The Importance of Kamala Harris as the New Vice President of America
Kamala Harris has made U.S. political history, black history, and South Asian history as the first vice president-elect of the United States of America. It’s an iconic first-time event and a celebratory moment for feminism-- and it may, in fact, change the future of U.S. politics.
Let’s take a look at Kamala Harris’ background and how the future of U.S. presidential elections may have changed as a result of her VP title.
Kamala Harris’ Background
Kamala Devi Harris was born to immigrant parents from India and Jamaica. She was born in Oakland, California on October 20th, 1964. Before her birth, Harris’ mother, Shyamala Gopalan, attended UC Berkeley and became a biomedical scientist. Her father, Donald J. Harris, also attended UC Berkeley and had a career as an economics professional at Stanford University. Her parents were known to take young Kamala to civil rights protests and marches.
Kamala Harris was no stranger to the alienation that many young black, Asian, and mixed-race children experienced during her childhood. Harris has recalled a number of times where she and her sister were forbidden from playing with neighborhood children because they were black. Harris also spent time in entirely white schools during desegregation.
After living in Canada with her mother for a time, Harris returned to the U.S. and pursued a degree in political science, as well as economics, at Howard University. Howard University is one of the most celebrated and longest-lived Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the U.S. Harris pledged to Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first black sorority ever created in U.S. educational history. Once her undergraduate degree was completed, Harris earned a law degree from the University of California.
Harris then went on to become a deputy district attorney in Alameda County in California. After eight years in the position, she moved on to become an assistant district attorney in San Fransisco. In 2004, she went on to win her position as San Francisco’s district attorney and then attorney general of California. In 2016, she won a position in the California senate. She ran for president in the Democratic party in 2020 before dropping out of the race. In August of 2020, Joe Biden announced that Harris was selected as his running mate.
How Kamala Harris’ VP Win Will Change the Future of U.S. Politics
Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris has already changed the face of U.S. politics before she’s even taken her position in the White House. Because there has never been a black, South Asian, or female vice president in the history of the U.S., Harris’ position is one that has set a new precedent. More importantly, Harris is a renewed inspiration for young black and Asian girls who may have an interest in politics, but are discouraged by the lack of representation. No more should powerful and smart young women of color feel as if a future in politics isn’t realistic. Now, with Harris as VP, things are going to change.
Not only is Harris a figure of representation for women of color, but there are other aspects of her Vice Presidency will that could lead to major changes in U.S. politics. Harris’ political focus will be on support for Black women in the U.S., who have historically been immovable advocates for improving and expanding democratic rights for Americans for centuries. Harris will also likely be a pivotal figure in international and immigration affairs.
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