WASHINGTON D.C. (NEWS 1130) — A woman of colour was sworn into the second-highest office in the United States Wednesday morning, amid deep racial tensions and divisions.
On Wednesday, Kamala Harris took a moment to honour her Indian mother and grandmother, and all those who came before her.
I’m here today because of the women who came before me. pic.twitter.com/ctB9qGJqqp
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 20, 2021
In India, in her maternal grandfather’s home village of Thulasendrapuram, people have been setting off firecrackers and saying prayers for the VP-elect.
Wednesday marks the first time a woman and a South Asian person enters the White House in an executive role.
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris said in December, after the election was confirmed by the electoral college.
It delights me to think that what feels historical and amazing to us today—a woman sworn in to the vice presidency—will seem normal, obvious, "of course" to Kamala's grand-nieces as they grow up. And they will be right. pic.twitter.com/1gQOvmNipB
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 20, 2021
She was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of colour to sit in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Harris credits her mother, a breast cancer researcher and endocrinologist, for teaching her about the importance of science, while her Jamaican father bestowed wisdom as a Stanford University economics professor.
“She was so passionate about science. She basically had two goals in her life; to raise her two daughters and to end breast cancer,” she shared about her mother back in December.
It was also her mother who brought her from California to Quebec at 12 years old, giving Montreal’s Westside High School (where Harris graduated in 1981) claim to the heavy-hitting alumnus.
Harris attended Howard University, a historically Black university, which was created to help Black Americans achieve a post-secondary education when they were not allowed in predominantly white institutions.
Now, she’s being held up as somewhat of a celebrity official, with reporters covering her outfit in the style of a red carpet or Royal visit.
NEW: For today’s Inauguration VP- elect @KamalaHarris is wearing Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. Rogers is a young Black designer, from Baton Rouge. Sergio is Black designer from South Carolina.@SecondGentleman is wearing a Ralph Lauren suit.
— Tim Perry (@tperry518) January 20, 2021
Online, women across the U.S. are expressing relief that science and human rights will hopefully be at the centre of policy making after four years of a White House that many felt was hostile towards womens’ rights, especially access to abortion.