The life of Kamala harris It is full of first times, the kind that break the famous glass ceiling that in some cases seems to have become battleship, and if not tell Hillary Clinton. At the age of 40, Harris became a San Francisco prosecutor, the first woman and the first non-white person to hold the position. In 2011, she had climbed so many rungs to that ceiling, invisible but real, that she was already attorney general of California, where it was happening again for the first time: female and black.
Harris won the Senate seat in the elections after which Donald Trump took office. From this Saturday, November 7, Trump will become part of the list of past presidents and Harris will replace the man who repeatedly, during the electoral campaign debate between the numbers two, He said bluntly: "Mr. Vice President, I am speaking." Mike Pence interrupted Kamala Harris twice as many times as she did him, 10 against 5. From this Saturday, Kamala Harris will be the voice, sometimes soft, sometimes litigating, sometimes vindictive, of the vice presidency of the United States. Starting on January 20, when Joe Biden is sworn in on the steps of the Capitol, that voice, which belongs, for the first time, to a black woman will be heard without interruption. Again, historic firsts.
Kamala Harris, 55, born in Oakland, California, doesn't like to talk about herself, which is certainly not a good figure for her position from now on. In interviews she gave, especially when she launched her campaign for the Democratic nomination, she confessed to journalists that they almost had to extract the words from her with forceps because she was not good at talking about herself. Without a doubt it is a matter of the cradle, of education. In her memoirs, Kamala Harris writes that she was raised "not to talk about her" as such a thing was considered "narcissistic and vain". Of course, "if you don't want anyone to define you, you'd better do it yourself," advised her mother, who accompanied her closely all her life until her death in 2005 from colon cancer.
Daughter of Shyamala Gopalan, born in South India, and Donald Harris, originally from Jamaica, Harris grew up in the circles of the famed University of Berkeley (California) where the civil rights movement was the fight of the moment. Her activism comes from the cradle and she grew up within it, explains the former senator in her book The Truths We Hold, While she remembers that due to her short stature and her young age, what she observed in the demonstrations to which her parents took her as a child was a landscape of legs.
The love story between the immigrants from India and Jamaica – the mother who is a breast cancer researcher and the father who is now a professor emeritus at Stanford – ended when Harris was seven years old and with a sister two younger than her. "From then on, we became the Shyamala girls," writes the vice president-elect, who claims to have an almost current memory of all the times they moved and that she remembers in the form of the Mayflower moving company truck. . "We moved a lot, a lot."
He claims that he loves cooking, that he enjoys dancing and making up word games. He speaks some French, just enough to defend himself. He had a "happy and carefree" childhood but does not forget the racial burden that he has always carried and will carry. That inheritance made him face in one of the debates for the candidacy to which he is now his boss. Harris reproached Biden for working for years on Capitol Hill with senators who had supported racial segregation and opposed school integration, moving white children on buses other than those of black children. “I was riding the bus every day. And I was one of those girls, ”Harris told Biden in one of the highlights of that debate.
In 2014, Harris married Douglas Emhoff, a successful lawyer from the United States West Coast, divorced with two children who decided to skip the term stepmother and affectionately call Harris, Momala. Until Harris met Emhoff, for many years, he had kept his personal life totally separate from his career, from his professional life. "Due to my position I was aware that if I took a man with me to an event, people would immediately start to speculate about whether or not we were in a relationship," Harris explains in The Truths We Hold. “She was also aware that single women in politics are measured by a different standard than single men,” Harris continues, concluding that she would never take the step of leading a man by the arm in public until know that it was "the one" (the man).
That man will go from January 20 to occupy the vice-presidential residence on Massachusetts Avenue and will become the first second gentleman in the history of the United States. During a campaign event with Biden in Wilmington (Delaware), Harris spoke fondly of her husband's children and referred to the nickname they have given him: “During my career I have had many titles and without a doubt that of Vice President would be great, ”stated the senator. "But Momala will always be the one who matters the most."
Harris is undoubtedly more than Joe Biden's number two, she is a likely presidential candidate in 2024, since the former vice president of the Obama era, 77 years old, is very unlikely to run for a new term due to your age. That was, in fact, the job she aspired to more than a year ago when she ran in the Democratic primary. Harris allows, finally, glimpse a generational change that did not occur in the primaries. Hers was one of the names of the future of the party appointed by Barack Obama when he was about to leave the White House in 2016. Although she hates being compared to the former president. "Don't define me based on something a man has done before," he said. "I have my own legacy." Without a doubt, Madam Vice President, you have the floor.
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