North Texas Daily

Significance of Kamala Harris nomination

Significance of Kamala Harris nomination

Significance of Kamala Harris nomination
September 09
14:30 2020

The 2020 presidential election holds much significance because there are many things at stake for members of BIPOC communities. Many voters may not be inclined to vote for either party due to how poorly they’ve been managing issues that affect the day-to-day lives of Americans. However, one of the things that may be the most significant of this presidential election is the vice-presidential nomination of Kamala Harris for the Democratic Party. 

Kamala Harris is the first woman of color to be nominated for a major position within a well-established party. This holds significance because women of color are usually not well represented in the political field. Her nomination provides visibility to this issue and contributes to diversifying the individuals who make up Congress or any other legislative positions as well as inspire many more women to run for office. 

Although having the first woman of color as vice president would be historic, we cannot ignore Harris’s track record in Congress and as the former prosecutor and attorney general of California. One of the things that’s the most concerning about Harris’s past work is her poor work when it comes to criminal justice and prison reform. During her time as attorney general, she employed harmful tactics that would keep wrongfully convicted individuals imprisoned. She also imprisoned transgender women in male prisons which is dangerous to the safety and lives of these transgender women. In the past, Harris has also had the opportunity to change convictions on a death row case and other cases in which the prosecution deliberately suppressed evidence, however, she refused to do so in both situations. 

During her time representing Orange County in California, she also failed to keep police officers and prosecutors accountable for any type of misconduct. She also declined to provide support for pieces of legislation that would allow officers to wear body cameras and require attorney generals to investigate any shootings in which law enforcement was involved. By doing so she denied many inmates their right to a fair trial and her decisions within the criminal justice system dating from the time she was elected until now still affect ongoing cases and the criminal justice system in Orange County. Many also find her nomination insensitive given her strong ties to law enforcement and the ongoing tensions with law enforcement in society today. 

However, her time as a senator has been different in comparison to her time as attorney general. In the Senate, Harris has been a supporter for banning hydraulic fracking and has co-sponsored a bill that would prevent offshore drilling in federal waters off of the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington. Aside from supporting environmental issues, Harris has also wanted to properly restore the DACA program and expand presidential powers to properly address the legal status of undocumented immigrants. 

As voters, we must be aware of the pros and cons of each candidate. We must base our decisions to vote for them on the pieces of legislation they have supported or written. However, we must also keep in mind that some candidates have done things that have greatly affected our day-to-day lives and even if they changed their stance on the issue to a more progressive view it does not change the actions they decided to partake upon previously. 

Although a Trump presidency would be catastrophic for BIPOC communities we must not forget the things Harris has done in the past that has affected and continues to affect the BIPOC community, particularly in California. When voting for this presidential election we must keep in mind on whether we simply want a historic presidency, do harm reduction within the presidency or if we actually want someone who will work on proper legislation and work for the people.

Featured Illustration by Austin Banzon

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Eunice Hernandez

Eunice Hernandez

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