CW: USA Politics, trans violence and racism mention
A few weeks ago, I overheard a celebration about Kamala Harris becoming the VP pick. I immediately became upset, feeling alienated from the people that would celebrate a cop that fought to harm trans women.
You may argue about whether Kamala is culpable or whether her apology holds weight, however my feelings of alienation are valid. Having someone in power who worked to hurt people like me reminds me how much trans people don’t matter to those in both parties.
The question that arises for me looking back at this: are their feelings of joy valid as well?
This reminds me of the concept of the “problematic fave”, as in whether it’s okay to enjoy content created by a celebrity or artist who has done harmful things. There’s been a lot of ink spilled on that question over many many years, so I won’t rehash the arguments here.
Viewed through that lens, and with an assumption they are educated about the topic, I personally think their feelings are valid.
Note when I say valid here I don’t mean correct, or not debatable, or anything of the sort. I see valid as an opinion that can be legitimately held, as opposed to things like racism or creationism that presuppose things that are both actively harmful as well as flat out wrong.
Kamala has done harm and potentially may continue to harm the trans community, not to mention her upholding the carceral state. But given the state of affairs of the current political system we find ourselves enmeshed in, I think it’s literally impossible to not find someone who has harmed people.
The state requires complicity at every level, and as you ascend to the top tiers of power the more complicit you must be. Even if power didn’t corrupt, reform requires being part of the system that is actively harming vast numbers of people.
To me, Kamala doesn’t matter. Biden doesn’t matter. Warren doesn’t matter. Bernie doesn’t matter. Hell, even Trump doesn’t matter, though anyone that openly celebrates him I’d run far away from.
Fighting this system is incrementalism, revolution, or both. How you choose to partake in dismantling the system is up to you.
And if you want to celebrate what you see as a victory, who am I to tell you not? We are all in a marathon together, and frankly I’d prefer a comrade’s joy over requiring ideological purity.
Lastly, for those that disagree with me: valid!