‘Game-Changer’: Kamala Harris Makes History As Next Vice President

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California Senator Kamala Harris speaks during a rally launching her presidential campaign on January 27, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by NOAH BERGER / AFP) (Photo by NOAH BERGER/AFP via Getty Images)

California Sen. Kamala Harris will become the next vice president of the United States, shattering another racial and gender barrier in American politics, at the end of a bruising presidential race that further exposed a bitterly divided electorate.

Harris, 56, will bring a legion of firsts to the vice presidency: A daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, she will be the first woman, the first Black person, the first Indian American and the first Asian American to hold the office. She will also be the first graduate of a historically Black college and first member of a Black sorority to do so.

“It sends a message about what kind of country we are today,” said Manisha Sinha, a professor of American history at the University of Connecticut. “An interracial democracy that represents people, men and women, from all over the globe. I think that’s a very good thing for American democracy. And for me personally, it gives me a sense of national belonging that may not have been there before to some extent.”

Harris claimed her place in history on Friday after a close battle for the White House, at the conclusion of which President Trump falsely claimed victory with millions of votes outstanding, and his legal team pursued action amid the close race. It also closes an election season upended by the coronavirus pandemic, and a fierce national reckoning over race, justice and police brutality.

Democrats were seeking a victory that would demonstrate a repudiation of Trump and the direction in which he is leading the country. That did not happen this year, in a race with razor-thin margins in some key states, and there was no Democratic wave. But in Harris’ elevation to the vice presidency, the party and the country mark a significant milestone in a caustic political environment.

Still, it is a jubilant moment for many women across the country, but most notably for Black female activists who pushed Joe Biden to name a Black woman as his running mate. Black women have been longtime party stalwarts and were a key constituency that helped deliver Biden the Democratic nomination, though activists say the contributions of Black women have often been overlooked and taken for granted.

“Black women have always been the backbone of this Democratic Party, and oftentimes not valued for our ability to lead,” said Barbara Lee, the congresswoman from Oakland, Calif., who was a co-chair of Harris’ own presidential bid, which she launched in January 2019. “But I tell you now, Black women are showing that Black women lead, and we’ll never go back to the days where candidates only knew our value in terms of helping them get elected. Now they will see how we govern from the White House.”

Lee said the moment made her think back to working on the campaign of Shirley Chisholm — the pioneering first Black woman to serve in Congress and who also became the first woman to seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in the 1972 election.

“When Kamala was selected as the vice presidential nominee, I thought about Shirley Chisholm, and I thought about how it took all this time, but how happy she must be,” Lee said.

Glynda Carr, the president of Higher Heights, a group dedicated to building the political power of Black women, described the moment as “game-changing.”

“Kamala Harris’ win is going to change the way we think about what leadership looks like,” she said. “My goddaughters will know the possibilities that exist for their political leadership if they want to pursue that. I was most prideful to see my little goddaughter, who is in pre-K, standing at that TV, one inch away, looking at Sen. Kamala Harris.”

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23 COMMENTS

  1. What wonderful news. A woman of colour with Caribbean roots will be good for us all. She makes us proud. Our relationship with the US were certainly be impacted. It will be interesting to see who will be the US ambassador to Antigua under the Biden administration? Lots of changes coming, and it’s about time

  2. That woman of colour with Caribbean roots is a communist who has been in bed with the Chinese CCP. She has a long documented history of sleeping her way up the ladder of power. Yeah right, She’ll be a terrific role model for the girls of Antigua !

    • Are you working for some right wing nut racist outfit, or what??? EVERY West Indian will be proud of that lady, a woman of morals and principles. If you think she is a communist, you must be a Nazi or just some crackpot. You’re the same one who said you were an ANTIGUAN FOR TRUMP, aren’t you? Well, there is NO such thing as an ANTIGTUAN FOR TRUMP!!! Just like Trump, YOU’RE FIRED!

    • They wanted Trump out so it was any Port for a storm. Just wait, the complaining and dissatisfaction will soon begin.

  3. Harris has spent her career locking up Black and brown people. She should not be allowed to shake hands, kiss babies or walk into black churches without being taken to task. “Kamala Harris is no friend of black people.” But Harris is highly problematic for black voters, perhaps more so than any other candidate.

