- In a defiant acceptance speech as the Vice Presidential candidate Harris showed that she embodies everything that Trump is seeking to take away from the fabric of American democracy.
What a momentous occasion this evening turned out to be — as we knew it would. A historic moment — when the first woman of color, a daughter of two immigrants, one from Jamaica and the other from India, accepted the nomination of the Vice President of the United States of America from a major political party. Strong, confidant, glowing in a stunning wine-colored pantsuit, California Senator Kamala Harris stood on the podium in a somber, Covid-era setup with social distancing in Wilmington, Delaware, and gave an acceptance speech that was at once positive and hopeful and also a promise of better times to come where she and Joe Biden, the Democratic Presidential nominee are voted to power and stop Donald Trump from getting his undeserved second term.
As expected, Harris touched upon all the points she was expected to — her upbringing, she and her sister being raised by her single mother from India after her parents separated when she was only 5 years old. Being a District Attorney, an Attorney General and then a United States Senator, Harris’ journey is stuff the American Dream is made up of. Her speech was full of hope and empowerment — with Joe Biden and herself, America would once again be “a country where we may not agree on every detail, but we are united by the fundamental belief that every human being is of infinite worth, deserving of compassion, dignity and respect. A country where we look out for one another, where we rise and fall as one, where we face our challenges, and celebrate our triumphs. Together.”
But what she did not do very much was go after Donald Trump as was expected. She mentioned him maybe once by name and touched upon the chaos of his times in passing, instead choosing to stress how important it was to go out and vote to make sure this chaos ended, that America was free again. But then she didn’t need to — prior to her acceptance speech, we were once again mesmerized by the baritone of Barack Obama, the 44th President, who gave a blistering critique of Donald Trump and his presidency. This time we saw and heard the professor of history and constitution, who cautioned about the perils of American democracy if we didn’t go vote and take charge of saving America from itself. It was a dark speech, with an urgency that could not be mistaken for anything but an emergency — an emergency to save the very soul of America.
Coming back to Kamala — Harris is a very smart woman and an intelligent woman. I don’t know if it was planned or not, but to me it sounded like she was gently but firmly putting the issue at rest about her eligibility to be a vice presidential candidate that Trump and cronies have floated around the last week or so. When she brought up her mother and her very touching remark of how she wished her mother was still alive to see her daughter accepting the nomination of the vice president, she let the world know exactly where her 25-year-old mother Shyamala Gopalan gave birth to her — at the Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California. She knows how conspiracy theories can get out of hand, as Obama’s own citizenship had been questioned all through his two terms as president.
“I am committed to the values my mother taught me, to the word that teaches me to walk by faith, and not by sight of color or creed, and to a vision passed on through generations of Americans — one that Joe Biden shares,” she said. “Joe will be a president who turns our challenges into purpose,” Harris added, “a vision of our nation as a beloved community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love.” Remember, she cautioned, “no one is free, unless all of us are free.” Her speech was powerful and reminded us all of how far we’d come when we witnessed history being made and then lost with Hilary Clinton in 2016.
She embodies the very thing that Democrats accuse Trump of taking away from the fabric of American democracy — a child of two immigrants, the very epitome of the American Dream brought to reality. Her speech talked of love and love for family — certain to resonate well with the South Asian voting population as well as the Latino families. The opening video of her blended family was beautiful — no added frills, just deep, deep love and commitment shining through for this woman by her sister Maya, her step daughter, her niece and her friend. Uplifting and full of hope. The upbeat and smiling Kamala of tonight was not the Kamala who put the fear of God itself into many a hearts, including politicians, criminals or career bureaucrats, with her sharp intellect and her penetrating reasoning power, the one that she reserves exclusively for the senate floor or as Attorney General: Kamala Harris — For The People.
Kuhu Singh lives in Eden Prairie, Minn., a suburb of the Twin Cities. Bidding adieu to journalism a decade ago, she nonetheless loves to write and express her very strong opinions on social media and blogs and sometimes in a few Indian publications. She is a Senior Digital Marketing Manager for a broadcast retail company. Race relations, diversity, social issues fascinate and roil her into action. She volunteers her time with certain political organizations and community organizations.