When You Break a Glass Ceiling, Sometimes it Cuts You, Sometimes You Bleed, and Sometimes it Hurts.
Apparently, there have been articles about the KHive in the short amount of time it’s been since Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris to be his running-mate. I have no idea what those articles say, because I don’t care, and nobody came to ask me anything about KHive, so I just found out the articles even existed. Funny how when a Black Woman spends a few years of her life building a community dedicated to the singular goal of advancing a fellow black woman, the media tends to speak to anyone but her about it. I’m not saying that with salt on my breath, honestly, I haven’t been able to sleep well for weeks, and at this point I am simply a sleep deprived asshole. I almost decided not to write anything at all, because really, I don’t actually want the media asking me shit, and just putting oneself out there opens up a pandora’s box of negative attention and absolute bullshit. But, I deal in truth and fact, so, it would be remiss of me not to set the record straight, regardless of how that might inconvenience me in the future.
In 2017, after the inauguration, I started a group called Marching Onward. We were a group of angry Hillary supporters who were looking for some direction, some like minded people, and a way to regroup while we waited for the next woman nominee, who I had mostly decided needed to be Kamala Harris. NO MEN. We discussed who it would be over a period of some months, and eventually, I knew I was right about who it SHOULD be. Like Joe Biden, I had a list of names to consider, which really was as much a waste of my precious time and energy, as his list was of his. I dismissed some names, ignored some more, and eventually I decided we’d end up with Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris as the next woman to take a Louisville Slugger to the “Glass Ceiling.” I liked Kamala Harris for the role more than Liz Warren, AS YOU KNOW, and I became more sure once I got to see her in action destroying Jeff Sessions’ nerves during his confirmation hearing. For many other reasons, including her history of locking up child molesters, I believed she’d be a super star candidate, not that I had anything against Warren at the time. That came later.
One of the reasons I held a belief that Harris was superior is the fact that she actually practiced the law as her profession; Warren was a professor teaching the law, Kamala had been a Prosecutor, and Hillary had been a Defense Attorney, so both practicing the law. While Warren was good with theory, I didn’t believe that would be the case in practice, and while Hillary was good at defense, she rarely went on the attack. Kamala Harris, on the other hand, was so good on the offense that she rarely needed to defend when she was on her A game. After spending an entire campaign season on the defensive, I was loathe to ever let myself end up in that position again. Next time, I said, we will fight back, we will not hide in these stupid fucking Facebook groups, wallowing in denial, and being bizarrely, yet complacently, hopeful.
Buzz about Kamala Harris had already built up to a point where we knew she was going to run for President before she was officially done being elected to the Senate. Harris winning her seat was the only bright spot during a terrible night; we weren’t going to get Hillary, but Harris would run, I KNEW it, so, I pretty much became KHive the night she won her race. By the time 2018 rolled around, I was fielding names for the group I wanted to form in support and defense of Harris, and I had decided on the best name: “Kamalot.” Don’t LAUGH. I made plans, and spent a few months looking up everything I could about Harris. I read her book, I watched her speeches and interviews, and I got familiar with her record. I was sold. I’m not hard to please, with Donald Trump as President, I just needed someone honest who cares about the “least among us.” That’s who I got.
November came, and I rolled out my plans on my (now deleted) Twitter account. Nobody liked the name Kamalot. Months of planning almost went up in flames with my failed branding, and people thought they were funny as hell cracking up about how corny Kamalot is. YES, I CRIED. Yes, they were just good natured Jokes. I’m also sensitive. Several people were more diplomatic, but the giggles continued. I got mad, I always get mad. Fortunately, I had a back-up name that I knew they would go for, because Beyonce rules the world. I told them we we’re going to be KHive. They agreed. It was like one in the morning anyway, nobody cared at that point, and I was enjoying keeping everyone up, but sadly, they left. When I got up the next day, I proceeded to bully, cajole, bother, and convince about 20,000 of my ~40,000 followers that they needed to be KHive with me. They are all still KHive to this day. I think.
I told everyone it was going to be way harder to handle the sexism coming at Harris, because of the added racism component. Because of how we hid in 2016, (not me, I didn’t hide) we were not effective in defending Hillary Clinton on social media. This time we would be a cohesive and organized group, and our policy would be to always have receipts, or just stfu. Receipts have become a BIG part of KHive Culture, because, like Kamala, we never ask a question we don’t have the answer to. What started out with just my receipts, mediocre plans, and a handful of assorted BIPOC and white allies, became a cohesive group of over 20,000 within the first week.
Once we had a common purpose and a shared identity, there was no going back; we were the footsoldiers who spread the word around to draw in others of a like mind, and we were excited as fuck. We wasted MONTHS of our time arguing with Sanders supporters, which was actually more painful for us than it was for them, since they’re immune to facts. Since this was my first time organizing a group, I had no fucking clue what I was doing, and I made LOTS of mistakes. Many people found KHive on their own, though, so I guess it turned out okay, and new people joined in and carved out their own little KHive crews separate and apart from my OG group. So, while I may have started it, I don’t control it or even know half the people who identify with it, which kinda shows how badass Kamala Harris is. Once people heard there was a group for Kamala, they wanted to be a part of it, and now they are.
