As we watched the ugly images of white men on horseback wielding whips against unarmed Haitian migrants, many of us asked, “Where is Joe Biden?”
But then came the follow up question: “Where is Kamala Harris?”
Given that Harris is America’s first Black vice president, the question might be even more relevant, especially since her Black father hails from Jamaica, an island just 330 miles from Haiti. We all wanted to know what this Black woman in power had to say about scenes that looked like outtakes from Roots, so we took to social media yelling two simple words: “Where’s Kamala!”
On Tuesday, she spoke up. She said she supported investigations of the matter, and then she said this: “What I saw depicted, those individuals on horseback treating human beings the way they were, was horrible. Human beings should never be treated that way,” she added. “And I’m deeply troubled about it.”
I’m more than troubled by it. I’m angry. Seeing Black people being herded like animals, being menaced with whips, being treated as less than human—seeing that makes me wonder if they would do that to me, or to my family, or to my friends.
What I saw looked like a group of men who believed they were free to whip and abuse Black people at will. Free to abandon any notion of grace, or mercy, or human decency, because to those men on horseback, those Haitians were not human beings.
Seeing them treated that way was like being transported back from 2021 to 1821, when the Black man had no rights that the white man was bound to respect. We must never allow America to go back to that. Because we deserve more. And none of us should stop until we get it.
Photo: Kamala Harris By. Prachatai
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