The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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This is what progress looks like: Kamala Harris is Our New VP

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Photo Courtesy/ Flickr GPA Photo Archive

On the cold morning of Wednesday, Jan. 20 in Washington D.C. Kamala Harris was inaugurated as Vice President of the United States, becoming the first woman and the first person of Black and South Asian descent to hold this position. This marked the end of the era in which women were not seen in such high positions of power. 

In the 1920s, suffragettes arduously protested for our right to vote, and now,  a century later, Harris has made history, holding the second highest office in the United States —  this is what progress looks like. Although 100 years of suffrage is a small period of time, seeing how far the feminist movement has come is simply mesmerizing and inspiring.

 “That I am here tonight is a testament to the dedication of generations before me,” Harris said in her acceptance speech as Vice President. 

Harris’ election serves not only as a reflection of how far the women’s rights movement has come, but also as a source of  inspiration —  women and children of color now have someone who looks like them as the Vice President of the United States. This serves as a reminder to work hard for their dreams, rights and freedoms. 

“Too often overlooked, but so often prove that they are the backbone of our democracy,” Harris said in a tribute to Black women in her acceptance speech last November, “while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.” 

Although it is extremely historic that the former California senator is now the Vice President of the country, what is most important is what she intends to do with her acquired power alongside President Joe Biden. During the presidential campaign, the Democrat running mates appealed to moderates in the nation. In the first few days in office of this power duo, they have worked to repeal some of former President Trump’s policies, including the ban of transgender people in the military, and have taken action to modify the approach on immigration, climate change and COVID-19. These actions are what people across America hoped for.

It certainly does not come as a surprise to see more tolerant, progressive and liberal policies backed by Harris, a woman of color, coming to light. Hopefully, with her ideas and experience, Congress and the White House will better account for women, immigrants and minorities in general when drafting their policies, which Trump’s era failed to do. 

Biden and Harris’ term in office will hopefully create more open-minded and produce a less divided America. Having a woman in office means more inclusion and bringing a voice to those who were previously shadowed and tossed to the side by the majority and mainstream politics. While we will not see the immediate results of Harris’ impact, what we do know for sure is that she has unleashed a storm. We better get used to seeing a female in office, because, as she said, while she is the first, she will not be the last.

 

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About the Contributor
Maria Villarroel
Maria Villarroel, Culture Editor
Maria is a senior in the five-year program between a BS in journalism and a MS in international communication serving as the Culture Editor. She was born and raised in Venezuela, but moved to Orlando, Fl. She joined The Torch in 2020 as a staff writer. Outside The Torch, Maria is a tutor for student athletes, as well as a student ambassador and a member of the President’s Society. When she isn’t writing, Maria is usually watching a movie or fangirling about Taylor Swift, Harry Styles or Bad Bunny. Maria can be reached at [email protected]
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