Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President , Kamala Harris.

Kamala Harris and Her Black Transfiguration: Race Hustling.

In Ghana, I am 1/16th Asante, from the Oyoko Clan proper, yet I cannot speak of being Asante. I am also 1/16th Fulani, and yet still I cannot speak of being Fulani. At what point does a person become the different parts of his/her identity? At the half point? At the quarter point?

This is the problem with identity. Most people are social products of this sort of identity crises. Some of these crises are real, others are imagined, and still others are fabricated.

Of course, in the African context to my identity, there are often complex structures of inheritance superimposed on ethnic, language affiliation, as well. I could be 1/16th Ewe and still ascend to the throne in Dahomey, and not be able to claim a plot of land in still others!

We do not live in a vacuum of identities. There are structures. Some are strict, others are relaxed. Some identities are by birth, others are achieved and still others are thrust upon people.

And so is the case of the Vice Presidential Candidate for the Democrat Party, Kamala Harris. The lady accepts that her mother is Indian. Her father is half Irish, which makes Kamala, a quarter Irish and half Indian. The remaining quarter of Kamala’s identity is stooped in unnecessary ambiguity. For a reason.

It is within this ambiguity, and ambivalence, that Kamala Harris and her supporters in the Democrat Party claim that she descends from one African ancestor. So, with a reasonable guess, Kamala Harris is probably 1/16th Black, and at best she is probably ¼ th Black. This entails the fact that the percentage of her Blackness could be considerably less than 1/16th.

Why the over-exuberance in the Caucasian mass media about calling Kamala Harris a Black woman? Why the need to make her into an African American woman, and not an Indian woman? Why not an Irish woman? Why not a white woman?

Since the Black vote or more precisely the African American vote in America’s general elections remains pivotal in certain key states for Democrats, Kamala’s Black ancestor, real or imagined, has been resurrected and the particular fraction of Kamala’s genealogy that is this ancestor has also be blown out of proportion.

For good reason: To help the cause of Joe Biden (the Bigot) in the US general presidential elections against what the Democrats claim to be a racist in office, President Donald Trump. (There’s no indication that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are any less racists than President Trump!). The Black vote has been seen by Democrats as one that’s demanded to see a Black woman become (vice) president one day.

To answer that seeming “demand,” the Democrat party has offered Kamala Harris to the African American vote—which is a significant part of the Democrat strategy, come November. But why Kamala? Why is she raising an unknown African ancestor—one she has for so long, if not most of her entire life, ignored and forgotten—from the grave to help her win the African American vote?

It is will be unfair to say that this is the first time Kamala Harris and her Indian family have engaged in Kamala’s African Transfiguration to game the system of white supremacism that remains pervasive and insidious. By transfiguration, what I mean is that Kamala has been forced to change her form or appearance completely to a Blackness that she is not, but into a more spiritual state of Blackness.

Kamala Harris, in like manner as Rachel Dolezal (the white woman who passed for a Black woman), has consistently passed for a Black woman in American society and she has consistently identified as an African American woman to obtain leverage to the meagre resources reserved for Black women, who for centuries have been deprived of their basic humanity in American society.

Kamala, unlike Rachel Dolezal, has the darker skin complexion to boost her claim, and her father also hails from a country (Jamaica) that is predominantly (but not entirely) black, and which is still largely controlled by mixed-race persons. What is worse is that, since colorism is also rampant in American society as it is in Jamaica, which is also the result of the white supremacist ideals upon which the nations were built, Kamala’s light-skinned “Blackness,” and her less-curly hair is seen by the dominant white Euro-American society as more pleasing, or may I say, less terrifying, than the complexions of actual African American women.

Kamala’s 1/4th Irish heritage—although she is barred from claiming that she is Irish—also helps in making her an acceptable “House Negro” (in the old Chattel Plantation parlance), to the dominant white supremacist institutions. This is to say that Kamala Harris and her Indian family were aware that passing for African American, especially after Civil Rights, was surely guaranteeing Kamala Harris the upper hand to certain privileges over African American women in Euro-American society.

There’s a history behind this kind of identity-matching to light-skinned “Blackness,” much to Kamala’s own admission. It is not only true that Kamala actually identified as a Black woman to usurp the few spots that African American women were allowed to occupy in American society, but that by virtue of her father’s birth nation (Jamaica) and by virtue of her darker Indian skin complexion she couldn’t pass for much of anything “white,” which would have conferred the maximum privilege on her and her family in American society. Perhaps, it is for this reason why Kamala Harris eventually married a Caucasian man.

