Why Kamal Harris’ win matters

by Mashal Butt
 
“While I maybe the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.”
These are the words that Vice-President elect Kamala Harris confidently said on the morning of Nov. 7 in Wilmington, Delaware after winning the majority in the electoral college. And these words echo the hopes and dreams of every women of colour around the world. The first women to hold office as the vice president of the US. The first Black person to hold office as the vice president of the US. The first person of South-Asian descent to hold office as the vice president of the US.
These are not just a couple of firsts that look good on paper. It is a massive win for people of colour, especially for women after doing years of invisible labour. Labour that drives revolutions. Labour on the backs of which communities and nations are built. And labour that is ultimately appropriated and stolen by a white man. But not anymore.
 
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The four days preceding Nov.7 were an experience to say the least. Both my friend and I were glued to our screens, haphazardly refreshing webpages and social media to see the vote count. I am from Pakistan and she is from India. Both of us are living in Vancouver currently. Despite living in Vancouver, both of us feared for our future as immigrants and women of colour. Why? Because what happens in the US tends to cause a ripple effect across the globe. Finally, on the morning on Nov. 7, we both breathed an emotional sigh of relief. Kamala Harris’ win marks a step towards a world that we all have been collectively dreaming about in the wake of the reckoning surrounding racial justice and inequality. The reckoning that holds the elites accountable and questions the racist, colonial systems of inequality around us. Her win is a win for women all over the world. Her win is a win for every woman who has been told she is not good enough or that she dreams too big. Her win is for the immigrants and their dream of a better life. Her win is for the Muslims. For the Black community fighting for justice. For the LGBTQ+ community. In this moment of time, her win marks a win for the collective soul and harmony of our life on this planet Earth. And just like Madame Vice-President elect said, this is just the beginning.

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