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Mon Jul 1, 2019, 09:12 AM

A serious question about Kamala Harris, but alas, in a minefield...

I have noticed over the years that people one would think would get along often don't. Ireland is an obvious example, but I've been in meetings where it came out that Mexicans despised Spain, Brazilians had no use for Portugal (or Mexico) and on and on...

Now we have a candidate with Jamaican and Indian backgrounds. There may be a question about why she identifies as Black rather than Indian. But that's a different minefield.

The minefield I'm stepping into is if "African American" includes descendants of French and Spanish slaves brought into the Caribbean. I haven't seen many interactions between West Indians and US AAs, but those I have seen have not been friendly. Not at all.

I am asking if skin color is less important than culture and ancestry when looking at Kamala and the black vote. Are Blacks in the US less inclined to accept her as Black? Will taht have an effect on her support?

FWIW, it gets crazy when dealing with Hispanics. According to the US Census, they are considered white, but ask them and they are all puzzled by the question. No matter what color they are, they all say just that they are Hispanic.





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Reply A serious question about Kamala Harris, but alas, in a minefield... (Original post)
TreasonousBastard Jul 2019 OP
mainstreetonce Jul 2019 #1
customerserviceguy Jul 2019 #6
htuttle Jul 2019 #2
MaryMagdaline Jul 2019 #3
EffieBlack Jul 2019 #18
JustAnotherGen Jul 2019 #4
Recursion Jul 2019 #5
customerserviceguy Jul 2019 #9
JustAnotherGen Jul 2019 #10
customerserviceguy Jul 2019 #11
JustAnotherGen Jul 2019 #16
customerserviceguy Jul 2019 #22
EffieBlack Jul 2019 #21
customerserviceguy Jul 2019 #23
EffieBlack Jul 2019 #19
brush Jul 2019 #7
TreasonousBastard Jul 2019 #14
JustAnotherGen Jul 2019 #20
Kind of Blue Jul 2019 #8
spicysista Jul 2019 #12
Kind of Blue Jul 2019 #15
customerserviceguy Jul 2019 #24
Kind of Blue Jul 2019 #25
Susan Calvin Jul 2019 #13
JustAnotherGen Jul 2019 #17
Susan Calvin Jul 2019 #29
tirebiter Jul 2019 #26
lapfog_1 Jul 2019 #27
watoos Jul 2019 #28

Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 09:18 AM

1. I think she has the same problem Barack had.

He did ok.

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Response to mainstreetonce (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 11:47 AM

6. Barack Obama had one big thing going for him

He was the first major party nominee who was a person of color, and a lot of white America thought that by voting for him over the lackluster McCain or Romney, that they might relieve themselves of their responsibility for what we call white privilege. It didn't work, and they won't be in any mood to do that again.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 09:19 AM

2. Indian/African backgrounds are more common in Jamaica due to the British colonial influence

on edit:

Meant to add that most people with Indian/African backgrounds in Jamaica self-report as black.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 09:25 AM

3. The "you aren't really black" attack is a divisive tactic

Iíve seen it used against Colin Powell, Obama and even (yes) OJ Simpson. Youíre not black if youíre Caribbean, if youíre educated, if youíre in a position of power, if youíre an idol, if youíre rich. Supposedly all these things remove your blackness and you have no right to raise the issue of discrimination.

There certainly are cultural clashes between AA and Caribbean Americans (I witness these quite often in Broward county) but black people do not fall for this bull shit. The Russians keep trying but divide and conquer doesnít really fly in the black community.

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Response to MaryMagdaline (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 08:33 PM

18. If you don't "talk black ..."

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 09:37 AM

4. Something of nothing

Colorism and deep dive genetics are probably best not discussed at DU. That's an interior discussion amongst black Americans.

Take African American out of it - and insert Being Black In America.

How you EXPERIENCE America is what defines you.

I've only had ONE blatantly bigoted experience with a black woman - and that was in 1991. But you know what - it wasn't 'blatant'. Bernadette was a 23 year old woman from South Africa who had never been in close quarters with white people -

Let alone a black person whose mother was white. A week later my dad came up to visit me and she was like - Oh my GOD! I had no idea. (Racism or the RESULT of Apartheid? I say the result).

