If you’ve been keeping up with the times, you know that on Sunday Hollywood celebrated the new #TimesUp movement by wearing black to show solidarity for victims of sexual assault. It was a beautiful scene, and the cherry on top was a moving and powerful speech by my personal hero, Oprah Winfrey. In the speech, she made several remarks that shook me to my core, made me burst out in tears, and even made me fall deeper in love with her (didn’t know that was possible). That speech, along with her other trillion million accomplishments prove that she deserves all the praise she receives for being a journalist, activist, and thought- leader in the world. Oprah is without a doubt a light. A symbol of hope. And a wonderful role model. But no, Oprah should not be the next president of The United States. Why? The same reason Donald Trump shouldn’t be- she’s not qualified for the job.
Aside from his bigoted, misogynistic, and xenophobic sentiments, when Donald Trump was elected president, the biggest liberal complaint was that he was an underqualified billionaire who had WAY too many financial investments and connections to fairly and effectively run our country. While Oprah and Trump couldn’t differ more on the morality meter, their experience and finances are all too similar- and that’s why I’m not convinced that Winfrey is our best option in 2020. In so many ways, Oprah is considered the anti-trump. The liberal alternative to his harmful rhetoric masked as conservative beliefs. But hopping on the Winfrey 2020 bandwagon might actually be more harmful to the liberal cause than it is helpful. Oprah’s philanthropic accomplishments are epic but her knowledge of the constitution and experience in public office are lacking. It’s crucial to acknowledge that her candidacy is the liberal’s revenge fantasy and would cause an even larger pull in our countries fabric.
The job of the president is not to be likable or to give a good speech- sure that’s part of it, but what really matters is what happens behind closed doors. The hard decisions in the situation room. The troops on the ground. Their coming home safely. Robust changes to healthcare. Student loans. Gun reform. Tax reform. It’s important that our candidate in 2020 comes prepared to fight Trump’s ignorance on these issues with more than just good vibes and inspirational words. We need a candidate with a plan and a strategy for execution. So unless Oprah plans to take the L-SAT, sit through constitutional law, and commit herself to serving and protecting these United States, as much as I love her, she won’t get my vote.
All that being said, this country could do well with a bad-ass woman of color for president in 2020. Let’s waste no time. Here are 5 women of color who are qualified to run for president in 2020. You want it? Put your votes where your mouth is. #DontbooVote
1. Senator Kamala Harris
Senator Harris has been outspoken and instrumental to progressive ideas throughout the first year of the Trump administration. In 2017, Kamala D. Harris was sworn in as a United States Senator for California, the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history. She serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Environment and Public Works, and the Committee on the Budget. Kamala has spent her life fighting injustice. It’s a passion that was first inspired by her mother, Shyamala, an Indian-American immigrant, activist, and breast cancer researcher. After earning an undergraduate degree from Howard University and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings, she began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. In 2003, Kamala became the District Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco. Among her achievements as District Attorney, Harris started a program that gives first-time drug offenders the chance to earn a high school diploma and find employment.
2. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is an influential and forceful voice in Washington. She is serving her eleventh term as a member of the United States House of Representatives. She represents the 18th Congressional District of Texas, centered in Houston, which is the energy capital of the world. Considered by many as the “Voice of Reason”, she is dedicated to upholding the Constitutional rights of all people. She was named by ‘Congressional Quarterly’ as one of the 50 most effective Members of Congress and the ‘U.S. News and World Report’ named her as one of the 10 most influential legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is a founder, member, and co-chair of the Congressional Children's Caucus and authored and introduced H.R. 83, the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Act of 2013. She is also chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Energy Braintrust, co-chair of the Justice Reform Task Force, a leadership appointed member of the international Helsinki Commission. She serves as Senior Whip for the Democratic Caucus, past Chairperson of the Texas Congressional Democratic Delegation for the 113th Congress, and current Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Board. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee earned a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University with honors in the first graduating class including females, followed by a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School.
3. Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez
Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez is currently serving her thirteenth term as Representative for New York’s 7th Congressional District. In the 115th Congress, she is the Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee and a senior member of the Financial Services Committee. She has made history several times during her tenure in Congress. In 1992, she was the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In February 1998, she was named Ranking Democratic Member of the House Small Business Committee, making her the first Hispanic woman to serve as Ranking Member of a full House committee. Most recently, in 2006, she was named Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee, making her the first Latina to chair a full Congressional committee. Congresswoman Velázquez has been honored by numerous organizations for her efforts to advocate on behalf of the residents of New York’s 7th District, small businesses and minority groups across the country.
4. US Attorney General Loretta Lynch
Loretta Lynch received her A.B., cum laude, from Harvard College in 1981, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1984.In 1990, after a period in private practice, Ms. Lynch joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, located in Brooklyn, the city she considers her adopted home. There, she forged an impressive career prosecuting cases involving narcotics, violent crimes, public corruption, and civil rights, including the high-profile case of Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant who was sexually assaulted by uniformed police officers in a Brooklyn police precinct in 1997. In 1999, President Bill Clinton appointed her to lead the office as United States Attorney, a post she held until 2001. In 2002, she joined Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells) as a partner in the firm’s New York office. While in private practice, Ms. Lynch performed extensive pro bono work for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, established to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations in the 1994 genocide in that nation. As Special Counsel to the Tribunal, she was responsible for investigating allegations of witness tampering and false testimony. In 2010, President Barack Obama asked Ms. Lynch to resume her leadership of the United States Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn. Under her direction, the office successfully prosecuted numerous corrupt public officials, terrorists, cybercriminals and human traffickers, among other important cases. President Obama announced his intention to nominate Ms. Lynch as Attorney General on November 8, 2014 and she was sworn in as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States by Vice President Joe Biden on April 27, 2015.
5. Adrienne Harris
Adrienne Harris served as a special assistant to President Obama for economic policy at the White House National Economic Council. Her portfolio includes financial regulatory reform, financial technology, cybersecurity, consumer protection, and housing finance reform. She went to the White House from the U.S. Department of Treasury, where she served as senior advisor to the deputy secretary. Prior to Washington, D.C., Adrienne was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York, where her practice included representing financial institutions and other corporations in regulatory enforcement proceedings, complex civil litigations, and matters related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. While at the firm, Adrienne was tapped to serve as an advisor to Cory Booker’s 2013 senate campaign, and prior to that, as deputy campaign manager for his mayoral reelection bid in 2010. That same year, she served as executive director of the transition for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. Adrienne worked as a press secretary in Pennsylvania on President Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008.