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Kamala Harris to become first Asian American VP

Via Flickr Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore

Kamala Harris is projected to become the first female, Black, and South Asian American vice president, reports CNN.

Following a prolonged vote count and a close race in multiple battleground states, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were announced as the projected winners of the presidential election Saturday, defeating incumbents President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Harris’s election as vice president-elect is another first in her political career. She was also the first Black woman to become a district attorney in California, the first Black woman elected as California attorney general, and the first South Asian American elected to the U.S. Senate.

“This is a momentous occasion, especially for Asian American Pacific Islander Women of color,” said Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke, Association of Asian Pacific American Institute of 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.”

Born to a Jamaican father and an Indian mother, Harris’s biracial heritage was a major topic of interest during her vice-presidential campaign.

Some expressed confusion about her racial identity as both Black and Asian American. Harris was also a target of “birtherism” earlier in her campaign, being subject to false claims that she was not born in the United States.

However, her inclusion on the ticket ultimately resonated with a diverse group of voters who had never seen themselves represented in such an office, according to NBC.

“For the first time, we will have a woman of color and a daughter of immigrants ascend to the second-highest office in the land,” said Neena Tanden, of the Center for American Progress. “Americans have chosen to relegate Trump’s toxic legacy to the past and, instead, bring about a new government that seeks to unite people rather than divide them as well as one that more closely reflects the diversity of the American people. Voters chose a progressive vision, one that is in favor of a strong and united coronavirus response; an inclusive economy; more affordable and accessible health care; better infrastructure; and climate resilience. That more progressive vision also seeks to finally address the bleak history and continuing challenges of racial injustice and inequality.”

CAP cheered the fact that the Biden-Harris ticket received more votes than any other presidential ticket in the history of our country-75,053,893 and still counting. That’s 4 million more votes than Trump, a number that will likely increase as more votes are counted.

As Harris’s election as vice president-elect is celebrated as a historic first, hopes are high that this election will also open doors for a more diverse political leadership in the U.S.

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