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I Have Hope Again: A Father's Reaction to Kamala

Updated: Nov 26, 2020


by Josh Gane


It is impossible for someone of a different sex, color, class or identity to truly understand exactly what it means to stand in their opposite’s shoes. This realization hit me last night during Kamala Harris’s speech. I knew that the moment was historic, but the gravity of the situation did not hit me until I looked over at my wife, holding my daughter in her arms. My wife is Hispanic, and our daughter is of mixed ethnicity. I watched as my wife’s eyes opened wide, her mouth open slightly, smiling with her entire being. She was holding my four-month-old daughter tight, who herself was staring at the screen with wide eyes, sucking on her pacifier, as Kamala recognized black, white, Asian, Indian, and Hispanic young women, and offered hope for their future. The electricity chilled me. I got goosebumps.

This was against the backdrop of a presidency that demonized my wife and her people, and incited fear and hate in the hearts of many of his followers; A presidency that belittled women and a president who treated women as objects. Not only was my family offended by President Trump, we were scared for our future. Among other policies, Trump put legal roadblocks in place to make it much more difficult for someone like myself to marry a foreign woman and make her a legal resident. My attorney constantly had to adjust our case to meet the new demands. A process that took 6 months in the past has dragged out for 3 years and is still not resolved. We were scared. Trump was a bigger threat than anything else in our life. But last night, we were hopeful again. Kamala inspired hope, compassion and love, and the crowds of people around the world heard the message. I heard the message. I felt the message.

I could not have known what it is like to be a father to a little girl, until I was. Still, I will never know what it is to live as a woman in this world. I will never know what it is like to be Hispanic or black in this world. Because my daughter is so dear to me, I am drawn to care more about women and people of color than I ever was before. This is a lesson for me. I need to always try my best to empathize with others, not only when my family is affected directly, but when they are not. That is what Kamala Harris did for me.

Kamala Harris is important not only because she set a historic precedent, she is important because she is needed. Our government needs women. Our government needs people of color. Our government needs as many different types of Americans as possible so that we can draw from those diverse experiences and perspectives and build a more equal society.

I am not the only one who thinks so. Last night the streets were filled with the love and joy of thousands. The contrast of this hopeful and loving gathering to the riots, and teargas, and fires, and rage was palpable. Kamala will not make racial injustice go away. But she will certainly not encourage and fan the racial flames of division and hate as Trump did. We are moving forward, not backwards.

It was only one speech and yet the impact was incredible. Kamala knows that words are important, that language is crucial to affective leadership. Kamala is the one to communicate to our little girls, and her record of action speaks for itself. I have no doubt that she will do everything she can to make this world a better place for my daughter. It is in her energy, her words, and her actions.

Many of Trump’s supporters said to ignore his rhetoric and only look at his actions, even when they contradicted one another. No. Words matter. Our word is our bond. If you don’t have your word, what do you have? I can tell you what you don’t have: respect from those who hold you accountable and certainly not a second term as president.

Hope and love are more powerful than any other force. I hope we stay on this course, and I love Kamala for taking us there.


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