FROM OUR MAIL
ATLANTA – «We did it, Joe! You will be the next president of the United States ». Kamala Harris laughs in relief, on the phone with Biden. When the news of the victory arrives, she is in overalls, walking with her husband Doug, who posts the video on Twitter.
Harris will be the first female vice president, the first black and the first Indian-American in the history of the United States of America. Fifty-five years after the Voting Rights Act removed the barriers that (especially in the South) hindered the vote of African Americans. Thirty-six years after the first woman (Geraldine Ferraro) ran for the vice presidency. And four years after Hillary’s defeat to Donald Trump.
There are those who cry with relief here in Atlanta, the black “mecca” of America, just as African-American commentator Van Jones was moved on TV, explaining that “I can’t breathe” – the phrase uttered by George Floyd, who died suffocated under the knee of a white policeman in Minneapolis – “describes how many felt: we could not breathe.” Many are in the street celebrating, with horns and applause; others at work like Rickie Bailey, an African American, war veteran. «I cry for joy. My grandmother lived to be 110 and told me that for most of her life she couldn’t vote. In this election I have not only voted, but I have been a volunteer and an observer at the polls, despite having a son in the hospital. Now in power there is a woman who has my appearance, in whom I can recognize myself. For every little girl it will be an inspiration. It happened thanks to minority women, we made a difference: racism is still there, but we have embraced our history and we have reached the top ».
In Atlanta, two other African Americans aspired to replace Kamala, but they worked for her: the mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and above all Stacey Abrams, the face of the battles for the registration of voters and against the suppression of the vote, which everyone in these hours thanks for the victory of the Democratic party in Georgia. Many others, far from the spotlight, did their part: from Rickie Bailey who waits for the evening to celebrate at home, to a lady who anxiously awaited the news at Ebenezer Church, Reverend King’s Baptist church, dressed in green colors. and pink of the Alpha Kappa Alpha, the oldest “sorority” of black students (of which Kamala is a part).
The photo posted by Kamala Harris’ husband Doug on Twitter
“Madam Vice President is no longer just fiction,” wrote actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, star of the series “Vice” on Twitter. Eventually, the vice becomes president on TV. Harris was also aiming for the Oval Office. It will be the number two of a president who will turn 78 before taking office and is not said to run for a second term. It is the new face of the party, and perhaps its future.
Not everyone agrees with her past political choices, especially when she was California attorney before joining the Senate, but they hope that with Biden and her at least there is someone to ask for an account in the White House. And then the identification with a leader also passes on the emotional level. At the head of the nation there will be a modern family, as we see so many in San Francisco but also in Atlanta. If Trump’s anthem at the rallies was “Macho Man”, Kamala’s song is “Work That” by Mary J. Blige, that is, “Be yourself, use what you have.” Kamala refused to fit into clear racial categories created by others: “I am who I am, and that’s okay with me. I’m American”. She and her sister Maya are bi-racial, Indian and Jamaican, raised by going to the Hindu temple but also immersed in African American culture: her mother, even after the separation from her Jamaican husband, knew that in America they would be labeled as black women, and she wanted them to be proud of it. Doug Elmhoff, her white Jewish husband (former father of two), will be the first “Second Gentleman” in the White House. He burst into tears at the closing of the polls, volunteers say. All along he had been “enthusiastic, sometimes inexplicably” but also worried. He peered through the crowd at rallies, attentive to his wife’s safety. The misogynistic attacks against Kamala will not cease: from Trump who called her “a monster” and “a madwoman” to commentator Rush Limbaugh with the line “Joe and the Hoe” (Joe and the whore). Wearing her Converse, she will continue to answer calmly: “They are just distractions.” Her first tweet as vice president-elect: “This election is about a lot more than Joe Biden or me… We have a lot of work to do. Let’s start”.
November 7, 2020 (change November 7, 2020 | 22:45)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED