NYT: ‘Feeling Seen for the First Time,’ Indian-Americans Cheer Kamala Harris’s Selection

The New York Times (Aug. 13, 2020)
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The New York TimesShortly after former Vice President Joseph. R. Biden Jr. selected Senator Kamala Harris of California as his running mate, Neil Makhija’s father sent him a photo.

It was of Ms. Harris, sitting with her family in traditional Indian dress, a bindi on her forehead and a raspberry-colored sari wrapped around her. The image could have come from his own family album, he said, and made clear that for the first time, a candidate for one of the nation’s highest offices looked like him.

“Spending time in India, growing up where nobody in our neighborhood really understood us — or maybe they kind of noticed my mother’s accent, or didn’t take her as seriously — those are experiences that Kamala Harris understands,” said Mr. Makhija, now the executive director of the Indian American Impact Fund.

“I think we’re feeling seen for the first time,” he added.

On Tuesday, upon being named Mr. Biden’s vice-presidential pick, Ms. Harris became the first Black woman on a major party’s presidential ticket. She also became the first Indian-American, South Asian and Asian-American person to be chosen — historic firsts in their own right that many Asian-Americans celebrated...

 

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