- But I also know that after all this euphoria and the celebratory clouds disappear, the newly minted Madam Vice President will be scrutinized more severely and judged more harshly than her predecessors.
At last! Our collective nightmare is over! A new day begins and with it begins new hope, new resolutions, and new commitments to change and progress. But above all, Jan. 20, 2021 will go down in history books. America has its FIRST woman Vice President! Madam Vice President Kamala Harris! Finally! After the rest of the world already made those strides in bringing equality to the highest offices of the land — Indira Gandhi of India, Angela Markel of Germany, Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, Chandrika Kumaratunga of Sri Lanka, Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan and many more.
Did this translate into equality for women across these countries – probably not. That is a much larger discussion for later. But the fact remains that the world’s oldest democracy conveniently, systematically, and regularly denied a woman to the highest office of the land. Hillary Clinton came close but her opponent — a crass, crude, unprepared, ill-informed, white supremacist man — was preferred over her cerebral firepower and strategic thinking.
Anyhow, the dark clouds have been lifted. It was an emotional day for many a woman in America – young, old, middle-aged, Brown, Black, Latina and White – who have been waiting for this dawn to arrive. For women have been close to the center of power but not close enough. It took the guile and superpower smarts of Nancy Pelosi, then Senator Kamala Harris, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Stacy Abrams, and many, many more to make sure women in the corridors of power were here to stay!
And what could be more fitting than Justice Sonia Sotomayor – the first Latina woman to be sworn in as Supreme Court Justice – swearing in Harris at the inauguration. And also the amazing rendition by Amanda Gorman of her poem. A 22-yr-old Youth Poet Laurette of America – a black wisp of a girl with confidence of a Goliath!
To see the blended families of MVP Harris and President Biden walk down the Washington Mall today filled my heart with such joy. The same joy that I had experienced when President Obama walked his young family into the White House in 2008. Seems like another era, right! How joyous was it to see those familiar faces waving at the meagre crowd — thanks to the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters who had ensured Washington was under a lockdown for highest security level possible — a scene not seen since the Iraq War – in IRAQ! As news channels remind us.
Harris and her Jewish husband Doug Emhoff with her two step children, his family, her sister Maya with her blended family of a Black husband and warm-coat and winter booted little kids, friends and many more relatives. Oh, to see those smiling, shiny faces. Magical! More so now because my two little nieces and countless other little girls all across this land can dream of someday they too can aspire to be called Madam President. As Harris often quoted — “My mother would look at me and she’d say, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.’”
I heard on CBS that the new vice president wore a dress and jacket in a stunning purple hue both designed by Black designers. It’s a powerful social and political statement – Harris has always strongly identified herself as a Black Woman who was brought up by her single Indian mother. Harris’s outfit was designed by Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. Rogers is a young Black designer from Baton Rouge and Hudson is Black designer from South Carolina. Just like former First Lady Michael Obama, who made it cool to have young, never-heard-before designers dress her and make their careers explode!
But I also know that after all this euphoria and the celebratory clouds disappear, the newly minted Madam Vice President will be scrutinized more severely and judged more harshly than her predecessors were — because, well, she is a woman, a woman of color and a child of immigrants from India and Jamaica. I hope I am proved wrong but if the rest of America is any indication, it will not be a catwalk for Harris. But I know that like countless other women across America, she will prove her worth. And then some!
Thank you America, for restoring our faith in you and your land. There were lots of favorite takeaways from today, but my favorite moment happened before the swearing in ceremony when Kamala Harris walked in and fist-bumped former President Barack Obama. The first Black President and the first Jamican-Indian woman Vice President.
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.