Although Kamala Harris is 1/4th Irish, she is not allowed by the white supremacist essentialist dictates of American society to pass for white. She does not say that she is “White.” She cannot! She would be legally lying on application forms if she checked “White.” On the other hand, passing for Indian, which she actually is (by way of her mother), does not confer the sort of political clout in American politics that she desires!

Much of Kamala’s African Transfiguration then can be attributed to only two insurmountable truths in American society: (1) Kamala wants to cash in on whatever gains that African American women have made after the Civil Rights, and (2) Kamala can only acquiesce to the dictates of the essentialist notions of race and belonging in the white supremacist nation of the United States of America.

There’s no doubt that although Kamala Harris’ Indian mother raised her as an Indian woman (Kamala’s parents were divorced when she was still only a child), she was “forced” either by appetite or by the dictates of American society to identify as a Black woman.

This is key to understand how certain identities are thus thrust on some people.

The problem now is not whether Kamala Harris is Black. She’s not Black. The problem is that in a white supremacist nation as the United States, Kamala Harris can usurp the identity of a Black woman to obtain legitimacy for her Americanness, and still use her lineage as both Indian, Jamaican Indian and Irish to situate herself to appeal to the white supremacist institutions of America to grant her privileges that these same institutions do not and will not grant African American women!

This, by all intents and purposes, makes Kamala Harris, her supporters and the Democrats, a coterie of race-hustlers. What better example of this is that no Black woman, no African American woman, has been nominated as (Vice) Presidential candidate for a major American Party but for Kamala Harris? An Indian-Irish woman who is passing for Black!

27 COMMENTS

  1. She is brown and a minority what is the difference? Throughout my life in America I realized that some suppressed minorities(as you are doing) tend to be worse on each other. She is a “colored” woman(based on American racial profiling and History). She has been through several experiences as other “black women” in the minority class. We love her and we embrace her as one of OUR own regardless of what other’s call her or what she chooses to call herself.
    Smdh

    • Narmer Amenuti Because of American racial background and history and the sad definition of race and racial background in America. Why this onslaught??? Sad!!

    • This actually serves to remove the essentialism of whiteness. If she cannot be called a white woman, then white supremacism wins. It means that nothing that is not fully white is white, that is the gross practice of white essentialism and hence supremacism I fight against.

      To call Kamala a white woman is not to insult her but to rid ourselves of the construct of white supremacism.

    • Narmer Amenuti no one said she could not be called whatever she wants white, colored or black
      We live in a system where race was/is prescribed to us based on historical factors.
      Nothing wrong with what she wants to be called. Stop this needless attack. It is unbecoming

    • It is not true that “We live in a system where race was/is prescribed to us based on historical factors.”

      Stop this needles historical misconception.

    • Grace Ayensu Danquah, there’s nothing acceptable about accepting the impositions of white essentialism (the one drop rule) masquerading as some fact of history. People have always belonged to multiple races and ethnicity and in all cases, people were proud of them and identified with them. Kamala cannot be exclusively identified as a Black woman. This is 21st century.

      Plus, identity is not only by choice. I cannot be Fante, no matter what I say that I am.

    • Narmer Amenuti Dade
      you are too much!!
      Ok keep on keeping on in this tragic tangent.
      thanks you both
      stay blessed

    • I know talking about race is uncomfortable. Even emotional. But, Grace Ayensu Danquah, as you know, I don’t shy away from the hot and the emotionally provocative. My point is only to underscore the hypocrisy of a democratic, free, equal America. It is not. It just isn’t as we busy ourselves still accepting white essentialism.

      Anyways, be blessed as well!

    • As Pumbaa will say …. you hit the nail right on the hammer.
      Thanks Narmer. It’s sad blacks still can’t see through the game plan of the democrats.
      The want their slaves on the plantation and race profiling and re profiling is a necessity evil in their opinion.
      How can Kamala claim to be black when truly she’s an Indian. Red dot Indian

      • Narmer Amenuti So what was Obama? White or black?
        Are you saying black folks should not embrace Kamala because she is a little black? Can we look and embrace people based on the content of their character?
        It’s Ok to debate her stewardship as the AG of California but to use race here may not be right.
        There is a guy who says what do you have to lose? And calls black folks “My African American……like my dog or cat” in office, what is more revealing than that?
        Did Kwame Nkrumah not marry an Arab? Was he less an African than we are? Let Kamala be! Be she Black or White? Lol!

  2. In Ghana they call J.J. Rawlings a white man (He’s half-Scottish and Half Ewe). Kamala is a white woman! She is not even half black.

