Kamala Harris: Breaking Barriers

Kamala Harris: Breaking Barriers

Micah Anderson, Writer

Kamala Harris: A Day of Firsts

On January 20th, 2021, Kamala Harris made many firsts when she was inaugurated as Vice President of the United States: first female Vice President, first Black Vice President, and first Vice President of South Asian descent. 

Dara Bishop, a language arts teacher and mother of two young girls, reflects on Ms. Harris’s inauguration: “I feel like either side that you’re on, Democrat or Republican, everyone has to recognize the milestone of having first of all a female, but then also a female of color [elected]. It extends beyond my little girls, which obviously is awesome for them to see a woman in a huge leadership position, but also to people of color … People are seeing themselves reflected in a really important leader, not just a mayor or a council person or a CEO but a person who’s running the country. More Americans are seeing themselves reflected in her identity.”

Ella Ettlin, a senior at NPHS and Vice-Chair for Youth in Government, reflects, “Setting political bias aside, it is a true feat that we have the first woman in office! It is truly an inspiration to women everywhere around the world. Also, I think that having a woman of color in office will help people feel more represented in their government. I truly am happy that we have reached a new milestone within representation, and I wish the Biden-Harris administration all the best of luck.”

Roy Mould, a social studies teacher, used historical examples to demonstrate the significance of Ms. Harris’ election. He observed that mere generations ago African Americans were barred from voting in the South, and black children had to be escorted by the National Guard in order to attend school with white children. He said, “We talk about progress. We talk about the story of history – the story of trying to live up to the ideals of our founding as a country – and we at least have some moments when we can pause and say, ‘We should celebrate this. Look at this. This is the progress we’re talking about.’”

Regardless of political beliefs, Kamala Harris broke through a glass ceiling for women and people of color everywhere. Not long ago, the election of a female person of color wouldn’t have happened, but today it did, and that progress is worthy of celebration.