September 2020 \ Diaspora News \ USA:DIASPORA AND POLITICS
Kamala’s Indian and Jamaican heritage creates new American dream

Kamala Devi Harris has deftly melded her dominant ...

By Arul Louis

In this environment, she wrote, “My mother understood very well that she was raising two Black daughters. She knew that her adopted homeland would see Maya as Black girls, and she was determined to make sure we would grow into confident, proud black women.” Her sister Maya is also a lawyer.

One of her experiences from her childhood popped up in her memorable confrontation with Biden during a debate last year when she was running for president against him—and almost 20 others—in the initial phases of the Democratic presidential race. Questioning his credentials on racism, she said that while he opposed efforts to racially integrate schools by transporting children by bus from their racially segregated areas to schools in another place to break down racial barriers, she was one of the children on those buses.

That also brought out the age difference between them. If he wins, he will be the oldest president to take office next year at 78 when she would be only 55. Hence, one of the criteria for his vice president pick was for her to be younger, but with enough experience and capability to become president if the need arose. While the African American identity became the dominant one—and, in fact, the one that boosted her chances to get the vice presidential nomination—Harris wrote, “Our classical Indian names harked back to our heritage and we were raised with a strong awareness of and appreciation for Indian culture.” She wrote, “My mother, grandparents, aunts and uncle instilled us with pride in our South Asian roots.”