Amidst a global pandemic and mail in voting, this upcoming election has already proven to be unprecedented. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s recent announcement that his running mate will be Sen. Kamala Harris is undoubtedly a historical one, Harris being the first ever South Asian American woman to ever be a vice presidential nominee.
Coming from humble backgrounds, Kamala Harris is the daughter of both Indian and Jamaican immigrants who came to the United States in search of higher education. Harris’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan, immigrated to the United States to attend UC Berkeley to fulfill her dreams of pursuing a scientific major. There, Gopalan met Donald Harris, an enthusiastic economics major, at an Afro American association meeting. Their connection was instant, leading them to ultimately marry and have kids. Both Gopalan and Mr. Harris’s stories resonate with many, who also identify with having immigrant parents who came to the United States in pursuit of education and opportunity. Harris’s supporters view her political career as a testament to the American Dream, proving that anyone from any background can thrive and achieve their dreams in America.
With her diverse origins, Harris’s nomination has been a groundbreaking milestone, inspiring an emotional response from activists and people of color worldwide. Many commend her nomination, stressing the importance of having a nominee that “looked like them.” Brittany Oliver, a women’s rights activist and communications director, echoed the same sentiment, saying “She’s paved the way for women like me.” Harris’s nomination has also resonated with the African American community, particularly during the ongoing movement for racial justice, coined “Black Lives Matter.” Several Democratic African Americans celebrated Harris’s nomination, claiming that her rise to political power was a reflection of the overwhelming support they’ve given to the Democratic Party. While the outcome of our upcoming election is still unclear, it is definite that Sen. Kamala Harris’s nomination has been a historic achievement for many people of color, providing the representation they have so earnestly fought for.