I Want To Be Your President
"Let me speak on your behalf"
Yvette Carnell, cofounder of the ADOS Movement, in her bi-weekly Breaking Brown Youtube show, asked her listeners about the year of this famed picture of the first Black representatives to Congress. Her answer was 1870. Impressive, learning of our involvement in Congress just five years after the end of the Civil War. But, Ms. Carnell had another purpose in asking this question. She displayed a picture of Kamala Harris' mother and stated that she came to the United States from India to study in 1958. At school she met and married a Jamaican student. We all know today that the product of that union, Kamala Harris, just 62 years after her mother's arrival became candidate for Vice-President of the USA on the 2020 Democratic ticket with Joe Biden.
We celebrate the progressive achievements of Blacks in America including this historic appointment. The first Black person to be nominated by a major political party for Vice President making the final round, the upcoming election. Ms. Carnell reminded us that Barack Obama was also son of one immigrant parent and a white American. The shocking next statement she made was profound. America embraced both of these 'Black' politicians who represented themselves as spokespersons for Black people (and all people) in America, but they had not one ADOS relative outside of Obama's marriage. Neither grew up around ADOS Blacks, they know little or nothing of ADOS culture, issues, historical perspectives or ADOS lifestyles first hand.
Why is this important? Step outside of race and outside of America for your explanation. Nationalism is an expression of fundamental and reminiscent ideals of the way natives see their country. The current surge of nationalism is in response to globalism and open border practices. Right or wrong, nationalist are attempting to restore what they feel are their voices in their country. It is a statement for assimilation rather than ethnic territorialism within a foreign country. We are seeing this in all countries regardless of skin color or political party.
America fails to recognize that Black Americans consist of ADOS, Black immigrants and ethnic Black natives. Of this group, only ADOS are not immigrants (coming by your own decision to a country). Yet, America seems confused when ADOS pushes back at being lumped together into one group regardless of our issues and histories in a way that they would never do for Jewish Americans being deemed the same as Italian Americans even if they look similar. Asian Americans distinguish themselves by national origin; China, India, Korea, Japan, etc. DO WE ALL LOOK ALIKE? Would an Indian cast a Chinese in a movie about their history because it's an "Asian" film?
Back to the original picture and point that Ms. Carnell make in her show. America has NEVER nominated or elected to the highest offices in the land an ADOS candidate. What does this mean? Acceptance of "look like" Black Americans as stand-ins for ADOS means rejection of purely ADOS candidates despite after being residents in the country for 400 plus years (not 62). From the attempts of Frederick Douglass as candidate for president beginning in 1844, Jessie Jackson and dozens of others, ADOS has not been "good enough" to qualify for the final dance.
Mixed with something else is the acceptable ticket price. Mixed with an immigrant, a white, a "Blackish" presentation is more pleasing to the ballot. Are they good people? YES. Are they good Americans eager to represent the people as best they can? YES. Are they public servants in a land of immigrants? YES. Can they speak for the Blacks that they have launched their candidacy upon as a spokesperson? NO. Being cloaked in "Blackness" is not the same as being ADOS with our history, family scars and graves of ancestors in this land, regardless of the HBCU attended and the ability to sing Amazing Grace.