When we were little kids, Schoolhouse Rock! made it seem like the process of passing a law was pretty simple: Someone wrote a bill, worked with her colleagues to build support for it in committee, and made her case for it. The bill’s opponents got to have their say. Voters weighed in via letters and phone calls (now emails and social media posts), and then everyone voted. If a majority voted yes, it passed.
Oversimplified as this vision of legislative democracy may be, it isn’t actually that far from the truth of how a bill gets through one of the…
The past two weeks have been emotional and frightening. Between the violent insurrection on the nation’s capital and the threats seeking to undermine the election results, there were plenty of reasons to fear whether the United States would see a peaceful transition of power. But today was joyous. It was a celebration of our democracy and its strength as Joe Biden was sworn in as president. And it was truly a historic event, with Kamala Harris becoming the first woman —not to mention the first woman of color —to serve as vice president.
Sen. Kamala Harris has just shattered a number of ceilings: On Saturday, she became the first woman, the first Black woman, and the first Indian-American woman to be elected vice president of the United States. After days of tensely counting votes, and four years of horrific racism and misogyny from the Trump administration, Harris’ elevation is more than just a win — it’s a salve for those of us who have been so discouraged by the bigotry of our fellow citizens, and a symbol for an American future that doesn’t look quite so homogenous.
When I was just five years old, a man named Barack Obama, with his pearly white smile, funny-looking ears, pristine suit, and powerful voice, was elected president of the United States of America.
Hope. That was the slogan that skyrocketed him to the top and the feeling that permeated all of Black America, including my parents, both Jamaican immigrants. I was fascinated by the idea of the first Black president. “We’ve arrived,” my parents told me. A Black man had finally become the leader of the free world. He made it to the long-fantasized mountaintop that Martin Luther King Jr…
There is a face that women make when men talk over them or say something ridiculous — a face we rely on when we can’t interrupt those men because doing so would label us angry or aggressive. It’s a look women know and exchange with each other often. It says, “I know you think you’re smarter than I am, and you are wrong.”
In an open letter to Trump-loving Indian-American parents across the country, Yamini P. dissects the double standards she sees infiltrating the political views of many first-generation immigrants.
Because I wrote a book on presidential campaign rhetoric, and because I’ve spent 20 years teaching a rhetoric class, I’m often asked to offer my two cents during presidential debate season. But with Covid still raging, I know many people no longer wish to handle coins. So instead of two cents, here are seven key factors worth considering as we watch Mike Pence square off with Kamala Harris this Wednesday in Salt Lake City.
In 1976, at the first-ever vice presidential debate, Republican vice presidential nominee Bob Dole humiliated himself while snidely implying Watergate may have been Nixon’s fault, but…
In the hours before the Democratic National Convention began on Wednesday, all I could think of was that stupid glass ceiling.
You know the one: Hillary Clinton put 18 million metaphorical cracks in it back in 2008. Her face symbolically shattered it at the 2016 convention. It hung over everyone’s head at the Javits Center on the night of Clinton’s presumed victory, until state after state turned red and those almighty symbolic roof panels started to feel more like a cruel joke: Nope, not broken.
Last week, as I sat down to dinner in an elegant hillside home in the southern Turkish town of Bodrum, two Indian women roared with approval when they learned that Kamala Harris had been selected as Joe Biden’s vice presidential running mate. These proud members of the Indian diaspora reveled in seeing “one of their own” finally selected for a chance at the second-highest elected position in the nation. Of course, headline after headline from that same day celebrated Harris as the first “African American VP candidate.”
This disconnect between Harris’ identity as a Black woman and her status as…
Kamala Harris, who is running for vice president alongside Democratic nominee Joe Biden, feels like a breath of fresh air. She’s crisp, dynamic, and charismatic, a youthful counter to Biden, who, if he wins this election, will turn 80 while in office. Put her smiling face next to the stale, curdled visage of Donald Trump, and the president looks all the sourer.
She’s also a baby boomer’s idea of a young person — in a country where 80% of U.S. senators are over the age of 55, and not a single one is under 40, Harris (55 herself) is practically…
What matters now. A publication from Medium about politics, power, and culture.