America’s first person of color and woman vice president: Kamala Harris

Annabelle Rosse, Editor-in-Chief

Kamala Harris, a Democratic Senator from California, is set to become the first woman of color ever elected to the Vice Presidential post. This comes after news outlets such as NBC and the Associated Press projected the win on Nov. 6, 2020. 

After 230 years of having white male vice presidents, America is finally getting someone new.

Kamala Harris was born and raised in Oakland, California during the 1960s. She was born to Jamaican and Indian parents, making her one of the most diverse people ever elected to the White House. Before she served as a California senator, Harris served as the San Francisco district attorney and then as the state attorney general. During those latter years, California was the first statewide agency to implement a body camera program, in 2015. Her Justice Department also launched a voluntary program that focused on “policing approaches that emphasize respect while recognizing and addressing implicit biases,” according to a press release by Harris’s office. 

On Jan. 21, 2019, she announced her presidential bid. However, just less than 11 months later, Harris suspended her campaign due to lack of adequate funding. She later came out as a supporter of Biden, someone she previously criticized in her campaign. Due to her advocacy for racial justice legislation and appeal to a wide range of voters, Biden tapped her as his Vice President in August of 2020. The duo went on to win the 2020 election, which was called by various mainstream news outlets. This made Harris the first woman of color to be elected into the White House. She is set to be inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2021. 

Until then, a lot is expected of Harris, who has promised to reform the criminal justice system nationally and is assumed to be a strong advocate for gender equality. As a woman of color herself, she will be able to have personal insight into these issues. The next four years gives Kamala Harris the opportunity to prove to America that she can take the office and make the most out of it. But it is not just her plan for office that has a permanent effect on the future of America; it is the path she has paved for women all across the country. 

“She’s literally the blueprint to women’s political possibility and now she is stepping literally into the Oval Office and she’s going to put an intersectional lens on everything this administration does from a gender of race lens,” Glynda Carr, president and CEO of Higher Heights, an organization focused on electing Black women into political offices, said in an Associated Press article.

With her victory, Harris has become a nationwide inspiration to young girls. To many girls in America, they see the White House as a place dominated by men. However, as the vice-presidential elect stepped out to do her victory speech, she flipped that narrative on its head. 

“While I may be the first woman in this office, I won’t be the last,” Harris said as she addressed the nation for the first time after the election.

All over the country girls of color everywhere saw inspiration and proof that their dreams were achievable. Even grown women can find sincere meaning in her victory. They can see that after all the years of fighting, a woman is in one of the highest offices in the land. 

“It’s incredibly meaningful for me as an Indian girl interested in politics to see Kamala nominated for such a powerful position,” Gwen Setia (’21) said.