Race & Identity
Nope, Don't Even Think About Calling Kamala Harris The 'Female Barack Obama'
Can Black people just be their own person once every blue moon or nah?
After Sen. Kamala Harris announced her presidential bid earlier this week, the buzz around the California politician has sparked comparisons to former President Barack Obama.
Almost a decade ago, the 54-year-old was first called the "female Obama" by late PBS journalist Gwen Ifill during an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman." The label would stick as Harris' political career took off.
Supporters were quick to point out that Harris is her brand of politician and not a female counterpart to anyone.
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Harris threw her hat into the already crowded Democratic field for the 2020 presidential election on the MLK holiday -- the same day as political icon Shirley Chisholm announced her historic bid.
According to Yahoo News, her mixed-heritage, however, has been a sticking point for the right and the left. Harris has been dubbed the "Female Barack Obama" because of mixed-race background and political prowess. She is the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, while the former president is a son to a Kenyan father and white mother.
Politically, their principles are moderate. Some on the left wish the two were more left-leaning in certain areas like civil rights.
Critics have claimed the California congresswoman has only embraced her Blackness to attract the coveted Black voting bloc. CNN states her membership with Black sorority group Alpha Kappa Alphas will help sway Black voters. The AKAs have an estimated 300,000-plus membership.
People need to stop comparing @kamalaHarris .She's neither the female Obama nor the black Hillary. Her resume qualifies her distinctively.— Sir Jonathan💿 (@Sirjonathan_ke) January 22, 2019'
Kamala Harris is NOT
- the next Shirley Chisholm
- the female Barack Obama
- A likable Hillary Clinton
- Eric Holder in a skirt.
— Elect Kamala Harris (@KamalaDraft) January 2, 2019'
She is Kamala Devi Harris, the first Black AG of the 4th largest Economy in the world.
When she announces refrain from sexist racist comparisons.
Concerning the Obama comparisons, CNN notes Harris has an impressive resume that does not have to rely on other Black Excellence.
The former prosecutor is the first woman of Indian-American descent to serve in the U.S. Senate. She was also the first woman, Black, Indian American or South Asian, to be district attorney of San Francisco and attorney general in the state of California.
Defenders have called the Obama comparison a ploy by the media.
“That’s some crap a White male journalist came up with thinking it would be catchy,” one user tweeted. “Black Women don’t need to follow in the steps of Black men. They create their own path!”
In 2018, Harris dismissed the comparison herself saying: “I’m my own person, not someone else.”
CNBC reports Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden, who is expected to run, are the two likely candidates to receive an endorsement from Obama.
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