Kamala has experienced America as a black woman.

White folks (not you OP but in particular trump's spawn) don't get to all of a sudden strip the One Drop Rule when it suits them.

That is precisely what the little piece of shit attempted to do.

Birthers can fuck off and die.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 09:48 AM

5. This

The identities claimable by people as "black" and/or "African American" are probably not going to make sense to people who are neither. Post-colonial life is messy.

When you see a community's internal dialog snipped out of context and used to attack someone from that community, it should be a red flag. Kamala Harris is black, and of Indian origin, and neither of those matter quite so much as her record as a public servant. (And she's not even my candidate, but this attack you're seeing is so cynical and divisive I feel the need to say something.)

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 11:49 AM

9. Is it possible

that her experience of being black in America is quite different from the experience of most African-Americans, enough that they don't relate to her? That's sort of the gist of what I've gotten from folks that I speak with in SC.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #9)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 12:45 PM

10. Nope

I suspect her experience is the same as mine.

What is the most highly educated group in America?

Black women.

This means we are in spaces that regardless of the tone/shade of our black skin - we have to navigate the world in the same way.

Also 78% of black Americans do not live in poverty.

BTW - My number one is Castro. She's in my top five.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #10)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 01:07 PM

11. Let's look at the experiences

of both Barack Obama and Kamala Harris.

They spent substantial parts of their younger years outside the United States. During those younger years, when they were in the United States, they were in states that were highly multi-ethnic. They were able to get into really good schools for their higher education. And when they ran for office, they dealt with more successes than losses.

Does that sound like the experience of a person living in a formerly segregated part of the United States, that is still pretty segregated in practice, if not by law? Someone who's heard stories of the Jim Crow days from their grandparents, or even older stories about slavery such as what Alex Haley did?

In my conversations with African-Americans in my town (we all like to go to the Beer Den on Thirsty Thursdays!), I'm the guy who brings up politics, and most of what I hear is positive, about Joe Biden being a part of the successful Obama Administration. They know I moved from "up North" (New York State) and had been a Northwesterner (WA State) before that, so I think they feel comfortable speaking with me openly.

I have asked about Booker and Harris, and while they're glad to see both of them in the running, they don't seem to relate to either of them. With Booker, they know he's a vegan, and nearly everybody of all colors likes barbecue in SC, so it makes him hard to fathom. With Harris, I've gotten the feeling that she is perceived as a bit "bossy", and one fellow even opined that when it came time to find a husband, a black man wasn't good enough. He was laughed off by the others, but when I said, "Hey, you love who you love," I was met with, "So, you gonna talk about that white mayor from South Bend again?" to more laughter.

I backed off a bit at that point, and said, "Well, I can understand why people feel comfortable with Joe Biden" and we all went back to talking about beer and sports. Perhaps my experiences were not typical.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #11)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 08:31 PM

16. Exhausting

I'm black - a black woman with a white mother.

In 1978 in Rochester NY - a neighbor gunned his car at me - i was five. He moved a few months later.

That summer, while visiting Talladega my mother loaded us up, including My cousins into the back of a truck and took us to a Dairy Queen - where we were refused service.

I will stop there - I'm not into racism porn.

My dad, a son of Alabama told me in 2011 It's coming around again.

He was right - blatant bigotry is back.

It's great you talk to people - but you wrote that to someone who has had EIGHT letters dropped through the mail slot of her front door since last December calling me a Nigger, My husband the lover of one, telling us to leave etc etc.

Guess what? I live in Fucking NEW JERSEY.

So that's great - have your little coffee talks. I live this shit every day in NJ.


Oh yeah - I'm the product of a mixed race family and my husband is white. So your friend can fuck off. He's no better than me or Kamala or Barack.

Like me he's a descendent of a black American slave - his great grandmother was probably raped too. He's got a drop of white blood - he shouldn't be so stuck up.

PS - do you really think black folks up North don't barbecue? It's good you have some black friends - but don't touch their hair.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #16)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 09:22 PM

22. I have no doubt

that you have been through horrendous experiences. I'm sorry to hear that you have to go through this every day. As a kid, I had hopes that we would be a better country by the time I hit my current age, if not sooner.

