After weeks of speculation, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he had chosen Sen. Kamala Harris as his 2020 running mate, making the U.S. senator both the first Black woman and the first woman of South Asian descent to be nominated to the presidential ticket of a major political party. As news of Biden's pick broke, actress, writer, and producer Mindy Kaling celebrated Kamala Harris' historic vice presidential nomination over Twitter by reflecting on what it meant for women of color like her.
"Was there ever more of an exciting day?" the Never Have I Ever co-creator tweeted Tuesday. "For our entire country of course, but especially for my Black and Indian sisters, many of us who have gone our entire lives thinking that someone who looks like us may never hold high office?"
Kaling is the daughter of Indian immigrants, who she has previously said worked tirelessly as an architect and an OB-GYN after immigrating to the United States. "For them, it's not necessarily that they liked it," she told Glamour of the sacrifices and hard work she watched her parents put in as a child. "When you're an immigrant and come to this country and want to have a nice life, you have to really hit it hard for the first 20 years that you're here."
Like Kaling, Harris is also the daughter of immigrants. According to The San Jose Mercury News, Harris' mother was a breast cancer researcher from India's southeastern state of Tamil Nadu while her father, an economics professor, hailed from Jamaica. Both of Harris' parents initially came to the United States to attend the University of California, Berkeley, but stayed following their graduation, settling into careers and family life. In fact, Harris and Kaling have previously bonded over both being the first-generation American-born children of immigrants while cooking South Indian food together during Harris' 2020 presidential campaign.
Harris' nomination to the Democratic presidential ticket has been hailed as a moment of historical significance given how long Black women and women of color have been underrepresented in politics, especially at the national level. On Tuesday, hours before Biden announced her as his running mate, Harris urged her Twitter followers to elect more Black women and women of color to public office. "Black women and women of color have long been underrepresented in elected office and in November we have an opportunity to change that," she tweeted. "Let's get to work."
If elected to the White House in November, Harris would be the first female vice president as well as the first Black and first Asian vice president. But, as Kaling pointed out Tuesday on Twitter, even Harris' nomination is a historic first worth celebrating.
"We work so hard and contribute to the fabric of our lives in America, and now to see @SenKamalaHarris rise to the top like this? It's thrilling!" Kaling tweeted. "I am filled with hope and excitement. Thank you @JoeBiden. Let's do this!"