Yesterday (January 21), on the national holiday celebrating Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Kamala Harris announced that she is running for president in the 2020 election, a contest that also includes former secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Harris is a Democrat Senator who was a prosecutor and attorney general of California.
“The core of my campaign is the people,” she said in a speech at her alma mater Howard University later that day. “Nobody is living their life through the lens of one issue. And I think what people want is leadership that sees them through the complexity of their lives and pays equal attention to their needs. Let’s not put people in a box.”
The people have many thoughts about her announcement—from excitement that Harris (who is both Black and South Asian) will be the second Black woman (after Shirley Chisholm in 1972) to run for president, to concern regarding her record on criminal justice. Here, a few reactions from Twitter.
Kamala Harris is running for President and I’m really excited about it!— Candice Marie Benbow (@CandiceBenbow) January 22, 2019
…and I can choose to be excited about it and do my due diligence as an informed citizen/voter without going back& forth with folks I worked to love and respect again after the last presidential election.
As a woman of colour, seeing this filled me with so much joy and made me realize that it is possible for us immigrants to break the barriers and achieve something that was once impossible! @KamalaHarris #2020election #Kamala2020 https://t.co/4cjoC20tlX— Benetta Yogendran (@byogend) January 21, 2019
I’m not making any endorsements on any candidates until they all have announced. I’m proud of @KamalaHarris. Praying the Lord covers her. I’m cautiously optimistic because I know how this country gives it up.— duanecia evans (@Duanecia) January 21, 2019
Reminder: We are not electing a savior. We are electing a President.
Dear @KamalaHarris: My Indian grandma and you share a first name. She became a US Citizen at the age of 85. Now, my daughter (her great granddaughter) sees a “Kamala” running for President of our great nation! #ourturn #letsdothis #wemustdothis pic.twitter.com/qaGd3Ojwfo— Hemal K Vaidya (@HemalKVaidya) January 22, 2019
Kamala Harris is presenting herself as a criminal justice reformer. But in her career as a prosecutor, she supported increased criminalization of sex work, took no action in key police abuse cases and defended a troubled prison system. https://t.co/4YrF74ienF— The Appeal (@theappeal) January 20, 2019
My Saturday Sidekick and I are getting ready to open up this new book ? on Sen. Kamala Harris. She inspires me as mixed race Jamaica ?? and Indian ?? woman in politics. She resembles my personal ethnic makeup, something I didn’t see growing up. #Kamala2020 #Inspiration pic.twitter.com/xf9w8HxpDM— Ms. Anju J. Rupchandani (@AJRupchandani) January 20, 2019
Senator Kamala Harris’ campaign will certainly be about a bunch of issues. But her announcing her candidacy on MLK Day and then having a press conference at Howard University illustrates her putting race and her blackness at the center of her bid. That’s an interesting choice.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) January 21, 2019
ya’ll are out here holding kamala harris to a standard you wouldn’t even hold a white man to. purity politics definitely worked out in 2016. we’ll see how it works out in 2020.— renee. (@flowersfortimmy) January 21, 2019
good morning only to those who would never hold a black woman running for president to a higher standard than white progressive men ✌?✌?✌?✌?✌?✌?— Aminatou Sow (@aminatou) January 21, 2019