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As a woman of Caribbean descent, I know exactly what Kamala Harris' victory means

"Regardless of cultural background, you can break the glass ceiling."

As a woman of Caribbean descent, I know exactly what Kamala Harris' victory means

Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks at a campaign stop at IBEW Local 58 on October 25, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.

Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

I remember it was around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday when the voice coming from the TV announced, "Joe Biden is the President-elect."

Given the anxiety of the prolonged process of tallying ballots to see who will become the next president, everyone was pleasantly surprised by the sudden declaration.

My grandma, mother, and father's exuberant claps radiated throughout the household and shouted their relief at who the winner was. I among them was equally as cheerful. Not only because of Donald Trump's defeat, but the Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is the epitome of the new direction the nation is embarking on— one of diversity and inclusion.

Harris is not only the first woman to be elected to this position in government, but she is also the first Black and South-Asian woman of Jamaican descent. As someone who is of Jamaican descent, this gave me a lot of hope for the community and the nation.

Even though she appealed to me as a Caribbean-American woman, she is also an example for other underrepresented groups of ambitious women overlooked because of their race. Growing up, when fellow peers in school found out about my Jamaican heritage, they immediately would tell me to "say something in Jamaican" (it's Patois) or address me with "yeh mons," which became overwhelming.

I felt like my culture wasn't celebrated in a productive manner.

For the longest time, people associated Caribbean people - especially Jamaicans - as heavy marijuana smokers or staunch Bob Marley enthusiasts. Bob Marley is a gifted legend, but we are so much more than just a destination to get-away from important matters.

Harris is among the first to pave the way out of this generalization.

All in all, America is a land of many different cultures and faces, all capable of achieving their wildest dreams and amounting to success, just as Harris has shown. Anyone, regardless of their cultural background, race, or gender, has the ability to break the glass ceiling.

Children have a place on the frontlines of the culture wars

What Should We Do When the Culture Wars Invade Our Children’s Lives?

Children have a place on the frontlines of the culture wars
Front windshield and lights of a traditional yellow school bus.
Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

You know when there’s a controversy whether to include both sides to the Holocaust in a Texas school district, the culture wars have once again invaded the children’s lives. Similarly, in Southern Pennsylvania, books by people of color were banned (or per the official Central York School statement: “frozen” for an entire year.)

These discussions by the school boards are impacted by the bills passed in government, as in the case of House Bill 3979 requiring public school teachers to present various points of view when teaching about current events and social issues. Often, the impulse to clutch pearls and to “think of the children” is a rhetorical device to further political causes. As the larger climate in a racialized society such as the United States grapple with a history of slavery and the fight for racial justice--with the most current iteration being the black lives matter protests in the summer of 2020--what the children learn in schools have become a new battleground for those who land on opposing sides of this culture war.

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Why I don’t always expect my children to be completely truthful

Personally, I don’t expect the kids to always be completely truthful. Sometimes their truth bombs can be very unwelcome

Why I don’t always expect my children to be completely truthful

It's 7 am on a Wednesday.

My five-year-old bursts into our room like a whirlwind, and I blearily say good morning and remind him that he's going into school dressed in his onesie and wellies for a "wild rumpus day."

He replied, "Yes, I know. Don't forget we need to bring in sausages for the party".

Suddenly I'm wide awake and interrogating him; "What sausages? What party? What do you mean we're bringing sausages?!" I have a vague memory of going into school as a kid with sausage rolls or cheese and pineapple sticks for end-of-year parties, but I didn't think that was still a thing.

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