The Globe and Mail declares in its quarter-page lead story today “Historic selection makes California senator the first woman of colour on a U.S. presidential ticket” (“Biden selects Kamala Harris as running mate,” August 12). This is fake news.
In the second paragraph, its U.S. correspondent goes on to speculate: “Her background could generate excitement among younger and non-white voters at a time when protests over racial justice have rocked the country, while her history as a career prosecutor may appeal to moderates concerned about national calls to defund police.”
She is all things to all people! The Toronto newspaper leads the pack in “generat[ing] excitement.” It devotes no less than two full pages and seven photographs to heralding the Biden selection to confuse Canadians about the dysfunctional political process and the nature and depth of the crisis in the United States. It expresses the concerns of the Canadian ruling elite about the prospect of a Trump second term over “our friends” Down South as Freeland proclaims. The hyperbole also reflects the hopelessness and helplessness in which the U.S. ruling class is mired and its utter humiliation. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz goes so far as to proclaim “Biden’s name will be forever inscribed as a civil rights trailblazer and equality pioneer.”
For the record:
In 2008, the year Barack Obama was elected president, Cynthia McKinney, a former U.S. representative from Georgia, was a nominee of the Green Party. And in 2012, Peta Lindsay ran against President Obama on the Party for Socialism and Liberation ticket.
In 1968, 38-year-old Charlene Mitchell of Ohio became the first Black woman to run for president, as a communist. “Like many other African Americans born in the 1930s, Mitchell joined the Communist Party because of its emphasis on racial and gender equality. Black female communists fought Jim Crow, lynchings and unfair labor practices for men and women of all races.”
“Other independent Black female presidential candidates have been community organizer Margaret Wright, who ran on the People’s Party ticket in 1976; Isabell Masters, a teacher who created her own third party, called Looking Back and ran in 1984, 1992 and 2004; and teacher Monica Moorehead of the Workers World Party ticket, who ran in 1996, 2000 and 2016.”
In 1972, the first Black female member of Congress, Shirley Chisholm became the first Black American and the first woman to seek the Democratic presidential nomination.
Geraldine Ferraro was the first female vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket, in 1984. In 2008, Alaska’s then-governor Sarah Palin was Republican John McCain’s running mate.
Source: “Before Kamala Harris became Biden’s running mate, Shirley Chisholm and other Black women aimed for the White House,” Sharon Austin, The Conversation, August 11, 2020. Ms Austin is a professor of political science at the University of Florida.