California Senator Kamala Devi Harris’ Indian-American heritage came to the forefront, after a recent campaign event where she reflected a viewpoint on immigration as the child of immigrants.
Her mother is from India and her father is from Jamaica. Addressing a primarily Asian-American audience, Harris, while responding to President Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, said it was shortsighted.
“We cannot allow people to start pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” she said. Acknowledging her presidential run as a biracial woman helping to shatter notions about being black, Asian and a woman, she said: “I often think about the work that we do of breaking these barriers as being, again, not only about personal achievement, but it is so much bigger than that. It’s about making a statement and redefining images about who can do what and how we do it.”
During her campaign stump speech, Harris always includes stories about how her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, impacted every aspect of her life. And while she has spoken about visits to India during her book tour, CCN says that on the trail, Harris has “leaned far more into the African American identity her mother raised her to embrace.”
And that’s why the tone marked a departure from her general stump speech, prompting an audience member to ask her is she will wear a sari for her inauguration.
“Let’s first win,” Harris said. “My mother raised us with a very strong appreciation for our cultural background and pride. Celebrations that we all participate in regardless of how our last name is spelled. It’s the beauty of who we are as a nation.”