Though former President Donald Trump broke tradition in an unpatriotic and unprofessional way, newly inaugurated Vice President Kamala Harris broke tradition in an extraordinary and empowering way. Seeing a woman, especially a woman of color, be sworn in as the first female and first African-Asian American Vice President of the United States of America is a display of hope and a display of some prevalence for generations of women and people of color who have faced oppression and discrimination for centuries.
In the year 1920, women were granted the right to vote by the 19th Amendment. Just a mere 100 years later, the first woman Vice President was sworn into office by the first Latina/Hispanic member of the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor. As Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet at the age of 23, stated in her inaugural poem, “We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation…For there is always light if only we are brave enough to see it- if only we are brave enough to be it.”
Vice President Kamala Harris will go down in history, as will the day she was inaugurated: Jan. 20, 2021. She will join all the extraordinary women who have made history and have been a role model for young girls and women throughout the country and the world. Women such as Ruth B. Ginsburg, Susan B. Anthony, Aretha Franklin, Rosa Parks, and so many more countless women who have prevailed and beat the odds and have done extraordinary things that serve as an inspiration to this day. As newly inaugurated President Joe Biden stated in his inauguration speech, “A day of history and hope and renewal and resolve through a crucible for the ages… As we look ahead in our uniquely American way: restless, bold, optimistic, and set our sights on the nation we can be and we must be… Here we stand, where 108 years ago, at another inaugural, thousands of protestors tried to block the brave women marching for the right to vote. And today we marked the swearing-in of the first woman in American history elected to national office: Vice President Kamala Harris. Don’t tell me things can’t change.”
With times changing, it is out with the old and in with the new. Diversity, gender equality, and racial equality must move forward and ensure the betterment and future of our country and our democracy. As Reverend Silvester Beaman stated in his address at the Inauguration, “We discover our humanity, and in our humanity, we discover our commonness. Beyond the difference of color, creed, origin, political party, ideology, geography, and personal preferences.” We have to come to a time in our world where we must embrace the differences of one another, differences such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and so much more. We are all citizens of the United States of America; therefore, we must unite as one to instill a better future for generations to come and a better environment for those who feel as if they “don’t belong here” because everyone has a place and has a purpose in this country and this life.