(Part 1 of a 2-Part Article)
The vice-president was elected on January 20, 2021, alongside President Joe Biden. However, we have not seen much of her since then.
Senior Staff Writer
As an African-American woman, seeing Kamala Harris elected into office was something I will never forget. I felt proud to even witness her in the running, especially alongside a candidate who was previously the Vice President himself during the Obama administration. Once Biden selected her to join his ticket, I was certain they had the commitment and aspiration to serve the public while changing history. After the inauguration in 2021, I felt as if wounds were beginning to heal post-Trump Administration. Not only is she the first woman, but she is also the first African-American, and the first South-Asian American to be elected as Vice President of the United States. The Biden-Harris victory was truly monumental, and I was eager to see what they had in store for the country moving forward.
Earlier on, Kamala Harris mentioned that when she was younger, her mother would look to her and say “Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.” This has always resonated with Harris, as she is determined not to be the last woman of color to break barriers, especially in office as she has held other ground-breaking positions. However, it has been two years since she was sworn in, and I have yet to see any progress. In fact, I haven’t really seen Kamala Harris much at all. When she was present, she was seen doing Late-Night television appearances or space-themed YouTube videos for children, which received negative backlash. While she is widely known for her advocacy on behalf of children’s justice and immigration, Harris has been heavily criticized and often compared to the hit HBO series, “Veep,” which depicts her as an absurd, ineffective representative.
To say the least, her actions have gone against her reforms and political statements. Initially, Harris was given the responsibility, by Biden, to address illegal immigration at the border of the United States and Mexico. However, with all possible haste, she avoided doing so and claimed to only focus on the “root causes” of the problem. Kamala Harris began facing backlash from the beginning of her term, with an increase in pressure from the Republican party along with the media. After a failed attempt to distance herself from the matter, she reluctantly visited Guatemala in June of 2021. Unfortunately, Harris did not provide any relief or leadership while she was there. Instead, she left migrants with a very vague, callous message: “Do not come.”
After her first year, Democrats and other supporters were left displeased and detached as some have said at political campaigns that Harris has made “less of an impact” in her first year than any other Vice President in office. As she continues to laugh off questions surrounding immigration, her ratings rapidly descend. At the end of 2021, a survey revealed that 53% of voters disapproved of Kamala and the possibility of her as a successor to Biden’s presidential term. As of late, Kamala Harris’s public appearances have been tainted by relentless controversies over errors, mishaps, and cringe-worthy moments. So far, that’s about all it sums up to with the VP.
Be that as it may, part of her harsh scrutiny and dissatisfaction stems from systematic racism, sexism and unconscious bias from many Americans who never wanted her to succeed in the first place. While I may agree with her lack of acclamation and inability to fulfill obligations, I do not agree with the microaggressions and overall bitterness. This underlying desire for her downfall creates an unbearable weight that may be too heavy to lift, even for a Vice President. I will discuss these issues in more depth in my second, upcoming article on Kamala Harris.
Despite her downfalls in office thus far, I still have faith in Kamala Harris, and I am hopeful to see her enact her policy of a “career for the people—breaking barriers and fighting for working families.”
Stay tuned for the second part of this article, which will discuss in depth the discrimination that Kamala Harris faces as the first female, BIPOC Vice President.