Alex Padilla to replace Kamala Harris, with no Black woman in Senate, Internet says 'Barbara Lee deserved seat'

California Governor Gavin Newsom picked California's State of Secretary Alex Padilla as one of the state's two US Senators and as Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris' replacement, which is a historic decision, but the Internet is not happy

                            Alex Padilla to replace Kamala Harris, with no Black woman in Senate, Internet says 'Barbara Lee deserved seat'
Representative Barbara Lee (D) with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris (Getty Images)

As news of Governor Gavin Newsom selecting the first-ever Hispanic US Senator for California -- Alex Padilla -- spread, so did unhappiness among a huge section of the Internet. Turns out citizens in the California region are tired of 'identity politics' and also point out that Padilla is not someone who works for the working class, which is something Newsom had claimed as he had announced Padilla's position. He had said in a statement according to the Hill, "The son of Mexican immigrants — a cook and house cleaner — Alex Padilla worked his way from humble beginnings to the halls of MIT, the Los Angeles City Council, and the State Senate, and has become a national defender of voting rights as California’s Secretary of State. Now, he will serve in the halls of our nation’s Capitol as California’s next United States Senator."

In a video that was released by Newsom's office, we can see him ask Padilla, "Can you imagine what mom would be thinking now as I ask you if you want to be the next U.S. Senator of the United States from the great state of California?” To this Padilla, who is visibly emotional, responds, "Are you serious?" Yes, they have made history by selecting California's first-ever Hispanic Senator. However, in replacing Kamala Harris with Padilla, Newsom has replaced one of the few female Black representatives. This was not expected as many had believed the seat to go to either representative Barbara Lee or Karen Bass of the Democratic Party.

While Padilla's appointment came with the tag of being 'a national defender of voting rights' and 'son of Mexican immigrants', many on the Internet said Padilla was not going to work for the working class. One user for instance wrote, "I'm sick and tired of identity politics. I couldn't care less if Alex Padilla is Hispanic, he's not pro-working-class. He was picked for being a business-friendly moderate. Barbara Lee would've been a better pick, at least she supports #Medicare4All." Another user pointed, "KHive in shambles today, but for once in on their side. Alex Padilla is not fit to serve as Senator after refusing to implement single-payer healthcare in California. It should have been Barbara Lee or Karen Bass. It should have been a Black progressive woman."



There were many who also listed Lee's achievements and why she was the better person for the seat. One user wrote, "California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee was said to be among those considered to replace Harris. Currently in her 12th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Lee is the highest-ranking Black woman in Congress as co-chair of the steering and policy committee.


To put into perspective why there has been a backlash, with Kamala Harris as Vice President and the seat expected to be Barbara Lee's given to Padilla, there are no Black woman in the senate. Meaning, out of the 100 senate seats, not one of them is a Black woman and that is a problem. One user pointed out the same in a thread and wrote, "The 117th Congress will now have 0 Black women in the U.S. Senate. That matters." He then added, "In case you like math, that’s 0 out of 100. 0/100 = 0." One user in response added more to this and said, "More fun math: Of the 2,000 or so U.S. senators throughout the entire history of Congress, only TWO have been Black women—elected in 1992 (Carol Moseley Braun) & 2016 (Kamala Harris). That’s about one-thousandth of one percent." While the user got the math wrong and it is one-tenth, it is not great optics. One user simply wrote, "Barbara Lee deserved that seat."




Padilla has said in response to receiving the Senator seat, "I'm honored, man, and I'm humbled, because of them."

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