-switch-raci...) said "VERDICT: Partly false. While these headlines are true, the press, as well as Kamala Harris herself, have continually described her racial identity as Black, South Asian, Indian-American, African-American, and Jamaican-American."

So, let's be honest: she's mixed. And that's a good thing. Those that claim that she is one thing or another are actually perpetuating racial divisions.

Harris isn't black, she isn't Indian, she's a mix of both and, as the parents of any mixed race child will tell you, such children are often far intellectually superior to their single-race peers.

Those that claim Harris as their exclusive preserve do her, and us, a grave disservice.