Kamala Harris Withdrawal: How American Politics Returns to the Comfort of Whiteness

    Kamala Harris approval rating BELatina
    Photo Credit Kamalaharris.org

    The Democratic Senator has announced the end of her Democratic nomination race after her campaign faced multiple obstacles to raise the necessary funds.

    “I’m not a billionaire,” she wrote in a Medium column announcing her decision. “I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.”

    After being one of the most influential figures in the race, Harris has faced not only a dozen opponents but a deeply divided political stage.

    The country now seems to be split between those seeking a candidate who can beat Donald Trump and those who adhere to urgent progressive principles for the change the country needs.

    Her campaign launch in Oakland brought together an astonishing 22,000 people, and the momentum that accompanied her during the first few months seemed unstoppable.

    However, her career as a prosecutor and the rise of other candidates such as Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren left her further and further behind in the polls. At the time of announcing her withdrawal, Harris had a 3.4% approval rating according to RealClearPolitics polls, more than 10 points below what she had after her successful performance in the first debates.

    Also, according to the Washington Post, leadership problems within her campaign, led by her sister Maya Harris, made it harder to put forward her political proposals.

    But what is most striking is the return to “whiteness” and traditional standards within Democratic politics.

    With multimillionaires like Mike Bloomberg and Deval Patrick joining the race, one can’t help but think that the Democratic establishment just isn’t ready for a change.

    Other candidates of color like Cory Booker and Julian Castro have faced obstacles similar to those of Senator Harris, despite being two of the candidates with the most substantial proposals.

    Castro, for example, was one of the first candidates to unveil comprehensive immigration reform, a plan for the disabled, and has been one of the few to talk openly about violence against the LGBTQ+ community.

    However, his campaign made an emergency call in October for lack of funds to continue in the race.

    Both Booker and Castro have been the candidates with the most support from women in Iowa, with 60% of contributions being made by the women’s community, according to the Federal Election Commission. Still, both candidates are at the bottom of national polls.

    Paradoxically, other opponents such as Mayor Pete Buttigieg — who has a 6% approval rating according to a Quinnipiac Poll — have failed to win over minorities in general.

    You only need to watch the video in which the mayor spoke of the lack of role models for minority students to understand the disconnect that remains between established politicians and the country that seeks to be represented.

    Harris’s exit from the Democratic Primary may have been predictable. Still, it reveals the Democratic establishment’s tacit confidence in a traditional model that insists on leaving aside women and people of color who still have so much to vindicate.