Harris hails mother for paving her way to vice-presidency
Giving her victory speech, Kamala Harris has invoked the journey of her mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris from India as a teenager and hailed her for being among those who "paved the way for this moment tonight" when her daughter could become the Vice President.
New York:Giving her victory speech, Kamala Harris has invoked the journey of her mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris from India as a teenager and hailed her for being among those who "paved the way for this moment tonight" when her daughter could become the Vice President.
"My mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who is always in our hearts, when she came here from India at the age of 19, she maybe didn't quite imagine this moment, but she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible," she said while speaking in Delaware on Saturday night after the media had declared her the next Vice President based on its interpretation of the vote counting.
"And so I am thinking about her and about the generations of women, Black women. Asian, White, Latina, Native American women who throughout our nation's history have paved the way for this moment tonight. Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and justice for all."
Shyamala Gopalan Harris had been active in the civil rights movement and Kamala Harris recalled marching with her in protests against racial discrimination and for equal rights.
The strides the movement made have made it possible for her rise to power.
She made no mention of her Jamaican father of African descent.
Major media declared Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris the winner of the 2020 presidential election defeating President Donald Trump.
Biden referred to her as "South Asian" and not as Indian in his speech.
Harris made no mention of her Indian heritage or anything else about the country in her speech, which was focused on domestic issues.
As is customary for American politicians to speak of their families, she mentioned her husband Douglas Emhoff, her step-children Cole and Ella, and her sister Maya and her family and declared, "I love you all more than I can ever express".
When Biden, who spoke after her finished his speech, they called up their families on the outdoor stage.
Harris introduced her niece Meena's two children to Biden and one of them held her hand danced to the music playing in the background.
After an election held under the cloud of the Covid-19 pandemic that has resulted in more than 225,000 deaths and the campaign attacks on Trump's handling of the crisis, the priority of Harris and Biden is dealing with it and its fallout, she said.
"The essential work (is) to save lives and beat this epidemic. To rebuild our economy so it works for working people. To root out systemic racism in our justice system and society. To combat the climate crisis. To unite our country and heal the soul of our nation."
She hailed Biden as a leader that the world will respect and promised him her loyalty, assuring she will act like hen did with former President Barack Obama.
"No matter who you voted for, I will strive to be a Vice President like Joe was to President Obama, loyal, honest and prepared, waking up every day thinking of you and your family, because now is when the real work begins, the hard work, the necessary work, the good work," she said.
About Biden she said: "We have elected a President who represents the best in us. A leader the world will respect and our children will look up to. A commander in chief who will respect our troops and keep our country safe, and a president for all Americans."
Harris recalled the struggle for voting rights for women, which was achieved through a constitutional amendment 100 years ago, and the Voting Rights Act that ensured everyone will be able to vote freely.
"Tonight I reflect on their struggle, their determination and the strength of their vision to see what can be unburdened by what has been, and I stand on their shoulders, and what a testament it is to Joe's character that he had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exist in our country and select a woman as his Vice President."