Kamala Harris embrace of ‘victim identity’ bothers me

Apparently Kamala Harris was admitted to law school through LEOP:

LEOP offers admission to approximately 50 high-achieving students each year—up to 20 percent of the class—who have experienced major life hurdles, such as educational disadvantage, economic hardship, or disability. The majority are students of color. Besides traditional admissions criteria, such as grades and LSAT scores, the program also considers students’ overall potential and the obstacles they’ve overcome. “These are extraordinary students who have been playing while injured in the game of life, but all they do is win,” McGriff said.

Once students enroll, LEOP supports them throughout their tenure at UC Hastings, offering a weeklong orientation, academic counseling, practice exams, and help preparing for the bar exam and job interviews, among other resources and services.

…. LEOP went on to count many prominent alumni among its ranks, including U.S. Senator Kamala Harris ’89; San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi ’85; Adelmise Warner ’01, chief counsel at Pandora; and Andrew Houston ’07, procurement counsel for the University of California’s Office of the General Counsel.

We know a lot about Kamala Harris’ mother’s family. They are upper-middle-class Tamil Brahmins. Her mother did raise her mostly alone. So she was a single mother. But she was also a Ph.D. biomedical researcher.

Here is a profile about her father, Kamala Harris’s Father, a Footnote in Her Speeches, Is a Prominent Economist:

Dr. Harris was raised in a landowning family on the north coast of Jamaica by a paternal grandmother whom he described as “reserved and stern in look, firm with ‘the strap,’ but capable of the most endearing and genuine acts of love, affection and care.” Reserved and highly intelligent, he was more cut out for academia than activism, contemporaries said.

Basically, on both sides of Harris’ pedigree, there is evidence of sub-elite status. Her utilization of the LEOP program seems to be unfair to students who were genuinely disadvantaged.

26 thoughts on “Kamala Harris embrace of ‘victim identity’ bothers me”

  1. She was disadvantaged compared to her putative peer group by being raised by a non-white single mother. And the LEOP program probably recognised her as a potential winner who would make them look good by her later career success.

  2. sub elites always are the winners. The Hispanics at elite schools tend to have way more Iberian blood than the average hispanic. The blacks disproportionately descend from elite African recent immigrant’s children, families of say Igbo origin doctors or engineers. Racial affirmative action just tends to workout this way.

    1. You can generalize that statement to ANY affirmative action. In India too detractors of reservation system always tend to concentrate on those sub elites who get best of both worlds.

      But then cant hold off affirmative action that could potentially help others that need it. Maybe some sort of stricter exclusion system that constantly keeps updating and purges the sub elites from real needy is needed with any affirmative action.

    2. I knew of a English, Russian mix from Brazil who got a Turner fellowship (Fellowship for minorities).

      Dont know if one notices, many “Black Leaders”, are children of very recent immigrants from Jamaica, Africa etc.
      eg Colin Powell and Obama

    3. To back up what thewarlock said, I’m a white guy (100% Euro, as per 23andme) with an elite educational background who married a woman from Central America. She has some Native American and African ancestry but is relatively light-skinned by regional standards and part of the small middle class in her country. In terms of ethnic phenotype our kids resemble me more than her. BUT… she’s from Central America so our kids (as well as their kids, when the time comes) get to check that “Hispanic” box on college and job applications.

      In my MBA program there were well-off Jews whose parents had fled Europe for Latin America around WW2 but then came to the U.S. They were also “Hispanic” and got to participate in minority recruiting events.

  3. Hastings is at best a second tier law school. Getting in is not a huge victory.

    Her undergraduate grades and LSAT scores must have been abysmal. With her racial background, any kind of a showing would have gotten her into Berkley or Stanford which are first tier “T14” schools.

    Once in law school success is due to donkey work not brilliance. Attend class, stay awake, take notes, do your assignments, if you don’t understand something look it up. Wash rinse, repeat.

    Yes, IAL.

  4. Not really interested in Kamala’s background. How popular is Kamala among Indian americans? Zman claims Kamala’s success in California politics is due “high caste South Asians in the executive suites of these companies. ” How true is the statement? Some excerpts from Zman’s blog.

    “The old gag about the tech call centers and programming shops being located in India is still true, but the management suites are now increasingly filled with South Asians. This is why they lobby so hard for worker visas. This allows them to bring their co-ethnics over and begin the process of normalizing them into America.”

    “It turns out that there is one group that plays identity politics as well as Jews and that is South Asians. They stick together wherever they find themselves. So much so they were able to elbow the Jews out of the Amsterdam diamond market. That is a remarkable feat, given the history and nature of the diamond market. In the United States, they are taking over the wholesale jewelry business. They are doing it on the power of informal agreements among co-ethnics.”

    “That’s why Harris was probably the worst choice for Biden. She helps bring in South Asian money from Silicon Valley. The tech monopolies will now swing into action in a million little ways to help their co-ethnics. ”

    “The difference between Yang and Harris is South Asians are very tribal, while East Asians are not very tribal. We see this in genetics and marriage patterns. India is a beef stew of various tribes, castes and ethnic groups. China, in contrast, is dominated by Han Chinese. East Asia tends toward mono-ethnic societies. Put another way, the biology of South Asia reinforces and encourages extreme identity politics, while East Asian biology tends to encourage uniformity and conformity.”

