Credit: Getty Images

Kamala Harris’ Utopian Dreams of Wakanda Challenged by Commenters

“A racially homogenous monarchy with closed borders? No thanks.”

Sen. Kamala Harris quoted Black Panther star Danai Gurira in saying that Wakanda, the franchise’s fictional African homeland, offers a model for a modern progressive utopia.

​​”We know that if we want to live in a world that looks more like Wakanda, the first step is you invest in some women and girls,” Danai said last week in “Woman in Entertainment,” an annual gala organized by The Hollywood Reporter, as she ​unveiled the the Disney-funded Black Panther scholarship for young women.

Worthy goal. For Harris, an inevitable 2020 candidate, the Sunday tweet was probably just another chance to align herself with uncontroversial liberal fluff while also reaping some pop culture cred.

But … Going by the Oscar-nominated movie’s own plot, Wakanda is a secretive, lush land running on futuristic technology and rife with priceless natural resources. It is also a militant, xenophobic, tribalistic and male-led monarchy, in which leadership is decided through masculinity-boasting mortal combats. Not exactly the liberal fantasyland.

Harris may have missed the irony, but her followers did not.

Many noted that Wakanda is not only suspicious of outsiders, but is in fact protected by a border wall, ​a defensive measure Harris quite objects to in real life.

One user even mused, “Is Kamala part of the alt right?”

Some pointed that not unlike other superpowers, Wakanda has been quite comfortable protecting its technological edge while showing little generosity to its impoverished neighbors. Not quite the Harris view on the duty of ​powerful nations.

At least one user also bothered to remind that according to the movie’s own lore, Wakanda’​​s success had little to do with its social engineering and everything to do with the lottery of fate. (While on a roll, the same user also elaborated why the Harry Potter universe is ​even more absurd than Wakanda.)

Given that, one user added, the United States might need to follow a few additional steps before really becoming Wakanda.

And then there were those who simply cringed at yet another unholy conflation of real-world leaders and pop culture.​​

Cover image: Kamala Harris/Black Panther (Getty Images)

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