Opinion: Is Kamala Harris’ White Husband A Black Concern?

On January 21, 2019, Kamala Harris officially announced her campaign to run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2020 United States presidential election. Harris would become only the second Black woman to run for President of the United States for a major political party’s nomination since Shirley Chisholm was nominated in 1972. Harris currently serves as the junior U.S. Senator for California and previously served as District Attorney for San Francisco and Attorney General for California.

Kamala Harris has no biological children of her own and has one younger sister who is also a lawyer. In 2014, she married Douglas Emhoff, who is an attorney too. The couple had a courthouse wedding. Harris inherited two step children through her marriage to Emhoff. The couple dated for nearly a year before getting engaged. They’re both 54 years old and Emhoff was born seven days before Harris. Harris is a Baptist and Emhoff is Jewish.

I think Harris has just as good of a chance of winning the nomination in the democratic primary which is predicted to end up as a very crowded field. If she wins the democratic nomination with heavy support from a few key white demographics (that I will discuss later in this post), then she stands a very decent chance of winning the presidency at the top of the ticket. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up on a ticket with a white male, with him at the top of the ticket. Harris had a very controversial and contradicting criminal justice record while serving as the Attorney General of California. This record may cause her some issues in the Black community. Otherwise, Harris’ political positions are considered very progressive on issues like abortion, education, environment, cannabis, healthcare, immigration, gun rights, foreign policy, etc. Conservatives will have no problem labeling her as a left-wing, “left-coast” democrat. Some of these progressive positions may also pose some problems for her in the Midwest, rustbelt, and Appalachian regions of the country with the so called “blue-dog” and white working-class voters.

However, the question posed in the title of this piece is if Harris’ white husband is a source of concern for Black people. Black people seem to have a much easier time accepting other races and ethnicities into their families than white people. But I do think there is a small double standard, even within the Black family, when the female is Black, and the male is white. On the other hand, her marriage to Emhoff may help her with some college-educated suburban white women. I’m not sure what impact Emhoff will have on Harris’ support in the Jewish community.

There are some things about Harris that will win over many African-Americans. She is a Baptist who made her first stop in the key primary state and heavily African-American state of South Carolina on MLK Day. It has been a longtime tradition for candidates to make their first appearance in the state of Iowa after announcing their candidacy. She proudly went to Georgia and campaigned for Stacey Abrams. She is a graduate of Howard University, which many considers the most prestigious Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) in the country. Being a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, also provides her a certain level of bonafides in the African-American community. With all that said, she has a lot of explaining to do in the Black community when it comes to some of her criminal justice decisions in California. I stop short of acknowledging Harris as an African-American because I haven’t heard or heard of her acknowledging herself as African-American; however, I think it’s safe to call her Black and I know that you will be watching her black- <shut your mouth>.

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