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Letter: Kamala Harris’s nomination empowers me

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Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020.

Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press

Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never how you make them feel.” In 2017, I met Kamala Harris. She had just come out of a hearing. It would have been easy to say hi and keep walking. But she didn’t. I’ll never forget how Sen. Harris made me feel. She stopped to talk to me and take photos. There weren’t any news cameras or reporters around, just a young student whose life was changed. Sen. Harris sent me a signed letter two weeks later and remembered me at a rally a month later. That’s who Kamala Harris is.

But Kamala Harris means a lot more to me than just the kindness she showed that day. There are so many people including myself that see themselves in her. As she faces attacks about her identity, I’m reminded of the battle that I’ve had for my own identity, as an Asian immigrant kid in a predominantly white state; a kid who was bullied for her eyes and birth name; a kid who kept getting asked “where are you really from?”; kid who tried to balance two cultures on top of just trying to be herself. I’ve grown into my skin, but to see someone like Kamala Harris be nominated for VP is why this nomination is personal to me and others. The influence that she has as the first Black woman and first person of Asian descent to be nominated cannot be overstated. 

Abby Laver

Salt Lake City