And my customer service work was in NJ, which I've known to be quite racist. There are a lot of guys who I worked with who thought they could tell ,me a racist joke just because I'm white. I heard words to describe black people that I needed defined, I had never heard them before, like that one for "eggplant" that was used in the Green Book movie.

After word got around that I wasn't into that, I started noticing that most of my acquaintances through work were people of color.

Yes, of course people in the North barbecue. But it seems tougher to relate to a vegan/vegetarian in the South for some reason, is what I find. Maybe Sen. Booker's "northernness" bothers some.

In any case, the Democratic-leaning people around here tend to favor Joe Biden over the other alternatives, in my limited sample of people, anyway.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #11)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 08:38 PM

21. This assumes that the "black experience" is limited to a very narrow stereotype assumed by some

whites who havenít bothered to actually know more than a handful of people of color. We donít all come from the south. We didnít all grow up victims of segregation.

In my own family, I am a fifth generation college graduate Ė some of my ancestors attend a college as far back as the mid-1800s - at two of my ancestors were white officers in the Revolution. We have numerous family members from the islands and my aunt is married to an Indian-American and their children identify as just as black as we are. I have more white relatives that I can count and their children also identified as just as black as those of us who have two African-American parents.

And my experience and background or not the least bit unusual in the black community.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #21)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 09:26 PM

23. I'm sure there's a very wide variation

of the experience of being black in America, and I couldn't possibly know anything about more than a handful of them. When I lived in NY and worked in NJ, I met people who had Caribbean backgrounds, at least for part of their heritage, and I know there have to be all kinds of combinations.

Perhaps some people of color, such as you, recognize that, and others may not. Thanks for giving me, and us, your perspective.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #9)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 08:36 PM

19. No.

The black experience in America is very diverse - even within our own families.


American blacks recognize that and arenít going to hold it against a black candidate if she doesnít have a background that fits within the narrow parameters of what white people think the black experience is.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 11:48 AM

7. Guess you never lived in the northeast. AAs and West Indians get along well mostly.

Give me some curry goat, jerk chicken and meat patties any day.

And Harris grew up in the Bay Area (Oakland, Berkeley, Black Panther Party founded there, Berkeley always left-leaning and political). There is a large, "woke" AA population there so of course she identifies as an African America. And you do know that Jamaica, where her father is from, is part of the African diaspora, right? So she's as much African America as Barack Obama or any other mixed race person who IDs as black is.

What's the problem?

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Response to brush (Reply #7)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 06:23 PM

14. I will eat jerk all day. The first time I saw animosity was when I heard an agitated West Indian...

woman call a driving test inspector a "Got dahm American n*****!"

That was in The Bronx. Back in the 70s.

Lived in the NYC area most of my life, but never had that much interaction with West Indians except where food or ganja was involved. Being very white, I knew I was an outsider and wouldn't hear the good stuff any more than Irish, Italians, Jews or others would open up to me about their darkest thoughts. Getting along with people does not mean you are a part of them.

Anyway, I still wonder where the rifts, if any, are. I don't for a minute think this is primarily a racial problem, nor is it only a US one. Just go back to the Hutu/Tutsi problems, Hmong, and so many others who have been hated for no reason other than who they are.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #14)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 08:37 PM

20. The Tutsis and Hutus

Were divided by white people's constructs.

They lived in relative peace, along with the Twa -

Until white people made things up, have Tutsis special treatment and then BOOM.

I think collectively - all black Americans are at far greater risk of white people right now - than we are each othet.

I've had long time friendships with Haitians, Jamaicans, South Africans and Rwandans -

I've never experienced this angst and discord you are concerned about.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 11:48 AM

8. Great question. Back in the '80s, I worked for a company with headquarters

based in Belgium. My experience was there were not many blacks from any other countries or born there. When we'd see each other though it was amazing. We were like long lost friends...LOL. Though it's not that we wanted to hang out together or best friends forever, just seeing another black face, biracial, triracial, whatever included, it was enough to start a conversation that were always similar in my encounters.

It was enough to see each other because we knew that no matter where we're from, imperialism and colonialism bound us together.

