First Woman of Colour: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
This is news worthy! If you have been reading along, you know that I am Canadian. So why would the U.S. election this year be so important? You may also know that I married a Jamaican-Canadian and that we are hoping to have children. Being an Asian-Canadian of mixed race growing up as a second generation Canadian on my mother's side was not all bad. But I grew up without seeing colour. What does the 2020 U.S. presidential election have anything to do with me?? It is because Senator Kamala Harris is mixed race Jamaican-Indian-American, the very first woman in the U.S. to step into the role of Vice President - this is HUGE! If I have a daughter, she will be mixed race Jamaican-Caucasian-Asian-Canadian, and these little girls need someone that they can relate to, look up to and potentially follow in their footsteps. This is so much more important than Biden winning - but President-elect Biden had the courage to name Kamala as his running mate. Just as when President Obama became the first man of colour as head of the White House, bringing along First Lady Michelle Obama, and their two daughters, it shows that the citizens in the U.S. can be progressive. Many had hoped that Michelle would run for president in the years following her husband. The 2016 election was a step backwards! Civil liberties were tested. People were allowed to have racism and hate crimes become part of the American experience where white privilege ran rampant. The citizens of the U.S. who are white do not understand that they come from immigrants! Only native, indigenous peoples can really say they are not immigrants! Lucky for the folks of America, Senator Harris steps in to fill that cavernous void that was left when the Obamas walked out of the White House. Kamala is also a first-generation daughter of immigrants. Not only is she important for every little girl of every race as a leader in their country, but this gives every immigrant so much hope! Immigrants to North America are looking for a better life for their children. They work hard to prove that they are worthy to be citizens in their landed country. My husband is first generation Jamaican-Canadian. His father's mentality was ingrained in him before he could talk. Black men and women have to work 10 times harder than white folks to show that they can do the job. Kamala's mother immigrated to the U.S. from India attending Berkeley and leading a career in research in breast cancer, while her father from Jamaica landed a career as an economics professor. Best of all? Her mother did not let her forget where they came from. Interestingly enough, if you read her bio, her parents separated at the age of seven. My husband can speak from personal experience, having his parents separate at the age of eight was traumatic in every sense of the word. He is still dealing with this trauma some 30+ years later. Only now is he really able to get himself collected mentally to lead his career how he would like. If/when Kamala goes into these details in an autobiography, it would be interesting to hear how she faced this trauma and learned to be as successful as she is. We can say that children of divorce at any age are traumatized. For the next four years, the Biden-Harris group will have a lot of work to do in order to heal the country in a sort of exorcism of the demons called hate and divide that had drenched their nation. But it also brings hope to us in Canada to see that a nation can recover. The U.S.A. are our neighbours and closest allies, when in the last four years we had to grin through bared teeth at the hatred that was brewed throughout. Thank-you to the citizens of the U.S. for making your loving voices heard.