Malcolm X famously recalled, “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”
Vice President Kamala Harris changed the face of the world as we know it. As the first female Vice President and Black and Asian Vice President, Kamala Harris shattered the proverbial glass ceiling with class, poise, and persistence. However, for a nation that continues to take one step forward, two steps back — her legacy is being tarnished by the very systemic racism and sexism she is fighting so hard to abolish.
We all know that modern media dictates the way a nation responds to current events, political leaders, social unrest, and just about everything in between. Now VP Kamala Harris is no stranger to criticism, but lately, the media has waged war against everything Harris stands for progress, acceptance, racial equity, and a better nation overall. While FOX “News”, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity are certainly the ones we’d expect to not only report political attacks, but personal attacks against a Black woman in power, we did not expect the same kind of attacks coming from a reputable outlet like the New York Times.
Since the summer of 2021 the New York Times has slowly but surely changed their tune from praise to persecution, calling Harris an afterthought, making fun of her marriage, her laugh, her capabilities, her rumored behavior with White House staff, and just about everything in between. Media both left and right have accused her of playing the ‘race card’ to explain her recent criticism. Funny how whenever a woman or a person of color, let alone a Black woman points out systemic racism, sexism and bias, they gaslight an entire race or gender because they fail to look at themselves and address their white privilege. Classic colonized behavior.
Let me challenge you to think objectively here. No matter which side of the political aisle you fall on — when a white man is outspoken or confrontational, what is he remarked as? Strong, confident, a leader. When a woman, let alone a Black woman does the same, she's labeled as abrasive and emotional. You know I know. When a white man has a powerful career path he is praised for taking care of his family, a woman is labeled as a spinster or a bad mother. When a white man works his way up the corporate or political ladder he is praised for his hard work and dedication. When a woman does the same, she is accused of sleeping her way to the top, which VP Harris has been accused of on numerous occasions. Again, you know I know.
The double standard between men and women is astronomical. Women are expected to be homemakers, quiet, meek, and submissive — anything outside of that causes an uproar by fragile white men afraid of their purpose and others championing it. Now the difference between white men and black women — that is a whole different story. Black women face challenges from every single angle of society — from healthcare to corporate America, the home, and just about everywhere else. No one can look me in the eye and say that a Black-female Vice President who champions systemic change with an unabashed sense of confidence is not immediately labeled as an “angry black woman” in our society. Our confidence is so threatening to mediocre folks – even though they don’t see themselves that way. They feel superior, but deep down inside, they know. That’s what’s creating this reaction in them.
Despite the impact of a global pandemic the world has not seen in 100 years, and inherited catastrophe from the previous President, and a nation more divided than ever — Harris has done an impeccable job championing causes that have been ignored by previous administrations. Uniting families, systemic racism, women’s reproductive rights — Harris is doing exactly what she promised, so why the hatred and criticism from media? To the media so clearly basing their stories on bias and privilege — shame on you.
Vice President Kamala Harris not only changed history, but she changed the lives of little girls all across the United States and beyond. She proved once and for all that a Black woman can shatter the glass ceiling, make it to the White House, and create meaningful and lasting change to inspire generations to come. Her legacy is something to be protected because her legacy is the sparkle in a little girl’s eyes, a beacon of hope for a generation struggling amid the twists and turns of a global pandemic.
A Black Woman in a position of power is a force to be reckoned with. Now, that force is making those with white fragility shake in their boots — so they criticize, they tarnish, and they seek to destroy the progress that has been done with false claims of her character, her politics, and her purpose. Let me challenge you with one more parting thought. Donald Trump, despite his blatant racism, sexism, and foul-mouthed claims against others, is still praised in the media as a brilliant businessman and strong leader. Kyle Rittenhouse, who murdered two people, and shot three is claimed as “just a kid” despite being eighteen yielding an AR-15. Can you honestly tell me the media is fair in their portrayal of VP Kamala Harris? Of course not.
So now what? Her legacy and the causes she fights vigilantly for are on the chopping block. We do what strong women do — we stand together. Women of all ages, of all races, I urge you to stand with Vice President Kamala Harris. Let’s prove to our little girls that women cannot only make it but thrive and be the change they want to see.