Now, here in the States, as an immigrant kid, I grew up in very multi-cultural neighborhoods. Africans- not many, Caribbeans, Puerto Ricans and African-Americans got along just fine, bound by the same thing mentioned above. I think the beautiful thing was there was always cultural links in food, music, upbringing.

I can only recall 2 negative experiences with African-Americans knowing that I was African. One of them was ridiculous, an incredibly Afro-centric woman accused Africans of not coming to the rescue of enslaved Africans in America. I couldn't believe I had to explain to her the continent was and still dealing with the affects of imperialism. The other more serious incident was perfectly balanced by an African-American woman a few years later, so I chalk it up to just running into sometimes nasty and sometimes beautiful human beings.

I have to include a group of black Vietnamese friends. I met the first at the same job mentioned above. I thought he was probably Filipino. He was fascinated by my last name. And when I told him where the name is from, I don't think I've ever seen another human go numb and then crazy with joy going off about the Motherland. OMG! Before I knew it, I was inundated with his friends when he brought the group who found each other here hoping to one day find their black dads or families. It was just an experience I treasure. They were blacks in Vietnam and accepted by black people here.

As for Sen. Harris, to me, everywhere I've lived and traveled she is considered black, experiencing the same force that separated us and bring us together.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #8)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 05:29 PM

12. Beautiful!

Your post adds a depth to the conversation. Thanks for bringing some richness and perspective to the discussion.

"As for Sen. Harris, to me, everywhere I've lived and traveled she is considered black, experiencing the same force that separated us and bring us together."

On the matter of the senator's blackness, your quote says it all for me.

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Response to spicysista (Reply #12)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 06:51 PM

15. Awww...Thanks, spicysista!

It's nice to feel that this life wasn't lived for nothing

We've all brought so much richness to this world of anti-blackness and nobody is going to define what is and not black to us any more.

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Response to Kind of Blue (Reply #8)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 09:29 PM

24. It is most curious to me

that her numbers are not higher than they've been, but perhaps that is changing.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #24)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 03:22 AM

25. It's most curious to me his numbers are falling

while our ladies are rising and a gay man's as well.

So many curiosities and mysteries in the world, but perhaps that is changing.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 05:54 PM

13. I know very little about the answer, but I like this question a lot. nt

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Response to Susan Calvin (Reply #13)

Mon Jul 1, 2019, 08:33 PM

17. I don't think it's innocent

We aren't dividing now. We are under attack - and black folks are sticking together.

It's meant to TRY divide black people.

I've made up my mind about it - and that's that.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #17)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 10:24 AM

29. Yeah, I realized that when I started hearing it other places. nt

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 03:43 AM

26. When you see her what is it you see?

When you look at Barack Obama why do you see?

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 04:50 AM

27. I grew up with a completely racist white grandmother

from Georgia... and in the sixties whenever she saw black people on the TeeVee... it was n-word this and n-word that out of her mouth. My parents would make sure that I and my siblings knew that "this is just the way she is... don't pay any attention to it..."

However, being from Kansas and not growing up around many African Americans... I never really witnessed actionable racism until I moved to the Virgin Islands in the late 80s.

My then girlfriend and I were sitting in at a bar, enjoying the evening... and we noticed a gentleman seated next to us (African American) who was being completely ignored by the bar tenders (who were also black and, because this was the USVI, African Americans)... so I asked him what he wanted, ordered another round for us all including his drink, and oh shit did the bartenders get angry when I gave the man his drink! From then on, they wouldn't serve me or my girlfriend and the looks we got were down right scary.

We started talking to the guy we bought the drink for and found out he was a film director from LA on the island to shoot a commercial for something or other (soft drink? something)... and ever since he landed he said the local people have been treating him like crap... something that he had never experienced in his life. It was because he was a "Continental" black person. For some reason the local African Americans (at least in the USVI) just hated black people from the Continental US.

Very Strange to me... I'm sure there is an explanation but the incident has stuck with me ever since.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Original post)

Tue Jul 2, 2019, 06:03 AM

28. Kamala is being attacked,

 

because the right fears her. We don't need to help them out.

The fact of the matter is, Joe didn't do very well in the debate, and not just from his interactions with Kamala.

Joe needs to step up his game.

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