Because of how reticent I can be, and also introverted, I have a hard time pushing myself as a Leader, so I am not the Leader, nobody is. I figured doing the work was enough, and since so many people remember when I started KHive, nobody would really take credit for themselves or write me out of the picture. Had I ever even met the media? Lol! So NAIVE. By next week they’ll be giving Bernie Sanders full credit for the founding of the KHive, and installing Brie Brie as our thought leader. I don’t really mind not getting the attention, and by not mind, I mean, I appreciate my alone time and privacy, and don’t appreciate being bothered. I just kinda want to help Kamala Harris become Vice President and Joe Biden become President, I am not interested in being on TV everyday. Or any day, if I can help it. Sorry. Come find me on Twitter until the trolls get me banned.
An aside: If you recall, I was reported to the FBI by one of the trolls last July, and investigated by the Capitol Police. My Crime? Well, I said I was going to light Bernie up with all my receipts from the previous four years, which is apparently deadly, as far as his ego is concerned. Being the face of a group that drops receipts so deadly people contact the FBI is dangerous work, and gives the haters and harassers a victim to abuse for their own amusement. The more information I put out there, the more abuse I receive, so, it does me no favors to promote myself tirelessly, just to get credit for starting the KHive. Meh, y’all already know. But, if I don’t say something now, later on Lisa will tell me some stuff that sounds like “You need to assert yourself more.” That makes me feel some kinda way, so, best to just get it all written down so she won’t have to bother this time.
Some people believe KHive just sprouted up out of nowhere, or that Kamala Harris somehow started and controls her own “fan club” like some kind of asshole. To be fair, there really is no “leader” of KHive, as I said, and even if I wanted to be in control, and I don’t, how the fuck would that even be enforceable? Sounds exhausting. We are all adults, we don’t need to be led anywhere, we know exactly where we’re going, as a group, or separate. Over time we have had some very talented people rise up in the group; Reecie Colbert hangs out with Roland Martin now, so she’s all famous these days, and Kenny is getting funnier, prettier, and more charismatic by the day.
Every day on my Zoom chats I meet talented and insanely intelligent men and women from around the world; supporters from Sweden, Germany, England, Ghana, Australia, Canada, India, and as always, America. KHive is becoming a worldwide movement of sorts, so along with the many of us who support the campaign from the grassroots, we have international KHive, and even KHivers working for Joe’s campaign. Perhaps, if we had known in 2016 what we know now, we wouldn’t have sat on our asses believing the truth would win the day, and Hillary would prevail. We would have done then, for Hillary, what we now do for Kamala, and her record wouldn’t have been so completely distorted.
Maybe if enough people had seen us fighting back, they’d have fought back too. Maybe they’d have pushed back against the lies, lenses, framings, and narratives that got passed around about Hillary Clinton, and caused so many to misjudge her. Then, we would have won, maybe? Also? Maybe Hillary Clinton went through all of that in order to spare the next woman the indignity of losing by winning, of being over-prepared and overqualified, and of being an inch too short to drop kick that glass ceiling down when it cracks. Future women won’t suffer as much as Hillary did for being too ambitious to sit at home and bake cookies. The next woman won’t have to do it with few defenders in a hostile media, while her own supporters are silenced and sequestered. At least I can say I contributed to that, I have not failed Kamala Harris, not yet.
The path from the Hillary Clinton supporter to the Kamala Harris supporter is so short, if you walk it, you will not have moved at all. For as much as people like to exclaim about how Kamala is the “Female Obama” as a way to show they know the names of two Black politicians, perhaps, I see Kamala in terms of being more similar to a Black and extroverted Hillary, with awesome rhythm, but even that description doesn’t do justice to either woman. They are each their own brand of awesome, and I was not going to fail Kamala where I had failed Hillary. Don’t get me wrong, I tried to convince people we needed to fight back. But, since I got doxxed, harassed, and abused for my trouble, it likely wasn’t a particularly enticing prospect in their eyes.
In 2016 I did my due diligence and voted, but many others did not; they stayed home, were unable to vote due to voter suppression, or they fucked around and voted for Trump. Sure, we won the popular vote, but after a campaign season filled with troll storms, Berniebros, and Comey’s bullshit, we were fucked and a half by the time election day came around. Having never dealt with such a high magnitude of attacks, doxxing, trolling, misinformation, and personal attacks, we on Team Hillary were truly at a loss to know how to respond. Common wisdom at the time said we should hide out in Facebook groups we set to private, and to hope against hope that the Berniebros would actually show up in high enough numbers to win if we were nice enough. That did not happen. The system failed, our Democracy failed, the FBI Director failed, but most of all, WE failed. We failed to see the forecast for what it was, we were obviously complacent, and we had no guidance from the campaign on what to do about the trolls, bots, bros, misinfo, cyber abuse, and abuse of the reporting systems on every social media platform, big or small. We were attacked nonstop for supporting Hillary, we expected it, but we didn’t expect for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, to be set up to work against the very people their rules and terms of service were meant to protect. Real American Voters.
The system has slightly improved since the 2016 election, but it is still terribly racist and sexist, yet this year the trolls lament their despair. Why? Because this is not 2016, we are not hiding in Facebook groups and Twitter chats, or on obscure message boards we set up ourselves. We are out in force defending Kamala AND Joe, we’ve been playing dual roles since Kamala Harris dropped out in December, and we do not intend to ever let a woman nominee go undefended again. And while we may not have been the biggest group of supporters during the primary, we have been the most passionate at defending our candidate. We are always diligent with facts, quick with receipts, and recognizable as Kamala Harris supporters, first and foremost. This is why I started the KHive.