The worldly praise of Kamala Harris worries me. She is the first black woman from South Asia to be the vice-president-elect! Is that amazing? Yes, given that it has taken so many years to have a female politician at least somewhere near the white house. No, the strides taken in terms of equality among gender and race do transform her as the perfect vice president either!
Did Kamala Harris get the job because Biden wanted to fill the diversity quota? Maybe. Maybe not. But the fact that this question is being asked worries me. My purpose here is not to dig dirt on Kamala Harris but rather to point out a deeper issue rooted in the fight against Patriarchy.
On our journey to fight for equality, we have established reforms and structures that try to undo the injustice that has been done yet. However, is over-correction a part of the solution?
We have a diversity quota now in jobs to ensure women and people of other races have jobs. We have reservations in our country to give more opportunity to “lower” castes. We have scholarships especially for girl children and so on. At the same time, there also exist equally talented male and ”higher” caste persons with their rightful seats or jobs robbed.
Now as a male employee, if one can satisfy the job requirement, he is still unlikely to get the job by virtue of him being the “superior” gender. What if the only available female employee is not as well educated as the former male employee, but is still hired because the firm has a diversity quota to fill? Now extrapolate that to almost every job and position that every job/position that needs to be filled!
O J Simpson, a famous black sports person when tried in court for the murder of his ex-wife, argued that he was suspected only because he was black. Well, what do you know, that did fly! If the jury was logical, they should’ve decided that OJ was guilty, as suggested by the myriad of evidence the police had collected. In contrast, the jury empathized with the black man and let him go free. In this case, it happened so luckily that OJ had not killed his ex-wife. However, if OJ had committed murder, he would have walked away from a free man because he played the “black card”. What if every black man who was held against the law played the “black card”?
While I understand that the diversity quotas and reservations exist to make life better for the discriminated, are we at a point where the previously discriminated people now have an upper hand because they were previously discriminated against? Further, an eye for an eye is fair. So what if the previously discriminated people now have an advantage? It is only fair that the previous discriminated is compensated for.
At this point, however, I’m asking to review the sole purpose of our fight against inequality because now there is a bias for the previously discriminated, making the system unbalanced, no matter that now it’s tilted towards the other side. On some level, we are over-correcting for our past mistakes and while it seems only fair to do so, isn’t this history repeating itself in the other direction? Or is it that the over-correction is required so that we can walk the exact thin line of equality?