The Honorable Senator Harris:
When President Obama referred to you as “very good-looking” a few years ago, he had no argument from this voter. I even told a colleague of mine immediately thereafter, “She’s gonna run.” I felt there was prescience in Obama’s compliment, that it signaled something imminent.
Unfortunately, your run coincided with what will go down as perhaps the most stunning, impactful political awakening among a group of Americans as has ever been documented in political annals: The rise of the United States’ most forgotten, taken-for-granted, and least regarded group of citizens—ADOS (American Descendants of Slavery)/Foundational Black Americans/Native Black Americans.
As my first love letter to you indicated, I was hopeful you’d take us seriously enough to consult with conscientious advisors and craft an economic plan of action specific to the plight of ADOS, the most vulnerable demographic whose lineage traces to the very founding of the country, in fact, the very labor (stolen, unpaid and critical to the launch of the U.S.’s unparalleled economic might) upon which the American economy is built.
Obama’s political playbook (in fact, the Democratic Party operatives’ playbook) was designed to take advantage of ADOS’ heretofore political naivete and miseducation; symbolism, emotional references to ADOS historical struggle and Civil Rights-era touchstones at opportune times, and a clumsy lumping of ADOS under the ubiquitous label of “people of color” all took precedence over a substantive economic agenda exclusive to ADOS. It worked to near perfection for Obama—two-terms’ perfection, one might say.
Though we were privately leery of Mr. Obama, truth told, Lady Michelle, however, captured our hearts (herself ADOS in fact). The silent fears many of us harbored—that Barack was not of ADOS lineage and couldn’t personally relate to native blacks’ uniquely American experience—were crystallized. Obama’s “rising economic tide will lift all Americans’ financial boats” would prove elusive for my people—strategic economic neglect of ADOS all over again.
And political déjà vu for the country’s foundational black citizens.
Gone are those days. Gone is that naivete. Now, and forever more, rendered ineffective and dead is that benign-neglect strategy, Senator Harris.
Your political run and national introduction couldn’t have been more timely . . . for ADOS. Your and the rest of the Democratic candidates’ political aspirations are hollow, at best, and dead on arrival, at worst, if they are void of a black economic agenda.
What do we seek? A substantive, sustainable, codified-in-law economic plan that redresses centuries of brutal, state-sanctioned mistreatment of our ADOS forebears (which continues in various nefarious forms today) and their descendants, beginning with bondage and evolving through Jim Crow to mass incarceration to today’s horrendous wealth gap.
That economic plan must include: 1) Restitution in the form of cash payments to descendants of U.S. slavery; 2) official protected-class status/U.S. Census recognition for ADOS; 3) All laws rescinded that remain on the books that were/are explicitly intended to criminalize, re-enslave, and/or economically restrict/impede/segregate ADOS via housing/real estate, education, employment, business development/contracting, banking, and investing; 4) Tax-exempt status for ADOS and their progeny/descendants time-correlated to the number of years encompassing the beginning of U.S. bondage to present-day mass incarceration; 5) Returned/reclaimed land, including farm land, that was stolen from and/or coerced from ADOS, federally protected by the U.S. government; 6) a designated industry (economic engine) sanctioned and protected by the U.S. government (e.g., casinos for Native Americans); and 7) ADOS-designated schools built or converted and that are contractually sponsored by American companies/industries that have benefitted directly/indirectly from U.S. slavery labor—these companies will directly recruit ADOS graduates for employment in tech industries that have heretofore shut out ADOS.
There are additional forms of redress that—based on documented/verifiable discrimination, mistreatment, neglect, and accrued disadvantage suffered by ADOS for centuries—must be undertaken to compensate, heal and finally close the traumatic chapter that is the uniquely unenviable American experience of ADOS. Distinguished slavery reparations historians and economists such as Duke University’s Dr. William Darity Jr., among others, are well-positioned to further identify, quantify, and proffer these forms of restitution.
Though your presidential run is suspended, Senator Harris, your senatorial position still affords you the opportunity to assist ADOS in our monumental fight for economic/social justice. Your “yea” vote for House-derived reparations legislation for ADOS would be more than appreciated and lauded by my people, further securing your legacy as a legislator “for the people.”
The collective ADOS eyes (which number in the millions of voters) are now and forever more trained on the actions, votes, and words of our congresspersons and future political leaders. Our very existence as a people is at stake—not to mention the political fortunes of legislators who would deny our uniquely American citizenship and invaluable contributions to the success of this nation.
We look forward to keeping our collective voice in your ear and on your political radar, Senator. And best of luck to you in your future political endeavors.
The Quality of Lineage. -Rg2
© 2019 Romance by Rg2®