The news that has been making the rounds on virtually all social media platforms and media outfits including The New York Times about Senator Kamala Harris is seen a threat to African American women in public service. Senator Kamala Harris who is a Howard University Alumna, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) institution located in Washington DC was interrupted for the second time during questioning of Jeff Sessions. Although American is seen to preach gender equality and to ensure that people don’t get discriminated against, this incident was the exact opposite of what we see on TV or hear on radio these days.
Will the reaction would have been different if she was white? Well, most people have the strong believe that the senator has been fighting to have her voice heard due to the fact that she is African American, and the treatment would have been much different if she was white or maybe even attended a non-HBCU university in the US. There are numerous reactions across social media platforms, aimed at spreading awareness about how the senator was treated. This has been seen with popular hash tags such as #KamalaHarris and #SessionsHearing.
It is worthy of mention that During former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before Congress, people were wondering if Senator Harris would be allowed to ask Comey any questions. Considering the fact that her male colleague is telling her to be more polite. The Senator was basically interrupted and admonished by Republican colleagues during her questioning of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and told to let him finish his answers.
If she wasn’t the only black U.S. Senator
We also need to keep in mind that Harris, which is a Democrat from California, is also a potential 2020 presidential contender. She is the only Black woman in the U.S. Senate, and this has been seen by most observers as a threat to the freedom of Black women in America. The interruption and her singling out was blatant enough that it did not go unnoticed by news outlets and observers in the US, and the world over.
Fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was silenced in the Senate some months back, also joined in supporting Senator Harris, urging her to “keep fighting”. Warren was silenced on the Senate floor in February by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). This happened when she was attempting to read a letter written by Coretta Scott King in 1986 opposing the nomination of Jeff Sessions to become a federal judge. This move has also been considered as a form of gender inequality in the US senate.
Harris was pressing Sessions to answer questions over conversations he may or may not have had with President Donald Trump, which Sessions repeatedly refused to answer and then was unable to explain policies he cited that he said entitled him not to respond. She was then interrupted by Arizona Sen. John McCain.