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The Hard Limitations of Representation

Kamala Harris & Joe Biden stare into each others eyes. The limitations of representation politics.

Kamala Harris & Joe Biden stare into each others eyes.

I know that people are celebrating the representational victory that Kamala Harris embodies. But I thought we learned from the last time we got representation in the White House that representation does not equate to justice.

I mean, if “not Trump” is your bar, then you’ve got it. But forreal forreal…

The next round of sanctions on Zimbabwe/Venezuela/Cuba/Iran I’m sure will be received with thankfulness and jubilation that they’re not imposed by Trump, but by Biden instead.

I’m sure the Africans repressed by the expansion of AFRICOM are joyous that the US military incursion into their countries will be lead by someone other than Trump.

Just like the Black Democratic mayors who set the cops on anti-racist demonstrators in the streets of American cities this summer, I’m sure those folks will be appreciative when the rubber bullets are shot at them during a presidential administration that is not led by Trump.

I’m sure the Palestinians whose homes are being bulldozed by the apartheid government of You-Know-Where will be happy that the US embassy won’t be moved from where Trump moved, and that the oppression and ethnic cleansing against them will now be carried out with decorum under Biden.

I’m sure the growing houseless folks and families in this country are celebrating that they’ll be houseless under Biden instead. The poor are joyous that they’ll be poor under Biden instead. Those with no health insurance with debilitating and economically crippling health problems are overjoyed that they’ll go bankrupt due to medical bills under Biden instead. 

Before you push him to the left, you have to first admit what you’re pushing him on and why. And if it’s too soon for this discussion, then I don’t think I trust folks to do any pushing in any significant way that will change any of these issues at all. 

And for Black folks to have once again saved this country from the racists that half the white population very clearly is, you’d damned will better demand payment that is way more than some investment in poor Black neighborhoods and some tax breaks for entrepreneurs for this work, or some more money for HBCUs while working class and poor Black folks who won’t attend an HBCU languish in continued poverty, or else you get what you deserve, which will also be the scorn of those working class and poor Black folks. Honestly you’d better start demanding re-distributive justice for this monumental effort to drag this neoliberal capitalist imperialist Democrat into the White House, otherwise, when his center-right warmongering pro-capitalist and pro-austerity administration gives you nothing, don’t complain about it. Having an AKA in the White House means nothing to these mammas and daddies out here trying to feed their kids and pay their bills on practically nothing. Stop repping your sorority and rep the people.

In other words, prove me wrong. I want you to. Our lives depend on you doing it, and I’ll GLADLY admit that I was wrong when I see y’all bringing these issues to the fore in your efforts to push this administration to the left. Wherever that is. 

But I know better, because the way our classism is set up…

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