Editorial

Kamala Devi Harris…

The first Black and Indian-American woman to represent California in the United States Senate, Kamala Harris grew up believing in the promise of America and fighting to make sure that promise is fulfilled for all Americans,” this was the first campaign words of kamala harris website. Known as the “female Obama”, first time Senator Kamala Devi Harris has scripted history by becoming first woman, Black and Indian-American vice president of the United States. Harris was picked by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as his running mate in August, months after she suspended her own presidential dreams, saying she lacked the financial resources to continue her campaign. A fierce critic-turned ally of her former rival Biden, the 56-year-old California Senator is one of only three Asian Americans in the Senate and she’s the first Indian-American ever to serve in the chamber. She has been a county district attorney; the district attorney for San Francisco – the first woman and first African-American and Indian-origin to be elected to the position. She now has several firsts in her role as vice president also: the first woman, the first African-American woman, the first Indian-American and the first Asian-American. She is considered to be close to Barack Obama, the first black American President, who endorsed her in her various elections including that of the US Senate in 2016. Harris was born to two immigrant parents: a Black father and an Indian mother. Her father, Donald Harris, was from Jamaica, and her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher and civil rights activist from Chennai. She, however, defines herself simply as ‘American’. Harris grew up embracing her Indian culture, but living a proudly African American life. She often joined her mother on visits to India. “My mother understood very well that she was raising two black daughters,” she wrote in her autobiography The Truths We Hold. Harris was born in Oakland and grew up in Berkeley. She spent her high school years living in French-speaking Canada – her mother was teaching at McGill University in Montreal. Her mother told her growing up, “Don’t sit around and complain about things, do something,” which is what drives Kamala every single day, according to the Biden-Harris joint campaign website. She attended college in the US, spending four years at Howard University, which she has described as among the most formative experiences of her life. After Howard, she went on to earn her law degree at the University of California, Hastings, and began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. She became the top prosecutor for San Francisco in 2003, before being elected the first woman and the first black person to serve as California’s attorney general in 2010, the top lawyer in America’s most populous state. In her nearly two terms in office as attorney general, Harris gained a reputation as one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party. Harris has been married to her husband Douglas Emhoff, a lawyer, for the past six years. She is the stepmother of two children, Ella and Cole who are her “endless source of love and pure joy,” the website says. “Harris knows the Black American experience. She knows the South Asian-American experience. She knows the immigrant experience. She knows the aspirational power of the American dream. She is the running mate for this moment,” wrote Neil Makhija, Executive Director of IMPACT, in an op-ed published by CNN during the presidential campaign. It is believed that Indian-American voters played crucial role in the key battleground states.

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