It has been history-making, but not without controversy!

Oakland-born Kamala Devi Harris, 54 was the first Black woman to be elected San Francisco district attorney and served from 2004 to 2010. The newly elected Vice President, was born to immigrants from two distinct nations and has a very diverse heritage.

The parents of Kamala were both scholars who came to study in the United States. Harris is the daughter of the late cancer researcher and civil rights activist Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who emigrated from South India to the United States to attend a Ph.D. programme at UC Berkeley. Her father, Donald Harris, a retired economics professor at the University of Stanford, emigrated from Jamaica.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Harris’ Indian origins were not limited towards her favourite Indian food Idli. Harris and her sister had visited her grandparents, her uncles and her aunts in Tamil Nadu almost every year.

She writes in her book, “My mother, grandparents, aunts and uncle instilled us with pride in our South Asian roots… We were raised with a strong awareness of Indian culture and appreciation for it.” All the words of love or anger from my mother came out of her mother tongue (Tamil), which seems to suit me, because the simplicity of those feelings is what I most of all identify with my mother.

She began her career as the deputy district attorney in Alameda County. Harris worked with San Francisco’s City Attorney Louise Renne as the director of the Youth and Neighbourhood Section, where she specialised in investigating child sexual abuse cases. 

Harris cites her late mother, Shyamala for inspiring her to find answers. She is the author of a biography, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey,” and a children’s novel, “Superheroes Are Everywhere.”

“I was raised that, when you see a problem, you don’t complain about it, you go and do something about it,” said kamala.

Senator Kamala married lawyer Doug Emhoff in 2014 and became a stepmother to his two children, often seen alongside Kamala on her campaign stops. 

Kamala is not alone, leading the ranks of a number of female trailblazers, such as New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern and Sanna Marin of Finland, who have reached important achievements in world politics. ⠀

An advocate of the LGBTQ+ Public

The progressive prosecutor is a marriage equality champion. She created a hate crimes unit to investigate anti-LGTBQ activity when she was elected as San Francisco district attorney in 2004. She also refused to defend Proposition 8, which specified a man’s marriage to a woman. The first same-sex marriage was officiated by Harris since the proposal was reversed in 2013.

A women’s rights fighter!

After the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Senator Kamala Harris claimed that she was pro-choice and spoke about the future of women and their reproductive health. 

During a Democratic presidential debate back in October 2019, Harris expressed her views on women’s access to reproductive health care. Harris said, “This is the sixth debate we’ve had in this presidential cycle.” And not nearly one term, with all these health care debates, on women’s access to reproductive health care, which is currently under full-on assault in America. And it’s scandalous.

We live in a time where social media eats into our daily lives hungrily, giving people scant reprieve from the bombardment of derogatory, racist, and overall offensive comments.  

Across all the forums, women are frequently exposed to daily attacks about their looks, their worth, and their position; fuelling the fires of patriarchy and propagating sexism based on gender. Harris is now conducting targeted harassment for being a female of control, days into her history making role.

Kamala Harris is a role model not just for the youth of America, but for young girls and women all over the world!