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Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), running mate of Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden, is the first Black woman and first person of Indian descent to be a presumptive nominee on a presidential ticket by a major party in U.S. history.
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Getting on Board with Kamala: It's Complicated

WRITTEN BY

Sher Delva

Boynton Beach, FL

08/19/20

Kamala Harris makes history as the first woman of color nominated for national office by a major party. Sher Delva explains why embracing Harris means letting go of some of her socialist dreams.

When Joe Biden announced Senator Kamala Harris as his pick for vice president, to say I was surprised would be a lie. For the most part, Biden and Harris share similar political views and appeal to the Democratic establishment. As a Black woman, I am aware of the impact having a woman of color on the ballot has on voter turnout. Harris has also proven on the debate stage to have the tenacity and energy to add much-needed fuel to Biden's campaign. Despite my aversions, I believe Harris's name beside Biden's will help his campaign more than it will hurt it. The choice, at the very least, is a logical one.

Still, I'd be lying if I said I was not disappointed. It was not long ago I was processing the disappointment of Senator Bernie Sanders's presidential defeat. I remember the Zoom calls I joined among members of progressive organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America and the Sunrise Movement. All of us asked the same question: Where do we go from here? I do not think Harris on the ballot provides any reassurance. When I heard Sanders talk about his relentless pursuit of accessible healthcare and education, I felt hope for the first time in years. Where has that gone? Where does that leave me?

The answer among my comrades is split. However, I have decided to vote in November, despite not believing much will change. While I will credit Harris for supporting important issues like the Green New Deal and vowing to eliminate private prisons, I also have to call out her inconsistencies. Harris went from stating she supported Medicare for All at a town hall to flip-flopping and saying she misheard the question. She then confirmed her support for the for-profit private insurance industry. Yes, a Biden ticket is more likely to be malleable to implementing progressive policies, but I am not optimistic.

Regardless, I choose potential stagnation over regression or, worse, a travesty. As a young voter in a flip state like Florida, I know my vote matters. I want to acknowledge the positive precedent having a female vice president of color will set for the future. I am a Black woman, and I know that option did not exist before. I want to maintain that awareness.

I understand that four more years of President Donald Trump will gravely affect our most vulnerable citizens, so I am doing my part. I want to look back and know I made the best possible choice I could. As Sanders’s campaign slogan said, it's not me, it's us.

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