Senator Kamala Harris waves to crowd after announcing her candidacy for president
(Photo: Kim Wilson / Shutterstock.com)
On January 21, 2019, California Senator Kamala Harris threw her hat into the ring for the presidency. Harris is one of five other women announcing their candidacy for the presidency in the 2020 United States presidential election. She joins other recent women like Samoan-American U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, alongside Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar.
So far, all these women are members of the Democratic Party and have outwardly condemned current President Trump’s rhetoric.
As part of her campaign kick-off, Harris talked about the various kinds of hate in this country and their need to be stopped while giving a town hall speech in Iowa. “Enough with these powerful forces that are trying to sow hate and division among us. That is not reflective of who we are as Americans,” Harris said.
During her recent visit to The Rachel Maddow Show, Harris explained that she is running because she comprehends the levels of local, state and federal government well enough to know that the administration in place today is not doing their best for the United States. Harris further called on the American public to “step up” at a time where the American dream in addition to the construct of American values are being demolished.
Harris—believe it or not—is not the first African-American woman to enter the race for the presidency. She actually joins the likeness of Democratic Congresswoman Shirley Anita Chisholm. Chisholm was the daughter of a Guyanese father and Bajan mother.After becoming the first African-American Congresswoman in 1968,Chisholm also acquired the title of the first black woman of a major political party to run for a presidential nomination four years later.
A look at history provides the context that only in 1920, did women gain the right to vote in this country and 48 years down the thoroughfare, a woman of color felt compelled enough to not only cast a ballot, but run for the highest political position in the country.
Harris, having the opportunity to run today in the presidential race, lends its hand to the diligence from females before her such as the suffragettes and mettlesome women of color like Chisholm who led her political life by the motto, “Unbought and Unbossed”.
Senator Harris a multi-ethnic woman stemming from a Madras Indian mother and an Afro-Jamaican father, would be the first Asian-American and African-American woman to snag the title of President of the United States.
However, she has already been a woman of firsts. Harris was the first African-American woman to become the California attorney general with her victory in 2011. In 2017, she again made history by becoming the first African-American senator California had ever elected.
At 54 years old, she previously served as an attorney general and district attorney in the state of California. She is running her campaign on the slogan, “For the People”.
According to Rutgers University, as of2019, women consist of approximately a quarter of the seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Women of color make up 8.8 percent of the 535 seats in to Congress. The House of Representatives currently includes 22 women who identify as black, 12 as Latina, six as Asian Pacific Islander and one as Caribbean American.
Dana Mathura is a senior at Baruch College majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Journalism, class of Spring 2019. Dana has written for the online publication Odyssey and is currently a News and Feature Writer for Caribbean American Weekly, as well as Workers World Today. Her work has been published both in print and online. Fascinated with journalism from a young age, she is an aspiring Broadcast News Analyst, hoping one day to write her own memoir. Dana’s interests include fashion, photography and film.