As we enter into the great unknown of post-pandemic open society, American workers are dreading the familiarity of office politics, fights over the thermostats, stolen lunches from the break room, and all those useless meetings managers insist will “start on time, cover only agreed-upon important topics, and that will end on time.”
Some workers never had the opportunity to work from home, so to those workers, many things will remain the same. But overall, American businesses will look different over the next month as returning workers will add pandemic and vaccination stories to the normal daily recaps of sports, general news, and company gossip.
When work-from-home workers were last in the office, there was a different president and vice president, America still believed their democracy was safe from insurrection, and someone named Jared Kushner was the behind the scenes “vice president.” Jared was tasked with every special project given to him by the lazy former president who clearly set about punishing Jared for marrying Ivanka – the former president’s only true love.
Faux “VP” Jared was a disaster in the role, doing what he learned in corporate America: royally fuck shit up, take no blame, and pocket millions. In his and Ivanka’s case, $640 million – the reported amount of money the daughter and laconic loser Jared banked while doing absolutely nothing.
American government history: Ask the first woman vice president to fix America.
The ask, though, isn’t unique in American history, because Black women have been repeatedly asked to do more, take on more, and produce more than any demographic.
In the first few hundred years that encompassed enslavement, Black women bore children at an accelerated rate to satisfy forced breeding from plantation owners and slave traffickers. But they didn’t stay in bed when pregnant or after giving birth, because their production was needed to help sustain food and goods demands. Black women were also expected to give their milk to white babies, care for white women, care for the entire white families, and then have enough energy and life left to care for her own kids and family as well as children who were orphaned.
The work continued during Jim Crow, and past civil rights movements, as Black women, finally able to unleash their true brilliance, soon became the most college-educated demographic in America.
The ascendence from enslavement to the White House covers the full breadth of America’s growth and maturity, and Black women best exemplify the results of government social engineering and societal acceptance of the first wave of gender equality.
That President Biden has asked Vice President Harris to take on multiple critical administration priorities shows the continued trust between the two world leaders.
VP Harris has been assigned the difficult task of correcting border issues, counterattacking voter suppression and protecting voting rights, working on delivering broadband to rural areas, helping the administration strengthen international relationships, travelling the country selling the American Jobs Plan, working directly with world leaders by phone and face-to-face, and, of course, be the tie-breaker in the Senate when needed and when Democrats and the president cannot get the party’s two DINOs – Manchin and Sinema – to vote like Democrats.
There is no doubt that the VP is up to the task and her national and global popularity are growing as more people get acquainted with her genuineness, kindness, grasp of the issues, and her experienced ability to speak with directness when needed and with nuance when her role requires it. She has proven her skill when meeting with leaders and heads of state, such as when she facilitated a meeting with the South American leaders of the Golden Triangle as she seeks to address the root causes of border movement.
Her visits to cities for official events elicit applause, tears, and so many lovely moments of authentic goodness that her videos trend every time she talks to a young person while getting down to their level, or when she speaks with seniors letting them know she sees and hears them, and when she speaks to workers in any industry and they come away impressed about who she really is outside of any negative coverage they’ve seen of her on the news.
With so much on MVP Harris’s desk, there are concerns that the president is over-relying on his skilled vice president.
There are similar situations in business and sports where the most productive worker or best player are given more assignments and more responsibilities because they get things done. The cycle can be self-defeating, though, as the “star” is overused leading to resentment from teammates, and resulting in uneven blame when things inevitably fail to achieve desired goals.
Team Biden is a strong team with strong position players all throughout the cabinet. But something that rightfully worries some Democrats are the potholes Vice President Harris will encounter on her way to 2024 or beyond when she is expected to run for president.
The tasks MVP Harris have been asked to address are generational issues that have vexed politicians for years and some for generations.
The southern border has been a mess since the 1970s, at least, and voting rights is as an intractable issue as any in America because half the country do not want Black people to vote.
