Despite the initially large supply of Democratic party candidates vying to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020, only one black woman is in the race.
California Senator Kamala Harris had a great start to her campaign when she went toe-to-toe with former vice president Joe Biden during the first debate. She began her campaign leaning more towards progressives, but has since changed her view to sway Biden supporters to her candidacy.
Harris says she wants to abolish the death penalty, scrap the cocaine sentencing disparities, reform or reduce cash bail, completely do away with mandatory minimum sentences, private prisons, and the Electoral college, mandate paper ballots to avoid any election rigging, have more affordable subsidies for renters and homeowners, raise minimum wage to $15 per hour, and boost teacher pay to name a few of her policies.
I supported a few of her policies actually, and still do for the most part, but she will not be the candidate who receives my vote as a first-time voter.
I was all for voting for Kamala Harris simply because she is a black woman, but when I began to listen to the other candidates and see their views and policies, I had to change my way of thinking. I realized that I would be voting based on what I see and not what she would do for me and the rest of America.
When I say who I plan on voting for, people act surprised that I'm not voting for Kamala — especially my family members. They are still riding on the glory of having former President Barack Obama in office, the first African American president.
During one of the debates, Harris was put in her place by former candidate Tulsi Gabbard about her past as a prosecutor when Gabbard pulled out all of the receipts, especially when Gabbard said, "She blocked evidence — she blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California."
From that moment on, I knew that I couldn't vote based on color, but I had to do some research — not just on Kamala, but all candidates seeking the nomination. There were things that I didn't know about Kamala because I was excited for her being a black woman running for President and I just couldn't see myself voting for her in my first election.
I want my first major election vote to be a choice that I believe in, not someone who looks like me and my family says I should vote for.