Deservedly so, much ado is being made over Kamala Harris being the first American Black woman to be the Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States. But there is potentially a truly historic moment that nobody is acknowledging!!!
Even if Kamala Harris does not become the first black Vice President, America is already a great country but like most things in life, it’s not a perfect country. Its most glaring imperfection is the racism and sexism that has existed throughout the entire history of America. Proof of this imperfection is the fact that in the 244-year history of America, Kamala Harris is the first American Black, male or female, to be the vice-presidential nominee of a major political party. If elected Kamala Harris would not only be the first American Black to serve as Vice President of the United States, she would also be the first woman to serve as Vice President of the United States.
This American racist and sexist reality is a total contradiction to America’s most glaring perfection, which is the American principle that all people are created equal and are therefore endowed with certain unalienable rights, among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Unfortunately, America’s 244-year history reveals a pattern of America taking 100 years for American life practices to reflect American life principles. America fought the Civil War in the 1860s to end the inhumane enslavement of American Blacks, but it wasn’t until the Civil Rights Movement forced the passage of the 1960’s Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, 100 years later, that American Blacks got their true freedom from slavery.
In August 1920, 100 years ago, the 19th Amendment was ratified and added to the American Constitution. It gave American women the right to vote throughout the United States, if Joe Biden wins in November Kamala Harris will be the first woman elected to the top leadership of the United States 100 years after American women got the right to vote. And even though it would mean that it took 100 years for the right of American women to vote to bear presidential fruit, electing Kamala Harris as the first women Vice President would not diminish the historic significance of a woman finally reaching the top tier of American political leadership.
In fact, electing Kamala Harris as the first woman Vice President would be such a big deal that it would overshadow a more historic American milestone. A milestone that is very appropriate for America to reach considering the momentous change that is occurring in the United States.
America is approaching a transformational point because the racial demographics that have traditionally defined the cultural values, behavior, beliefs, language, arts, and symbols of American society are changing. The population in America is shifting from a racial majority of Caucasian or White people (American Whites) to a racial majority blend of American Blacks, American non-white Hispanics, and American Asians.
The 2014–15 school year marked the first time in America that colored student enrollment in public schools surpassed that of white students. The Pew Research Center reports that Census Bureau 2015 figures show that just over half — 50.2% — of U.S. babies younger than 1-year-old were racial or ethnic minorities. In sheer numbers, there were 1,995,102 colored babies compared with 1,982,936 non-Hispanic white infants. This change among newborns is part of a projected U.S. demographic shift from a majority-white nation to one with no racial or ethnic majority group.
The United States Census Bureau predicts that by the year 2044 American residents who identify themselves as Hispanic, Black, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander will together outnumber non-Hispanic whites, meaning that ethnic and racial minorities will comprise a majority of the nation’s population creating new racial demographics in America. Being racially White will no longer be the defining characteristic of being an American. Because the majority of American citizens will no longer be white but will be a blend of different hues. No one race will be the defining point for who is and what is American.
This future racial reality means the truly historic moment of Kamala Harris being elected Vice President is not that she will be the first woman or the first American Black, the true historic moment is that Kamala Harris will be the first female human being as an American Black, a non-white person, do anything of such significance in American society. Barack Obama was the first American Black elected President but he was not the first human being as an American Black elected to be President, in other words, George Washington the first human being to serve as America’s first President was white. Kamala Harris as an American Black, a non-white person, will be the first female human being to be the 2nd most powerful person in the world!!!
For the first 190 years of the 244-year history of America, American Blacks were legally perceived and treated as sub-human and genetically inferior to human beings with white skin. For the last 54 years of American history, the equal humanity of American Blacks has been accepted, but American Blacks and other people of color in America still suffer from the systemic racism that remains in the United States. American systems of education, environment, finance, civil, and criminal justice still view and treat American Blacks and people of color as less than, even without white human intention or intervention.
That is the definition of systemic racism, discrimination that is built into the system, and therefore it automatically commits prejudice against people of color without human intervention. An American Black being the first human being to hold such an important position in American society helps to defeat this, because it makes a powerful symbolic statement on the equal humanity of all people of color in American society.
There are only 3 other instances where an American Black was the first human being to achieve anything of substance in American society. Only one is equal or more substantial than Kamala Harris potentially being the first female human being, as an American Black, to serve as Vice President. It was Crispus Attucks who was the first human being, as an American Black, that voluntarily gave his life for American independence making it possible for America to become America.
The other two are a huge distant 2nd and 3rd. They are:
2nd Michael Jordan is the ONLY human being athlete, as an American Black, to go from being a professional major league player/employee to being a professional major league controlling interest owner of a team in the same league (over 50% ownership)
3rd Condoleezza Rice is the first female human being, as an American Black, to serve as a National Security Adviser to the President of the United States
Being the first American Black to follow an American White in achieving anything in a 244-year society, which for its first 190 years viewed and treated American Blacks as sub-human, is a good historic thing. But now that America is approaching a new future racial majority that will force the United States to confront and eliminate its remaining systemic racism, the first human being, as an American Black, who achieves anything and sets a path that an American White has to follow in the current systemic racist American society is a great historic thing!!! And just what the doctor orders for a systemically racist society.
Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective on current events. Drop by his website for straight talk free of one-sided political spin
Originally published at https://isaacnewtonfarris.com on September 8, 2020.