Getting broadband to rural areas has been a goal since the 1990s, and while strengthening relationships with historical allies isn’t difficult on paper, the only ally Republican voters fake-care about is Israel and no matter what Democrats do for Israel, Republican voters remain duped into believing only Republicans actually do anything for Israel, despite any and all facts to the contrary.
The upcoming 2022 primaries will be a test run to see how rRepublicans and Russians weaponize MVP Harris to scare white voters into handing elected positions to GQP candidates all across the land. If the House or Senate are lost, if there are significant GQP gains in key battleground and purple states, and if there is a lack of Democrats voters who turn out to vote, you can believe the blame will be laid at the high heels of the best vice president ever because it is in America’s racist DNA to blame Black women first, middle, and last.
What was lauded in GQP hero Ronald Reagan – that he hired good people so that he could worry about the ceremony of the office while his people got in the weeds and pulled them – is already a point of criticism for President Biden because he dares to rely not only on a woman – but on a Black woman.
We are in a new normal with a woman vice president, a continuing pandemic, and what many believe is a pause in the insurrection, but President Biden believes he understands where we are and how we manage through it to a successful outcome- he has placed his hands and the party’s fate in the hands of his trusted VP.
Because as it stands, MVP Harris, capable as she is, defiant as she needs to be, and as optimistic as the second highest office in the land demands she be, is in a precarious position. It is a position that though unique in American history, is also resting on the shoulders of Black women who were also called on to care for people who didn’t return the love or care.
President Biden owes it to MVP Harris and all Black women to protect her from a malicious Beltway media populated mostly by white men who, to a person, have shown themselves incapable of covering, writing about, and reporting on a Black woman who is also vice president. The racism and misogynoir informs every piece they wrote about her.
The daily attacks on MVP Harris are worse than the ones that followed President Obama during his time in office. And the attacks on MVP Harris are already approaching presidential candidate and former-Senator-Hilary-Clinton levels.
The equation would look something like this:
Racist media attacks against President Obama
+ Misogynistic attacks against Hilary Clinton
= Racist and Misogynistic attacks against MVP Harris.
President Biden is the only American higher in office than MVP Harris, so while he can outsource duties and critical projects to her, he cannot outsource the required protection she needs from the daily barrage of vitriol hurled at her from Politico, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Fox, the random Bernie followers, Justice Dems, and Russian puppets in media and government.
He must also speak out against Republicans in Washington who refuse to use her honorific “Vice President” when addressing her, pundits who go after her for wishing people “have a nice long holiday” and the usual Sunday morning white men who blame her for everything from not going to the border, to laughing and smiling too much.
The question becomes not “is MVP Harris up for the many jobs she has been given by President Biden?,” but “is America and the media ready to finally give credit where it is long overdue, to a Black woman?”
The upcoming midterm elections are critical to President Biden, Democrats, and democracy for America. The GQP and foreign adversaries are working hard to disrupt White House plans to return America to a functional country and responsible super power. The thrust of the opposition is squarely focused on the globally popular vice president.
What Vice President Kamala Devi Harris accomplishes leading up to the midterms and over the next few years will give Americans the clearest indication that America is ready to truly be a world leader for freedom, a democratic form of government, and fairness for all people.
Let’s hope those inside and outside the administration and, most importantly, Democratic voters understand what is at stake and that they too put their trust in the woman who is being asked to save America.
© 2021 by Myron J. Clifton. All Rights Reserved.
Myron J. Clifton is slightly older than fifty, lives in Sacramento, California, and is an avid Bay Area sports fan. He likes comic books, telling stories about his late mom to his beloved daughter Leah, and talking to his friends.
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Excellent essay, despite a few small grammar/syntax errors (“head’s of state” ?) I love your writing and have posted to FB and Twitter, and texted it to friends. Thank you.
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Thanks, Jerry. I appreciate the feedback.