Kamala Harris completed another milestone in her political career on Wednesday by becoming the first vice president of the United States. The former black senator was sworn into office in a Capitol where sanitary restrictions due to the pandemic and security measures prevailed. Harris recited the protocol text before the first Hispanic Supreme Court judge, Sonia Sotomayor. Democratic politics had symbolic gestures towards ethnic minorities. He used two Bibles: one from a black neighbor, who was like his second mother, and another that belonged to the first African-American of the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall. Harris wore clothes by black designers Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson, and dressed in purple, in tribute to Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American to run for President.
Harris was escorted to the inauguration ceremony by Eugene Goodman, the Capitol cop who embodied the resistance against Donald Trump supporters who stormed Congress on January 6.
The ceremony was attended by her husband, Douglas Emhoff, a Jewish lawyer specializing in cases related to the media and sports. The country’s first ‘second gentleman’ will be on leave to support his partner in her new position. He already left his profession last August, when his wife was appointed as a vice presidential candidate. Emhoff, divorced, has two children in their twenties from his first marriage, who affectionately call their stepmother Momala.
“Ready to Serve” was Harris’s first message on Twitter as vice president.
“For the people, always,” the former senator wrote before taking office
Joe Biden’s right-hand man doesn’t live up to the canons of a conventional political career. If Barack Obama has already broken molds as the first black president in history, Harris destroys them as the first vice president. Furthermore, it has origins uncommon among the ruling class of the country. She was the first woman with roots in South Asia to reach the Senate and the first black woman in the California Attorney General’s Office.
He comes from a family dedicated to study and university. In fact, the former senator holds a double BA in Political Science and Economics from Howard University and a BA in Law from Hastings. His father, Donald Harris, who emigrated from Jamaica in 1961, is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Stanford University. His mother, Shyamala Gopalan, who died in 2009, came to the United States from India in 1960 to obtain a doctorate in endocrinology from Berkeley. She was a breast cancer researcher and human rights activist, which influenced her daughter. Kamala was already familiar with social movements in her native Oakland, California, as a teenager. “My mother often said to me: ‘Kamala, you may be the first to achieve many things. Make sure you’re not the last, ‘”he recalled in 2019.
True to her convictions and strong decisions, the vice president was known for her determination as a prosecutor in San Francisco, where she specialized in homicides, robberies and sexual assaults. At this stage, he promoted a pioneering program that offered convicts the possibility of obtaining a high school diploma and finding employment. His ideology was based on ending crimes without using excessive punishments, on promoting reintegration.
The next step would be the California State Attorney’s Office, which seemed reserved for a Republican and white male but which Harris filled after an extraordinary campaign. From that office, he started a 25,000 million dollar settlement from banks and corporations for homeowners in California affected by the mortgage crisis. From the Prosecutor’s Office he also defended the fight against climate change, health for the population without resources, equal marriage and sexual minorities while relentlessly persecuting drug, weapons and people traffickers.
The girl who drenched herself in Black Power in Oakland took to the streets to demonstrate after George Floyd was killed by a police officer in May. He also fought Republican states that tried to leave 20 million Americans without health insurance amid the Covid pandemic.
“An intrepid fighter” is how Joe Biden defines her. On the opposite side, Donald Trump said of her that “she is the worst, the most horrible, the most disrespectful of all in the Senate.” At just 56 years old, it would not be strange for this consummate barrier-breaker to run for the White House in 2024, if Biden then resigns, now 82, to run for reelection.