    “In America, the East Asians that come here are the least ethnocentric of their kind, so they look to quickly assimilate. They name their kids Bob and Sally, take up golf and join the local Christian church. High caste Indians move here and name their kids Sinjar and Amala. They have a tandoor clay oven installed in their house and they find a local Hindu temple to join. In Asia, South Asians are as tribal as Jews are in the West, while East Asians are about as tribal as white people.”
    “This is why South Asians get one of their own installed on the Democratic ticket, while East Asians are discriminated against by the Ivy League. South Asians and Jews are wildly over-represented in elite institutions, while East Asians and whites are ridiculously under-represented. So much so that the Democrats are comfortable putting a bitter bindi on the ticket and giving the affable Andrew Yang the stiff arm. He will have no role in the coming Democratic convention.

    This is the shape of things to come. The Judeo-Puritan ruling class is now making room for high caste South Asians. Soon, saying anything unapproved about Indians will be as forbidden as holocaust denial. Native Americans will no longer be allowed to refer to themselves as Indians. Whites and East Asians will be the lumpen proletariat of the new Tribal States of America. Despite having numbers, they lack the ethnocentrism to make those numbers translate into political power.”


    1. It looks like some one got real upset about a brown or black, let’s make it coffee for simplicity, getting the ticket versus a yellow. He has to make up his mind, if the SA are tribal then why would they all support KH? She is only half brown.

      Calling South Asian as a block proves that he does not have a clue on South Asians and/or how they operate

  5. They stick together wherever they find themselves. So much so they were able to elbow the Jews out of the Amsterdam diamond market.

    the diamond market was cornered by a particular jain caste. not ‘south asians.’ south asians/indians aren’t as cohesive as jews. though a lot of tech execs do happen to be south indian brahmins

    i don’t think there’s much ethnic affinity for harris. she’s a democrat. indians are democrats period

    indian Americans tend to be annoying SJWs. but the outmarriage rates (as high or higher than 1.5 and 2nd gen e asians) don’t indicate strong ethnic nepotism (the ethnic diversity within s asia mitigates against this)

    1. That’s interesting. Based on my family and a large group of cousins, here is what I have noticed- Gen1 FOBs are largely democrats but the Gen 1 40+ citizens are republican and ofcourse Gen 2 ABCDs are predominantly democrat. Not sure if they will follow the FOB’s after 40, but that’s something we will get to see in the next 10 years or so, as the population of Gen 2 will go up considerably.

      1. Just to be clear I’m Gen 2 American (born and raised in USA). I’m also a military officer in the reserves. Sometimes it’s curious as to why I’m so different from other desis of my generation but after listening to Razib’s podcast there seems to be more like me out there than I realize.

  6. I actually would rather she embrace her Black roots more than her asian identity, Tamils might disagree.

    She has needlessly pointed a bulls eye on the S-asian community, without having any benefits of representation politically. The worst of both worlds.

    The only ‘Indian’ folks who seem to be happy are SJWs , who feel they have a representative now in the ocean of regressive desis who show up for Howdy Modi. I feel even the Indian govt who leaves no chance to appropriate achievements of Indian origin folks have themselves muted on her nomination, perhaps knowing what type of ‘Indian’ she is.

    1. If Biden wins, there will be plenty of “Hamaree sonee auntee Kamala, isn’t she awesome?”

  7. Razib,

    On and off share some posts on FB, including this one.

    If the post has some photo/image would prefer that to be the preview. More relevant than IVC archaeological site.

  8. This sounds just like a reservation debate in India for the OBC creamy layer! Rather than concentrating on Kamala’s use of a affirmative program, are there non-moral objections, from an epistemic view, on why offspring of certain parents shouldn’t be affirmatively selected?

    In India, this identification becomes much easier because of caste. It performs an inherent division that, even if not fair, is fully understood by all participants. Its function of formalization of inequality is done flawlessly.

    Again the case of Kamala is doubly ironical – a well entrenched top game player becomes the underprivileged in another game and uses rent, which triggers a game comparison on which one might be better framed!! My answer is caste.

  9. Since when is affirmative action an overt form of “victim” politics? Historically, it’s an African-American issue, and wasn’t founded on the identity of Blacks as “victims” of white supremacy. Affirmative action has its problems but it was, in simple terms, made to close the achievement gap between whites and blacks. So Kamala Harris took advantage of this, why not? Doesn’t mean she claimed “victim” status. Means she availed of a means in the system to reach an end. Besides, I hear that Kamala was a bright student. Your blog oversimplifies pretty much everything because you are very anxious to find a crack in Harris’ candidacy. The cracks needn’t lie in her past, I mean way in the past trajectory, but in her policies and practices as attorney gen of SF, State attorney gen and as junior senator.

  10. I think most of what is being done in this forum is character assassination of someone that comes from a complex and intriguing background. I find also that consistently in world politics, women are held at a higher threshold than men. Most arguments are flimsy. She was a competent senator and hopefully she will do well in the executive branch in an obviously centrist candidacy.

    Re: India, we do not know how Ms. Harris will conduct herself with the BJP government and it is too premature to make any comments. She likely does understand Hinduism and India’s 4 dimensional complex progression (regions, religions, castes and gender) better than any recent US or foreign politician. This will benefit any interactions…. let’s crack a coconut for her and wish her well.

  11. Anyone knows if this is true?

    According to one research, Kamala Harris’s father is of Irish descent, and his ancestors had a plantation with slaves in Jamaica. Yes, you read that right, Kamala Harris is a descendant of slave owner Hamilton Brown, after whom Brown Town is named.

      1. There is no chance Hojislav, since Vinca till today Serbs never practiced slavery.

Comments are closed.

Brown Pundits