I’m just fully in AWE. I knew we could do it but now that it’s official I’m almost at a loss for words. 4 years ago I was a freshman in college, crying tears of disbelief that our country chose to elect a man that spews so much hatred and division. It’s been a rough year for all of us, and although this is not the end, the one thing we’ve gained back is hope.
Amidst the recession, coronavirus, police brutality, I felt like we were constantly fighting a broken record. A government that was unwilling to acknowledge basic human rights for the people that shed blood to build this country. I’m grateful that this time of despair gave young people a reason to turnout. A reason to realize that their voices matter and their votes do count. The people have spoke and now we can finally make some real change.
Let’s talk about Kamala Harris and her speech. As an Indian-American I grew up hiding my culture just like many others did. Politics was never something that I truly felt a part of or anything I could relate to. We all know the deep rooted misogyny and racism that centers South Asian communities especially affluent ones. Because I was privileged in one aspect of my life made me believe that governmental decisions didn’t play a big role in my future, and lack of representation in politics was something I never had to think about.
But hearing the words “South Asian descent” on live television hit me in a way that I didn’t expect at all.
It brought back every memory from nasty comments to micro-aggressions about the language I spoke, my parent’s accent, the festivals we celebrate, or the food I ate. It reminded me of every time I had changed who I was to be accepted in a society that never viewed me as equal.
Kamala’s win was a win for all Black and South Asian girls that struggle with pursuing their passions but are constantly told they are not good enough.
After a period of distress and uncertainty, I’m a little more hopeful that the progress that’s been going on finally has a government that will consider it. This weekend brought a new level of joy and community we were lacking, but I will be greatly disappointed if privileged and white folk especially go back to brunch. In the words of AOC, we are not going back to brunch! The work you did to understand the Black Lives Matter movement, or reflect on your plastic consumption for the environment cannot end now. You did it then when there was a lot at stake and you can continue doing it now – because there is STILL a lot at stake.