Kamala Harris becomes first Black woman to be elected as US Vice President

Lalit K Jha
·4-min read

Washington, Nov 7 (PTI) Kamala Harris, the daughter of an Indian immigrant from Chennai, on Saturday created history by becoming the first Black American woman to be elected as the country's Vice President.

While Indian-origin politicians have been elected as heads of the state in various parts of the world in the last several decades, from Mauritius to Fiji, Harris, 56, as the vice president of the United States would be the most powerful politician ever.

Termed trailblazer by the former US president Barack Obama, Harris already has many firsts to her credit, from being the first-ever women attorney general of California to first-ever Black woman as the vice president.

When sworn in on January 20 next year, Harris would be the first-ever woman Vice President of the United States. She would also be the first-ever Black and African American woman vice president of the country.

'We have not only shattered ceilings by electing the first woman, first South Asian American, and first Black woman as vice president but we have also constructed a different path for millions as they imagine their own futures,' said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who is the first-ever Indian-American elected to the US House of Representatives.

Pramila who was re-elected for the third consecutive term, described the Harris’ election as a “powerful moment” in history.

'A generation of Indian-Americans made this country their home because they knew it meant anything was possible for their children. Today, the daughter of one of those Indian Americans proved their faith,' Neil Makhija, executive director of IMPACT said soon after major media networks declared Bide-Harris ticket as the winner of the November 3 presidential election.

'It is with pride, hope, and enduring faith in America that we congratulate Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on her historic victory. Her election sends a message to a new generation of young Black and Brown children that they belong, and that in America, anything is possible,” Makhija said.

'Her election will supercharge the political engagement of the Indian American community,' he said.

In 2020, IMPACT raised a record USD 10 million which doubled turnout of South Asian voters in critical states, including Pennsylvania and Arizona.

A large number of crowd gathered at the Black Lives Matter Square near White House in Washington DC to celebrate the occasion.

'How great is it that a Black woman and our first Indian American VP helped us get rid of Donald Trump!! Yes Kamala Harris. This is what democracy looks like. Never going to stop celebrating this!' Indian-American politician Aftab Pureval said.

Lady Gaga congratulates Joe Biden and Harris after election win.

'You just gave the world one of the greatest acts of kindness and bravery humanity has ever seen,' she said.

'Harris’s victory comes 55 years after the Voting Rights Act abolished laws that disenfranchised Black Americans, 36 years after the first woman ran on a presidential ticket and four years after Democrats were devastated by the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the only woman to win the presidential nomination of a major party,' The Washington Post reported.

Though her own run for president fell apart last year partly because of a lack of enthusiasm, Harris has since been embraced by Democrats, who saw in her a reflection of themselves - a party supported by women and, especially, Black women, the daily reported.

'Ms. Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, has risen higher in the country’s leadership than any woman ever before her,' The New York Times said.

According to The New York Times, with her ascension to the vice presidency, Harris will become the first woman and first woman of colour to hold that office, a milestone for a nation in upheaval, grappling with a damaging history of racial injustice exposed, yet again, in a divisive election.

'Harris, 56, embodies the future of a country that is growing more racially diverse, even if the person voters picked for the top of the ticket is a 77-year-old white man,” it said.

'This is a momentous occasion, especially for Asian American Pacific Islander Women and women of colour,' said Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies president and CEO.

'Vice President-elect Harris’ background as an Asian American and Black woman, the daughter of immigrants, shows us that the American dream is still alive. Most of all, her win gives hope that we can overcome racism and xenophobia as a country to elect individuals that are representative of all of us,' she said. PTI LKJ MRJ AKJ MRJ