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Why Kamala Harris Represents Something Bigger Than Herself

This year’s Vice Presidential debate was interesting, to say the least. Through the debate, there was continuous shaking of heads and condescending smirks given by both the Vice President and Senator Kamala Harris. Noticed by the media was a fly that landed on Mike Pence’s head and stayed there longer than it should have. The debate had entertainment value for all audiences.

Even though I have bothered by this for a while now, for some reason after the VP debate I suddenly became hyper-aware of the candidates that Americans have to choose from for this election. Seeing both sets of candidates on stage alone together made me extremely disappointed in the United States electorate. Kamala Harris is the only woman or person of color that this country’s citizens even have the option to vote for. It’s unacceptable. This is 2020, and, based on the U.S. Census Bureau, 50.8% of the population identifies as female, and 23.7% of people are races other than white alone. Despite these numbers, we only have one person to represent millions of people in this presidential election. 

Despite Harris’s controversial criminal justice record, she is undoubtedly making and has already made history. To name just a few of her accomplishments, she just became the first Black woman on a major presidential party ticket. She was the first person of color elected as district attorney of San Francisco in 2002. Not to mention she was the first woman, the first African American, and the first South Asian American to be elected as California’s Attorney General in 2008. While no politician is perfect, and it is our right as Americans to voice our negative opinions surrounding even candidates that we generally support. It is undeniable that Harris broke glass ceilings that used to seem concrete. She is an inspiration to women, girls, and people of color everywhere. She represents the progress that is slowly making its way into the United States government. 

However, despite the fact that Harris is setting the stage and opening up doors for women in politics for generations to come, there are still misogynistic and sexist people in this country. They are not okay with having a woman, much less a Black and Indian woman, running for the second-highest office in the land. President Trump has already tweeted at Harris calling her “a monster, angry, mean, aggressive, unlikeable, and disrespectful,” and extreme right-wing conservatives made t-shirts that read, “Jo and the Ho 2020.” These acts of immature bullying and extreme hatred tie into this country’s bias against Black women and the racial trope of the “angry Black woman.” People in this country have always and will always find a way to discriminate against women by scaring them not to run for office, but Harris is staying strong for all women to show us not to back down against the oppressive patriarchy. 

So, the next time you get catcalled on the street, the next time you get an unnecessary man-splain, or the next time someone says something racist to or about you, just think of Kamala Harris and what she is fighting for. Because she is fighting for you. Not everyone has to vote for her, and you don’t even have to like her, but you must show her respect. She is definitely not receiving the same (slight) respect as her three male and white counterparts, but she absolutely deserves it. Keep fighting Kamala, we love you queen.

International Studies Major @ NC State Alpha Kappa Chapter of Chi Omega empowered women empower women ❤️ Twitter: @MHen3_ Insta: @maeve3hennessy
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