By Louis Chan, AsAmNews National Correspondent
A 14-year-old Indian American poet says she’s not going to let the hurtful words of a political commentator deter her.
The election of Kamala Harris to the second highest office in the United States inspired Kashvi Ramani to record a poem about the Vice President.
The young girl from the Washington, DC area didn’t intend it to be political. Ramani saw herself in Harris because they both share not only an Indian American identity, but also their gender.
She knew Harris had broken the glass ceiling on two fronts and shared in the excitement and possibilities for her own future.
Her poem exulted in the pride she felt and the determination she saw in Harris.
Ramani is a member of Washington DC’s youth slam poetry team and told AsAmNews she just hoped her poem would encourage the Vice President in rough times that inevitably fall on any political figure.
She particularly related to the message Harris’s late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, left her daughter.
“She was very strict. She told her to dream big. Dream bigger Kamala . You can do so much. My mom did the same for me,” Ramani told AsAmNews. “It’s better to dream big rather than not dream at all.”
It stunned her when word got back to her that her poem had been ridiculed by political commentator Michael Knowles who has 434,000 subscribers on YouTube alone.
“Originally I was appalled,” Ramani said. “I was upset that after I was dreaming so big, it was the exact opposite. It was someone bashing my poem. Michael Knowles make it seem very political. My poem wasn’t political at all. It was just a comparison between me and Kamala.”
This is not the first time Knowles has gone after a teenager in his commentary.
Fox News even banned Knowles as a guest after he called teenage global climate activist Greta Thunberg a “mentally ill Swedish child,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
AsAmNews reached out to Knowles via social media and asked him if teens are fair game for political commentary. He did not reply.
Ramani’s mother, Kirtana Ramani, encouraged her daughter to speak with AsAmNews.
“My husband and I are more interested in limiting this negativity,” she told AsAmNews. “The divide between political choice or race is happening too much. I just want people to be kind and understand the point of view. It just a child of color finally found a person in a prominent position that looks like her. It is more about mother and daughter than about politics.”
Her daughter says she will continue to share her thoughts via poetry.
“I’m not going to let this experience effect me in future. There will always be people who hate. Being a women and an Indian, I’ve had to face a lot of racism and sexism. I will continue uploading my video on my YouTube Channel.
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