Progress in America

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By EJ Blaisdell, Writer

How does one define progress? In politics, it seems every step forward sees people clamoring to slingshot backward. There will always be naysayers and skeptics, especially when concerning the way people are governed, but what does progress mean when confronted with the reality of the 2020 presidential election? 

In 2016, Hillary Clinton broke the internet as the first woman to be a presidential candidate in the final debate, paving the way for women in the 2020 presidential election, namely Kamala Harris. As we are less than one apprehensive week away from the election, the world watches for the possibility of the first woman, who is also a person of color, to take the position of Vice President of the United States. In the words of Neil Armstrong, “that’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” 

Kamala Harris is the first African-American women and the first Asian-American to appear on a Presidential ballot (Photo by Noah Beger/AFP/Getty Images)

As a woman of color, I consider this an immense victory for both communities. In the United States, there are still so many barriers built into the system for women and people of color, so for Kamala Harris to make it this far in an election it really is a historic moment. I commend her for the bravery it must take to accept such a public position when our country is so divided, but I also think that in 2020 it is necessary to have a representative voice like hers.  Especially as we mourn the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, there are fewer women in politics fighting for our rights. Fewer women to say that women’s health and reproductive rights are just as important as men’s. Fewer women to protect the integrity of the hard fight the sister suffragettes fought just to gain the right to vote. 

Past presidents and presidential candidates have always said that they support people of all ethnicities, genders, religions, and other identity factors, but until Barack Obama was elected, white males ruled the country, the one demographic most immune to experiencing racism or sexism first hand.  However, Kamala Harris can personally speak on and fight against those issues. As far as I’m concerned, there is no reason for men to make decisions on women’s access to healthcare and there is no reason for white people to make decisions without considering the impact on communities of color. Kamala Harris has the platform to keep women and people of color in the discussion. For so long, or at least for the past four years, we haven’t even been in the room to discuss and dissent the issues that will affect us. It’s an enormous weight and responsibility to put upon her, but we are running out of options. The phrase “too little, too late” should not have to apply to the basic human rights women and people of color are grasping on to. 

Come November 3, there is an opportunity to pull us out of President Donald Trump’s regime, and Kamala Harris wields the javelin to launch us into the future.

Featured Photo: Noah Beger/AFP/Getty Images