2020 has been a year full of twists, turns and monumental events which always seem to leave us a bit dazed and slightly anxious for what’s next. One of the biggest events to cause much anxiety was the 2020 elections in the USA. While this blog is not affiliated with any political party, nor is the premise of this blog to discuss political affairs, I think it would be remiss of me to avoid the opportunity to write about something that is on my heart. After a very stressful week of constantly refreshing the browser and eyes peeled to news stations, Joe Biden was named President elect of the U.S with Vice President elect Kamala Harris.
[Disclaimer: this blog post is about a specific topic and has nothing to do with the party’s policies and their personal lives. I’m speaking on one thing and one thing only. I’d appreciate that if you leave comments, that they’d adhere to kindness and open-mindedness. No bashing or unsolicited political banter will be tolerated. Thank you ♥️]
However we feel about it, we can all agree that we’ve witnessed history seeing the first woman/first black/first South Asian/ first HBCU grad as the Vice President. Wow. I personally was struck in a way I’ve never been with the news of their victory. Finally, there was someone like me — a woman, a black woman, a multiracial woman — in a position of high authority, paving not only her legacy, but soon the legacy of a nation. Just her presence, her image, her input will influence many women of colour. Little South Asian girls and little black girls can look to her as a beacon of hope that one day, they too can hold such an office. They too can have thunderous impact while still poised with class. They’ll grow up to be women who aren’t afraid to politely but firmly command attention and respect: for their input deserves it. They’ll grow up to be women who work hard and still strive for their goals, amidst naysayers and skeptics.
There’s an idea floating around that with the propping up of black women such as Kamala Harris and Stacey Abrams, along with The Squad (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley & Rashida Tlaib), we are fueling an agenda that dumbs down black boys and men, negating their influence and contribution to the victories that we’ve seen politically, and generally. However, I’d like to suggest that if you think that way, to maybe consider another perspective.
For many years, the little we did know about our history was filled with men of great minds and accomplishments. Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, W.E.B. Du bois all the way down to John Lewis, Barack Obama, etc. We’ve had these leaders to look up to. For a long while, all people knew were Angela Davis, Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks. More and more, we are learning that many other women played an integral role in many civil rights victories across the globe, but because of patriarchy, were simply not recorded, and even overlooked.
It is not only little girls of colour that will benefit from seeing Kamala Harris in office. Little boys of colour can also look up to her as well and recognize how power, influence, justice and grace isn’t only afforded to men but women too. It is a beautiful, unspoken lesson of equality and coming together.
We didn’t reduce to this narrative when Barack Obama took office. Obama was the vision of change and opportunity for BOTH boys and girls. Why can’t Kamala Harris or other phenomenal women be the same? She is the same. Boys everywhere can look at her and say, she looks like my mom, sister, cousin, friend. If she can, I can. Moreover, they can look at their peers and encourage them instead of putting down their talents and gifts because “this is a man’s job”.
Kamala Harris has given us a tangible grasp at opportunity the same way Obama has, but even more so, because apart from women of colour, women in general can see her as an example to strive for. Think of Kamala Harris as bearing an image of equality, opportunity, and freedom. Whatever you think of her, she is giving boys and girls, men and women everywhere a renewed hope.
What do you think about having more representatives of different races, beliefs and backgrounds in positions of authority?
Does it matter to you to see people who look like you or people who don’t look like you in those positions?
Comment down below!