89 Connect Forums International Politics Opinion: Kamala Harris and her potential to deliver change

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    • #6074
      Dino GalinovicDino Galinovic
      2152 Points
      Pro 89er

      By Dino Galinovic

      Senator from California, Kamala Harris, is officially the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American person to be elected vice president of the United States. She has made history, and no one can’t deny that. No woman has ever served as vice president or president in the United States. Her election to the office — and the representation she brings — is significant for many voters, especially women and people of color. After a surprising and heartbreaking race back in 2016, it seemed hard to believe that we will see a woman to be elected as a President or Vice President any time soon. But, luckily, we were wrong.

      She and incoming President-Elect Joe Biden have won their bid against President Donald Trump. It seems that what looked like a never-ending nightmare for many Americans finally came to an end. I have respect for President-Elect, Joe Biden, and I believe he will work on behalf of all Americans. However, I can’t wait to see the change that Harris will hopefully bring.

      Many so-called progressives and members of the left criticized her nomination, given her record on criminal justice and positions she took on wrongful convictions and independent investigations of police shootings when she served as attorney general of California. But her record shows the results she was able to deliver during her time serving as Senator and Attorney General.

      Vice President-Elect Harris spent much of her career as a prosecutor before getting elected to the Senate in 2016; she also ran for the presidency before she was named Biden’s running mate. Policies that Harris has led as a senator have included the LIFT Act, which would provide monthly cash payments to many middle-class households, and the Justice in Policing Act, a sweeping police reform bill that would limit the legal protections that law enforcement officers currently have.

      Black Lives Matter movements showed that racism still runs deep within American society. Because of her experience as a prosecutor and attorney general, Harris is uniquely qualified to take on the interconnectedness of issues such as race, education, economic opportunity, and the criminal justice system. As vice president, she will have the opportunity to continue the work she did as a U.S. senator, dismantling structural racism and bias in all aspects of American society and increasing educational and economic opportunity for all.

      However, what gives me hope the most is the fact that Harris represents the future of the Democratic party. Harris’ identity as a female, mixed-race, raised by a divorced woman, and first-generation American merges with the identity of the new Democratic Party, which makes her more attuned to the policy issues affecting people in the party. Although they put up an old white male pol on top this time, the election returns reflect a party that is heavily female, racially diverse, younger, and concentrated in the urban centers of American growth and innovation. When she ran on her own, she had a platform: sponsoring the Green New Deal, raising the corporate tax rate to 35%, six months of paid family leave, policies that are much more compatible with the new Democratic identity than Biden’s platform.

      Vice President-Elect has an opportunity, a chance to change a course not only of her party but of the entire country. Female perspective and input on policies created within the most powerful office in the world should bring another dimension in the problem-solving process but most importantly, Harris will be a perpetual reminder to Biden’s administration and America not to neglect the forgotten communities of American society.

      Time will show what she will bring, and for now, we can only hope she will stay determined, persistent, and resilient to pave the way for millions of young people, people of color, and women across America and the world.

    • #6085
      Elisa PerezElisa Perez
      309 Points

      Thank you for this piece, Dino, I was eager to read something on Sen. Harris on 89 Connect since I share your enthusiasm in her regards.

      I think that the symbolic importance of her ascent in American history is undeniable, and we know that in politics, symbolism is crucial: the very fact of a woman of color occupying that office transforms the perception of any stakeholder, person of color and young women in this country where racism is a daily matter (even more after Trump).

    • #6109
      Asami KhulaAsami Khula
      239 Points

      Hi Dino, thank you for your article. As Indian, I feel personally involved in this topic, and I would like to share my view about a detail that could go missing if one doesn’t pay attention. I am talking about the risk of identification with the US paradigms when it comes to race. It is undeniable that there can be an identification with Kamala Harris as part of the Asian immigrant story. But, maybe because of my personal pride, I’d like to remember all that Kamala Harris is Indian. It’s true that when people listen to her story and look at her, they reduce her to being Black. That’s how she self-identifies as well. But when we think about race in the US, race is too often used as a code word for Black. The invisibility of Harris’ Indian-ness is an allegory for the racial position of Asians in the United States, which seem to be irrelevant to the conversation of race – in the particular US dichotomy between Black/White. Be aware, I’m not saying that speaking about her as a Black woman is necessarily a negative thing, because is what she is, even if it is not everything that she is. But I’d love to see a different approach  in countries that are not the US. I think we can do better than just merging all the no-white races into Black (or Yellow) people. Even if just for justice’ sake.

    • #6111
      Lily LlewellynLily Llewellyn
      671 Points

      Thank you for this piece, Dino.  Very interesting!

    • #6142
      Robert CrestRobert Crest
      832 Points

      So glad they won… you may remember how scared I was of the alternative!

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