By: Nicole Lashomb/Editor-in-Chief—
I’ve followed Kamala Harris shortly after she took office as the second African American and first Indian-American woman in U.S. history to be elected to the Senate. Her Twitter feed impressed me months, if not years ago, when she relentlessly took on Trump in the social media sphere, calling it as it was, and ripping off his mask of deceit and lies in an attempt to inform the American people of what was actually happening within the White House walls and government. She still does so.
Yet, more so, she appeals to me because as a woman in politics, she was unapologetic for her views of the reality in which we all live. She is not concerned about being politically correct nor does she tiptoe around issues out of concern of getting on someone’s bad side. She is blunt yet charismatic. She is strong, yet empathetic and she is fierce yet likeable. Her arguments against the current administration and her quick wit are so impacting that back when I first started following her career, I hoped she would go head-to-head with Trump one day in a presidential contest. I had hoped she would take him out of office with her brazen intelligence. And, I may witness just that, after all.
Harris announced her candidacy for President of the United States in her native Oakland, Calif. I watched on in awe of her ability to harness the goodness in others while deconstructing the negativity that has shackled our nation. Her announcement speech, of which more than 20,000 people gathered to witness, left me spellbound of her tenacity and strength.
Her campaign slogan “for the people” couldn’t come at a more apropos time in our history where the rich and powerful have squashed opportunity, dreams and ideals for the average American. Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviors have been emboldened under this presidential administration at an all time high in modern time. Immigrant children, as young as 17 months old, have been ripped away from their families by this government and thousands have still not reunited. Transgender people serving in the military have been disrespected, demeaned and disregarded and discharged, all because they answer the call to serve so that we all can enjoy freedom—all 15,500 of them. Trump has singlehandedly signed executive order after executive order to strip away things like healthcare, safety and equality for our fellow Americans while the 1 percent continues to line their pockets.
In contrast, Harris highlighted some of the most important issues for her campaign such as “Medicare for all,” universal preschool, raising working families’ incomes via a new tax credit and criminal justice reforms. And, of course, she believes in science calling for an urgent need to fight climate change.
Harris first made a big splash in Washington during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, taking on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions with a no non-sense approach so much so that he said “I’m not able to be rushed this fast. It makes me nervous.” She also joined the ranks of those on the committee for the Supreme Court Confirmation hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who joined the likes of Trump with virulent sexual assault allegations against him by Dr. Blasey Ford. Kavanaugh, who refuted the allegations, was also visibly squeamish with Harris’ direct line of questioning. More so, Harris is not afraid to draw a line in the sand of where she stands and what she stands for … truth, justice, and people, regardless of the “power” stature of whom she is taking on. She is fearless.
A leader does not back down. They ask the tough questions and demand a competent response. They analyze truth from fiction and they don’t belong to a “club” that advances some and leaves no room for others. They lead while walking in solidarity with fairness and truth. That is what Kamala Harris has proven to do.
She did it when she fought to dismantle California’s Proposition 8 at the U.S. Supreme Court and to fight for marriage equality nationwide. And, according to her campaign site, she did it as U.S. Senator, when she introduced or co-sponsored legislation to provide sweeping tax cuts for the middle class, address the high cost of rent, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, make higher education tuition-free for the vast majority of Americans, reform the cash bail system, protect the legal rights of refugees and immigrants, and expand access to affordable, quality health care with Medicare for All. Harris’ track record continues at length but it is all focused on serving “the people.”
“The people in power are no match for the power of the people,” she said during her announcement remarks in reference to the current state of the nation. “As Americans, we have much more in common than what separates us. So, let’s not buy into this stuff that they are trying to peddle, these powerful voices that are trying to sow hate and division. Let’s hold onto the fact that we know on the fundamental issues, we all have so much more in common than what separates us.”
And, as her campaign website states, “Any fight—any good fight—is born out of optimism.”
This month when we honor and celebrate Black History, and every month of the year, I am proud to support Harris’ candidacy. To learn more about Kamala Harris, check out her official site at KamalaHarris.org.
*Nicole Lashomb holds and MBA from Marylhurst Universtiy and a BM from the esteemed Crane School of Music, SUNY Postdam. She is also the Co-Ed and co-founder of Project Out, a non-profit serving the transgender community. Nicole can be reached at [email protected].