The Kamala Harris Effect

From District Attorney to Vice-President

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“Kamala Harris” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Patrick Deliz, A&E Editor

When Democratic Presidential candidate and Former Vice-President, Joe Biden won the presidency, the beginning of a new era was in motion as Sen. Kamala Harris marks a precedent as she becomes the first woman and woman of color as Vice-President. 

With her rise to the vice presidency, Sen. Kamala Harris sets a milestone for a torn nation, fighting with an unfortunate history of racial injustice, yet again, in another divisive election. Harris embodies the future of a country that is growing more culturally diverse. 

In her victory speech on Saturday, Harris spoke of her mother and the generations of women of all races who paved the way for this very moment. She has risen higher in the country’s leadership than any woman ever has. Her success is underestimated given the amazing arc of her political career. As a former San Francisco district attorney, she was elected the first Black woman to serve as California’s attorney general. When she was elected a United States senator in 2016, she became only the second Black woman in the chamber’s history, next to Carol Moseley Braun. 

Almost immediately, Harris made a name for herself in Washington with her inspiring prosecutorial style in Senate hearings, grilling her adversaries in high-stakes moments which often, went viral. 

“Protecting our democracy takes struggle,” Harris said, speaking from a stage outside the Chase Center in Wilmington. “It takes sacrifice. But there is joy in it. And there is progress. Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future.” 

With Harris ready to become the highest-ranking woman in the history of the American government, this precedent marks the extraordinary turning point in her political career that has broken racial and gender barriers at nearly every turn.  

“While I may be the first woman in this office,” Harris vowed, “I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.” 

Several celebrities commented on the meaning and empowerment that Harris is inspiring as she takes her success to the White House. 

“@JoeBiden @KamalaHarris and the American people, you just gave the world one of the greatest acts of kindness and bravery humanity has ever seen. nothing but love for our new Commander in Chief and the 1ST female VP elected to the White HouseAlso, way to go PA.,” Gaga wrote on Twitter. 

Kamala Harris is not the first woman and woman of color to go beyond and be the center of awe. Oprah Winfrey, a famous TV Personality and Influence, had broken the racial barrier as well. Oprah didn’t just transform daytime talk shows from gossipy to intimate. She also broke down the traditional barriers of journalism. She transformed the book-publishing industry. She made the very private very public. And she prepared a mass audience to celebrate differences among people, regardless of color, disabilities or sexual orientation. And when news broke that Biden and Harris won the election, this is what she had to say. 

“I think what she means for women of the world is so extraordinary. For women here in the United States, we can’t even measure it. Because to see someone who looks like you in this role, you see what’s possible for yourself.” stated Oprah Winfrey in PEOPLE, commenting that the generational impact is priceless.