Kamala Harris, the first female African-American candidate for Vice-President in the U.S.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Washington, DC – The African-American senator and former Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris, was elected on Tuesday by the virtual democratic presidential candidate of the United States, Joe Biden, to accompany him as his candidate for Vice Presidency in the elections that will take place on the 3rd of November.

This turns the senator into the first African-American woman nominated as Vice President in one of the two big parties and she will have to cope with criticism about her controversial history as a strict district attorney in the era of protests against police brutality and the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked Kamala Harris — a fearless fighter for the ordinary citizen, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate”, said Biden in the message in which he announced his running mate.

The 55 year old senator, daughter of a Jamaican dad and an Indian mother, was the Attorney General of California before she won a seat in the Higher Chamber of the United States Congress in 2016, and she has become famous for being especially tough in her district attorney´s office as well as in her inquisitive interventions during Senate hearings.

Harris makes history as Biden´s choice as she is the first woman of color who aims to be the Vice President of the U.S., a candidacy that will be officially signed in the Democratic National Convention in the middle of this month and for which she competed with high profile women, such as the former United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice and the congresswomen Val Demings and Karen Bass.

“Joe Biden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief”, announced Harris on Twitter today, as soon as the decision of her nomination went public.

Biden had already said that his pick for Vice President would be a woman, when he consolidated his candidacy as democratic candidate for presidency and as the months went by it became clear that all of his favorites were African Americans.

Harris has had a stunning career up to the highest power in Washington: After graduating in Political Science and Economy at Howard University, one of the African-American universities of excellence, she specialized in the war against crime and was elected Attorney General of California in the second round in 2003, a position for which she was reelected in 2007 with 98% of the votes.

Last year in December she announced that she would withdraw from the presidential race in which she competed against Biden, who gave us a great surprise this Tuesday, as all bets were on Harris as the favorite and least risky choice.

The most progressive wings of the party haven´t stopped their attacks against Harris since she made her ambitions clear, especially with the growing debate and protests against police brutality, taking into account that during her time as General Attorney she was particularly harsh in her persecution of minor crimes, which especially affected communities of color.

“Kamala is a cop” is one of the most repeated attacks against her from left-wing activist as well as from those of the extreme right who want to fire up the political debate on social media.

Harris hasn´t denied her past and she has demonstrated her profile as “hard hand” against crime during her campaign with which she took the convictions of guilt to the maximum during her time as General Attorney but also with which many African-Americans spent many years in jail for crimes that are not even considered offence nowadays.

After George Floyds death at the hands of the Minneapolis Police, which unleashed protests all over the country, Harris assured that ”systemic racism” does exist in the United States and that “police brutality is a matter of life and death for black people in this country”.

Harris has the support of ex-President Barack Obama and her nomination is a setback for the wing closest to the social democracy of the Democratic Party that, in spite of having gained influence and seats in Parliament over the last years, sees how the “establishment” imposes its will again.

Joe Biden nailed this decision. By choosing Senator Kamala Harris as America’s next Vice President, he’s underscored his own judgment and character”, assured Obama.

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