    She served as the district attorney of San Francisco and later as attorney general of California. In both roles she did everything in her power to support the mass incarceration system and all of its foundations. That is what prosecutors do after all, but most of them don’t try to run for president and ask for black people’s votes
    Harris showed her true colors before she even began her campaign. She is either a cold hearted cynic who went along with the ever popular cult of being “tough on crime” or she harbors true animus towards black people. In either case she presents a great danger.

    It can be argued that Obama’s presidency left black Americans worse off than before he took office. The already weakened black radical tradition was jettisoned in favor of representational politics that was devoid of any tangible political benefit. The only thing worse would be to elect another corporate backed Democrat ready to fool us with false notions of race pride. We must say no to Kamala Harris.

    • Have you been hitting the rum bottle or something? We are all saying YES to Kamala, as we remind the rich big capitalist Trump: “YOU’RE FIRED”. Get outta the People’s House.

      • @Conrad
        You sound like a sycophant for the ABLP.
        No fete – No rum … remember?
        Kamala is a whore for the deepstate.

        • You must be a deeply disturbed person. Imagine, a sister of West Indian of West Indian roots is about to be Vice President of the United States and you are bitching about. Are you one of the US Proud Boys or something!!!! This has nothing to do with ABLP. I’ve never voted ABLP in my life. Besides, Harold L. has already congratulated the BIDEN/HARRIS, as are all patriotic Antiguans and Barbudans. It’s good to have the sister in such a powerful place of authority. God is smiling on her, and all of Antigua is delighted.

  4. Oh please they used her skin colour as a gimmick. Play on people sentiments to get votes for Biden. They were the ones orchestrating the riots. Poor America. Who will they invade first now they are back on track ?

    • You are so right. Beside being ridiculed and insulted from since he ran in 2016, Trump had two strikes against him – the Covid-19 and the black man that died by police (they say). They blamed the Covid and rioting on Trump.

      • The worst is yet to come. Now people don’t have all that hatred to throw at Trump, how will they fill that void in their lives ?? They have taught their kids if you don’t like someone it is OK to make fun of their appearance and skin colour (while calling Trump Racist) mocking their family and anything they say or do. I would hate to be a child in todays world boy.

  5. Americans are making a big mistake to label her as an african American. She is a Caribbean/Asian American. We do not refer to ourselves as African Caribbean. We are West Indian or Caribbean. Only Black Americans refer to themselves as African American and Barak Obama was the only true African American. His father was African and his mother was American. And he was born on American soil. Hawai.

    • FROM THE SIDELINE I slightly agree with you on Kamala Harris’ heritage. Her father, Dr. Donald Harris, is a brilliant Jamaican scholar. He is an economist and was a Professor at Stanford. In those circumstances, I would like to see a bit more emphasis put on her Caribbean heritage and not all the focus on Asian and African American.

      • The ancestors of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) owned slaves — according to her father, Stanford University economics professor Donald Harris.
        Donald Harris, a Stanford University economics professor, revealed in 2018 that his grandmother was a descendant of Hamilton Brown, the namesake of Brown’s Town in northern Jamaica. “My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town),” he wrote in a post for Jamaica Global.
        A research archive of Jamaican records indicate that at one point in 1817, Hamilton Brown owned scores of slaves. The majority were brought in from Africa, though he also owned many Creole slaves.

        • Almost every Black West Indian is descended from some old plantation owner who forcefully raped his female slaves. What you are implying simply makes no sense. Were any of the female slaves in your background ever raped by the plantation owner or the overseer????? So does that mean you are a “descendant” of some plantation overseer or slave owner???? Think about it. Think deeply and carefully.

  6. This is all a game! One big game!

    History is our greatest teacher, and what has it taught us? The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    Vote for no one but yourselves people. You are the best person to govern yourself.

  7. Conrad absolutely a great point. To say that Kamala Harris ancestors owned slaves is a critique that can be leveled against many descendants today emanating from the maelstrom of slavery and plantation society. Even if that bit of historiography of Harris’ ancestry is factual, I really cannot understand the significance and what turns on it now. FREEMAN needs to clarify what exactly is the point he is trying to make.

  8. Some people on this forum think Kamala will do something positive for our country. What did O’Bama ever do for Antigua? Idiots renamed Boggy Peak after him and for what? I will laugh if the change the name to Mount Kamala till mi belly buss.

    Some bring up her skin colour. It’s a pity they can’t ask her why she married a white man.

    It remains to be seen if she will even look pon we. Like O’Bama, I’m guessing she won’t be.

    It’s time people stop looking at the outside colour, the inside colour is what counts. Fetching backward thinking.

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