Kamala Harris: portrait of the Vice President of the United States

Kamala Harris on the cover of Vogue
First woman of color to become Vice President of the United States
Kamala Harris, the road to VP candidate
California Dreamin'
Harris lived in Berkeley and Quebec as a child
Kamala: a
Prayers in Kamala's ancestral village
Kamala Harris as a student
Kamala Harris' early work as a prosecutor
Kamala Harris: against the death penalty
Senator for California
A fierce opponent in the Senate
A moderate Democrat
The Biden-Harris ticket is centrist
Kamala Harris and Barack Obama
Fighter against racism?
Tough on crime
Kamala Harris on busing
No ideology
Harris visits California in the midst of wildfires
An empowered woman
President Harris?
A white suit: what does it mean?
The personal life of Kamala Harris
Her sister Maya
The Harris family
The Vice President-elect of the United States
Kamala Harris on the cover of Vogue

As the world watched the United States make an important transition, Vogue (US) tried to paint a portrait of Kamala Harris: the first woman of color to become Vice President. Unfortunately, the magazine's graphic design team was a little overzealous in the retouching, and Kamala Harris appeared much whiter on the February Vogue cover than she actually is. A cause for great controversy.

Who is Kamala Harris? Here we have a series of photos that will complete her portrait... without photoshop!

First woman of color to become Vice President of the United States

She may be the future president of the United States. For now, Kamala Harris is already very close. She successfully ran with Joe Biden against Donald Trump in the November 2020 presidential elections against Donald Trump. A woman of immigrant descent, she is the first female Vice President of color in U.S. history.

Kamala Harris, the road to VP candidate

Here we see the younger version of the Democratic Party's Vice President of the United States. Who is Kamala Harris and where does she come from?

California Dreamin'

Kamala Devi Harris is a Californian herself. She was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland (the quintessential multiracial city and headquarters of the Black Panthers in the '60s and '70s).

Photo: Instagram@vp

Harris lived in Berkeley and Quebec as a child

Harris grew up in Berkeley (another city with a progressive tradition in the state of California). When her parents divorced, she lived in Quebec for a while as a child.

Photo: Instagram@vp

Kamala: a "lion-hearted woman"

Kamala Harris is of mixed descendance. Her mother was a Tamil Indian woman and her father came to the U.S. from Jamaica. The Indian village where her grandfather was born, Thulasendrapuram, was rooting for the campaign of "their daughter." This poster, reproduced in the Times of India, says that Kamala Harris is a 'Singapenn,' a "fearless or lion-hearted woman."

Prayers in Kamala's ancestral village

In the days after the Presidential Election of November 3, 2020, people in the Indian village of Thulasendrapuram prayed for Kamala Harris's victory as the first American Vice President of South Asian descent.

 

This image is from the Indian channel News18.

Kamala Harris as a student

The daughter of immigrants, Kamala Harris grew up in a middle-class environment with few financial difficulties. She went to Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, DC. Then she studied law in California and passed the bar exam in 1990.

Photo: Instagram@kamlaharris

Kamala Harris' early work as a prosecutor

Shortly after passing the bar, Harris became the Assistant Prosecutor in Alameda County. In 2003, she was elected San Francisco County Prosecutor.  Harris distinguished herself in that position by her promotion of reintegration programs and leniency towards criminals.

Kamala Harris: against the death penalty

Harris was the center of a major controversy when she refused to seek the death penalty for a man who had murdered a policeman. At the officer's funeral, Senator and former San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein publicly asked her to rethink this position. But Harris was adamant that the killer be sentenced to life in prison instead of the death penalty.

 

 

Senator for California

In November 2016, Kamala Harris was elected Senator on behalf of the state of California. As a legislator, she's been known for her criticism of President Trump, who started his term at the same time as she did.

A fierce opponent in the Senate

She's also a fierce - and to some, notorious - interrogator; a skill she developed in her prosecuting years. During senate hearings about Russia's involvement with the Trump campaign, or at Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh's conformation hearing, she has left several powerful men stumbling for words.

A moderate Democrat

Kamala Harris has liberal convictions regarding the death penalty, termination of pregnancy, and gay rights. However, in general she is quite moderate. That is to say, even though she is a highly visible female of color in the Democratic Party and the Capitol, her political position has little to do with that of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the representative of a new socialism within the party.

The Biden-Harris ticket is centrist

Biden, a middle-of-the-road Democrat himself, chose a running mate who is historically unprecedented (a woman of color) but who's also a centrist in her politics. Picking a moderate companion, Biden opted to keep the establishment satisfied.

Kamala Harris and Barack Obama

For two terms, Joe Biden was Barack Obama's vice president. The duo often made calls for consensus in the country. For Kamala Harris, Obama is a role model. He differs radically from Donald Trump, the president who has increased the sense of polarization in the U.S. in the past years.

Fighter against racism?

Critics of Kamala Harris say there are some shadows in her record as a prosecutor. They accuse her of not having fought hard enough to overturn the many race-biased convictions that occurred while she was San Francisco County Prosecutor.

Tough on crime

In addition, critics on the left say she's tainted by her past as a prosecutor in the 1990s, an era in which the "lock-'em-up mind-set" dominated the state, the LA Times says. Over the course of Harris's career as prosecutor, California came to incarcerate five times as many African-Americans as their share of California's population.

 

 

Kamala Harris on busing

Kamala Harris grew up in an ethnically homogeneous neighborhood. As a student, she was bused to a school in another neighborhood as part of a government mandate to encourage racial diversity. This program of busing has always been heavily criticized by the right wing. Harris speaks favorably of it, though. She says it was a way of opening up her mind.

No ideology

As published in various media, Kamala Harris prefers to avoid ideological labels. In her own primary campaign for president, she said, "I'm not trying to radically change society, I'm just trying to solve the problems that people think about when they go to bed."

Harris visits California in the midst of wildfires

While campaigning and fulfilling her usual tasks as Senator for the state of California, Harris also took the time to visit the areas struck by wildfires in the late summer of 2020.

An empowered woman

Her support for the feminist movement is unquestionable, though. And,  she brought relative youth to the candidacy of Biden, who is in already in his late seventies.

President Harris?

In fact, Kamala could be come the first pick for the 2024 presidential elections, because Joe Biden will by then be in his eighties. For this reason, people have watched Kamala Harris closely. She may be our next president sooner than we think.

A white suit: what does it mean?

When media focus on the color of Kamala's suit at important events, they are not merely fashion reporters. The color white stands for the right of women to vote and to hold political office. It's been 100 years since the United States anchored women's voting rights in its constitution with the 19th amendment.

The personal life of Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris's private life appears quite secluded. She married Douglas Emhoff, a lawyer of Jewish descent, in 2014. Emhoff is the first Second Gentleman of the United States.

Her sister Maya

Apart from that, Kamala Harris's sister, Maya, is known as a political analyst for MSNBC.

The Harris family

The two girls on the stage with Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, celebrating their electoral victory, are the grandchildren of Maya Harris. Their mother is Meena, Kamala Harris's niece.

The Vice President-elect of the United States

So this is the politician leads the US with Joe Biden in the White House. A historic win for a woman of color and an exciting period ahead in the office of the VP.

 

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