Female-identifying students of color respond to Kamala Harris’ win


Ellen Mi, head editor-in-chief

After the Associated Press announced Joe Biden’s projected 2020 presidential win on Nov. 7, history was not only made with Biden being the oldest person elected as president, but also with Kamala Harris becoming the first woman—and woman of color—to be elected as vice president of the United States. “When I found out, I was beyond happy. Seeing her and the speech she gave on [Nov. 3], I teared up. In the black community, it’s giving people hope that this is possible,” senior Sasha Driver said. Coming from Jamaican and Indian descent, Harris grew up with immigrant parents in Oakland, California in the 1970s.

With one-in-five voting members of the 116th US Congress having backgrounds from racial or ethnic minorities, Congress is the most diverse it’s ever been—and Harris’s win is yet another step towards a more diverse US Federal Government. However, for female-identifying students of color at Edina High School, political representation still remains an issue. “I think it’s definitely very nice to see representation in the government, especially people who look like me, but just because it is one person, I think it’s still hard to see representation,” senior Divya Danthuluri said. 

In spite of that, Harris’s history-making vice presidency has the potential to mobilize people of color and generate systemic change. “I think more women of color will start taking more risks and will start running for offices. They’ll realize that they can do this, and people will support them,” Driver said. “I think she’ll take into account what we’re going through, and she’s definitely going to address the systemic racism going on in the US, which I think is really important right now.”

While Harris’s win symbolizes a move towards greater diversity in government, her legal past remains controversial. “I’ve heard of situations where she’s wrongfully incarcerated people and held back evidence in cases to favor her position. The fact that she’s had a past in doing that is really upsetting, but I really hope that she tries to make the legal system as just as it can,” Danthuluri said.

With 44 presidencies entirely led by white men, finally having a woman of color in office will undoubtedly leave a lasting mark on the American people. “Thinking about little girls growing up and seeing her in office knowing that they can become that and do whatever they want makes me feel so happy,” Driver said.