    • People are missing the point. Kamala Harris is Indian American! And so what if she claims that she is a quarter Black. She is also certainly a quarter White. So why the need to tell us that Kamala Harris is the first Black whai whai whainnn….. Why? This is race-hustling at its best!

      Kamala should also be mentioned as a white woman the same times as Black.

    • Narmer Amenuti coming from a black man in America this comment is tragic!!
      Do you even know, understand or appreciate what Multi-racial people in racist America have to go through????
      Do you understand the trauma and stress associated with defining their racial identity????

      You are completely clueless on this topic and your pedestrian racist, sexist comments coming from black men with similar racial experience in America is what saddens me. 😭😭😭

  3. Should she apologise for what she is? She didn’t ask to be born that way or to be raised by her Indian mother alone. This write-up is unfair to her. Besides, in the country that she lives, she can only identify as black whether she likes it or not. Also, she’s not the only black woman to marry a Caucasian.

    Regarding your point on hair, do we have black women in higher position with curly hair? In fact, how many educated black women have curly hair or dare to wear their natural hair, even in Ghana. Kamala had nappy hair as a kid, but like all black women she has relaxed it. So if you’re going to use hair to buttress your point about her non-blackness, then I suppose you are questioning the blackness of all black women. Even Michelle Obama doesn’t wear her hair curly, does she?

    • If you want to claim Kamala, you are free to claim her. What I write about is not a matter of claim or assertion. I write about facts, and how these facts are viewed plus how they play out in the minds of those like yourself.

      This post is not about what Kamala claims to be! Hell, Rachel Dolezal claimed to be a Black woman. Should we accept that too? This post is about how Blackness is contested within the spaces of white supremacism and essentialism.

      Again, please leave the emotions about elections and the sense of belonging out of it. I am no fan of Kamala but I do not wish her the same harm that she has caused many Black families in California.

    • My point is it is not about what she claims to see herself but how the American society sees her. Which is a fact since that is what you’re on about. It is a fact that she is seen as a black woman.

      If she is identified as black in the country that she lives, does that not mean that she grew up being seen as black thus she’s lived the black experience? So why are you denying her the race identity that the society she lives in has “conferred” on her? Wherein lies the race hustling?

      Which race comes to mind when one looks at her? Black. I see a black woman whenever I look at her. Blackness has a broader spectrum. Nobody has been appointed a race gatekeeper who gets to authenticate and authorise who qualifies as a black person. Your writeup bothers on discrimination. Isn’t this what some non-Akans accuse Akans of? These nuances of who is a real Ghanaian and who isn’t backed by supposed facts.

      If you want to talk about her record in public service, that’s fine. That’s politics. But questioning her race when her father is black Jamaican and her mother Indian, and comparing it to you being 1/16th Asante and 1/16th Fulani and why that still doesn’t make you an Asante or Fulani when all that fall under one race is stretching it, beside being personal.

      If Ghana had a rule that says one drop of Fulani blood makes you a Fulani, wouldn’t you be considered a Fulani? Would that have made you a tribe hustler?

  4. Narmer Amenuti Dade
    you are too much!!
    Ok keep on keeping on in this tragic tangent.
    thanks you both
    stay blessed

    • I know talking about race is uncomfortable. Even emotional. But, Grace Ayensu Danquah, as you know, I don’t shy away from the hot and the emotionally provocative. My point is only to underscore the hypocrisy of a democratic, free, equal America. It is not. It just isn’t as we busy ourselves still accepting white essentialism.

      Anyways, be blessed as well!

  5. Funny thing is, Rachel Dolezal was actually in an organization attempting to help black people and had children with black men. And they both went to Howard.

  6. Narmer Amenuti some of we africans seems to claim her as black because we are hving an inferiority complex.

    How come someone who we cannot and she also cannot readily trace her black grand parent is classified as black?

    We see a vacant position which we feel,we deserve to occupy but a rascist system makes it near impossible for us to truely identify one of us to be be there and they just throw in someone who can look as us ,but not us and say that is your sister and we jum p for that?

    How many knows that she incarcerated alot more africans americans in jail.

    How she used her pussy to rise in this position and even threatened his old boyfriend by jaywalking if he dares bring this issue of sex for position.

  7. not a criticism but you seem to have a lot of time on your hands because your writings often use 100 words where 2 or 3 would suffice. lol

  8. She’s Indian American. But Indians are part of the global black family when white supremacy and it offshoot ideologies are defeated

  9. Sister Grace Ayensu Danquah, I am exceedingly sorry to hear that we differ, perhaps on this point alone, and I am also saddened to read that my point of view on this matter saddens you.

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