On Wednesday night, the third night of the virtual Democratic National Convention activities, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) officially became the first Black, first person of Indian descent and the first woman to accept a major party’s vice presidential nomination.
The daughter of a Jamaican father and an Indian mother who were both immigrants, Harris highlighted the strong women who fought for democracy and made her nomination a possibility. This included her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, whom Harris said taught her and her sister “to be conscious and compassionate about the struggles of all people. To believe public service is a noble cause and the fight for justice is a shared responsibility.”
In her acceptance speech, Harris focused on her vision for America, “a vision for our nation as a beloved community, where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from or who we love.”
That country, Harris noted, feels distant right now, due to the many ills we face including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as well as the systemic racism that Black, Latino and Indigenous folks face in all facets of American life.
“This virus, it has no eyes and yet it knows exactly how we see each other and how we treat each other. And let’s be clear: There is no vaccine for racism. We’ve gotta do the work,” Harris said. “For George Floyd. For Breonna Taylor. For the lives of too many others to name. For our children. And for all of us. We’ve gotta do the work to fulfill that promise of equal justice under law. Because here’s the thing, none of us are free until all of us are free.”
Harris emphasized that now was the time to elect a president who would bring us all together.
“Donald Trump’s failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods,” she said succinctly.
“We must elect Joe Biden,” she added later in her speech, singing praises to her running mate.
“Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose. Joe will bring us together to build an economy that doesn’t leave anyone behind; where a good-paying job is the floor, not the ceiling,” Harris said. “Joe will bring us together to end this pandemic and make sure that we are prepared for the next one. Joe will bring us together to squarely face and dismantle racial injustice, furthering the work of generations. Joe and I believe that we can build that beloved community, one that is strong and decent, just and kind. One in which we all can see ourselves.”