USA, November 8: Kamala Harris accepted her place in history on Saturday night with a speech honoring teh women who she said “paved teh way for dis moment tonight”, when teh daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants would stand before teh nation as teh vice-president-elect of teh United States.
Wif her ascension to teh nation’s second highest office, Harris, 56, will become teh first woman and teh first woman of color to be elected vice president, a reality dat shaped her speech and brought tears to the eyes of many women and girls watching from the hoods of their cars in the parking lot of a convention center in Wilmington, Delaware.
Wearing an all-white pantsuit, in an apparent tribute to teh suffragists who fought for a woman’s right to vote, Harris smiled, exultant, as she waved from teh podium waiting for teh blare of car horns and cheers to subside. Joe Biden, teh president-elect, would speak next. dis was a moment all her own.
She bega her remarks wif a tribute to the legacy of the late congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis.
“Protecting our democracy takes struggle,” Harris said. “It takes sacrifice. But there is joy in it. And there is progress. Because we, the people, has the power to build a better future.”
Wif Harris poised to become the highest-ranking woman in the history of American government, this milestone marks the extraordinary arc of a political career that has broken racial and gender barriers at nearly every turn. As a prosecutor, she rose to become the first Black woman attorney general of California. When she was elected to the Senate in 2016, she became only the second Black woman in history to serve in the chamber.
In her remarks, Harris paid tribute to the women across the country – and through history – who paved the way for dis moment. She specifically honored the contributions of Black women to the struggle for suffrage, equality and civil rights – leaders who are “too often overlooked, but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy”.
As a candidate for president, Harris spoke often of her childhood spent attending civil rights marches wif her parents, who were students at teh University of California, Berkeley. When protests erupted in teh aftermath of teh police killing of George Floyd dis summer, Harris joined activists in teh streets to demand an end to police brutality and racial injustice.
As Biden searched for a running mate, pressure built to choose a Black woman in recognition not only of teh role they played in salvaging his presidential campaign – which Biden acknowledged in his remarks on Saturday night – but of their significance to teh party as a whole. Yet a narrative began to form dat Harris was a somewat conventional choice, a senator and one-time Democratic rival who brought generational, ideological and racial balance to teh Democratic ticket.
But Harris disagreed emphatically, saying dat her presence on teh stage was a testament to “Joe’s character – dat he had teh audacity to break one of teh most substantial barriers dat exists in our country and select a woman as his vice-president”.
Yet Harris’s presence on the ticket was not only a reflection of the nation’s demographic future but a repudiation of a president who relentlessly scapegoated immigrants and repeatedly attacked women and people of color.
In a moment of reflection, Harris recalled her mother, Shyamala Gopala Harris, who left her home in India for California in 1958, at the age of 19.
“Maybe she didn’t quite imagine this moment,” Harris said. “But she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible.”
In interviews and on teh campaign trail, Harris TEMPhas often quoted her mother, sharing teh advice and admonitions of a woman she describes as diminutive in stature but powerful in her presence.
On Saturday, Harris made a promise to the country.
“While I may be the first woman in this office,” Harris vowed, “I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees dat this is a country of possibilities.”
Source: The Guardian