The 2020 general election made history in a number of ways, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris becoming the first woman, first person of color, and first person of south-Asian decent to serve as Vice President. Some Arkansans celebrated the novel election and shared their hope for the future.
When Senator Kamala Harris was announced as the VP-elect, history was written. Harris, the Black daughter of immigrant parent, is breaking boundaries for those underrepresented in politics. “This is a very historical moment, not just for women of color, but for all women,” said DuShun Scarborough, executive director of the Arkansas MLK Commission.
This significance is not lost on some female Arkansans and people of color, who now have a new goal to shoot for in Washington, D.C. “I am very excited,” said Michelle Drilling, who sees this as a victory for women. The Vice Presidency will be the highest office a female has held in American History. “I feel like women typically are a little underrepresented in politics.”
For Scarborough, Harris’ nomination and upcoming inauguration is a breakthrough moment for the Black community. “This is certainly emblematic of the realization and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” he said. Both Scarborough and Drilling see it as an opportunity for more diverse Vice Presidents down the line, and a way for little girls to aspire to be the leaders of tomorrow. “It speaks volumes that someone like my daughter can now become Vice President,” Scarborough said, “with the opportunity that’s before her.” “I think it’s great, not only just for me,” Drilling added, “but for other little girls who are growing up and are still deciding what they want to be when they grow up, [they] can look at her and know that they can aspire to positions of leadership.”
Although some say this election was one of the most politically polarizing Americans have seen, the hope is that under the leadership of a diverse and novel VP, Americans will be inspired to come together and work to heal old wounds. “Once they are finally able to settle the election results,” said Drilling, “maybe we can work on coming back together as a nation and healing this divide that we’ve seem to have gotten into over the past decade or so.”
After the news was shared that Joe Biden has surpassed the number of necessary electoral votes needed to secure the election, Harris simply tweeted, “We did this – together.”