Sunday, November 8, 2020 5:46 pm
By Rèmí Oyèyemí
She was my first love. My first choice when it all began. Of all the contestants that came out to run for the Presidency of the United States, she impressed me most. Looking into her eyes, it was easier to see the sparkle. The gleam of the dream was gleanable. The hope for a new day was palpable. Her heart of gold shined through. The ideal she wanted to bring to fruition was undeniably unambiguous. She wanted to be a Queen in a democracy. A philosopher Queen at that.
I could feel the heat of the inferno raging in her belly. I could fathom the thorns she has torn to tatters. I could sense her solidity of purpose. Her body language was patently clear. It was lazed with no iota of equivocation. Clearly, her single-mindedness was not muddled in any manner. She came across as the harbinger of hope to the hopeless. A portent voice for the voiceless. By any stretch of imagination, she did not suggest herself as a saviour, but it was obvious she is on our side, and would fight for us.
It was easier to imagine the battles she had prosecuted. The political wars that she has waged. The legal fisticuffs she has fought. The valleys she has traversed, navigating the squirming slinks, skunks and and snakes. The mountains, milling with marauding and mauling mammals, she has peregrinated. The invisible scars were palpably discernible. She had been toughened and tempered.
Evidently, an Amazon with an attenuating beauty. A warrior propelled by love and empathy. Her weapons have always been knowledge, intellect, courage, fearlessness and determination permeated with kindness. Her beauty and elegance are outward manifestation of her inner allure and refinement. With her cultured, measured and regal carriage, it was possible to take her for a “softie.” And that kind of perfunctory presumption would be prodigiously perilous for any protagonist.
Her charm is powerful enough to cream or crease anyone, depending on if one is a foe or friend. Her glamour magnetizes magnificently. Her pizazz pierces like a pin. Attired in a tapestry of titillating talisman, she couldn’t but tilt your attention to herself, her commitment, dedication and sincerity. She is a mother. She cares. She wants to make things right. That is her dream.
In 1990, Kamala was hired as a deputy district attorney in Oakland, Alameda County, California. On her first day in Court, she announced her appearance as lawyers always do, as follows:
“Kamala Harris, for the people.”
Yes, Kamala has always been for the people. She has never been off track since then. In all her politics and policies, the departure point has always been the people. She believes in tough love. She advocates the principle of personal responsibility. She doesn’t joke with accountability. An attitude that had caused political headache for her some of the times. But she has always been able to weather the storms.
She is an aficionado of freedom. A devotee of democracy. A connoisseur of constitutionality. A cognoscente of the court. An exponent of equity. An advocate of fairness. A promoter of balance. A champion of children. A bulwark for women. A guard for the weak. A shield for the vulnerable. A paladin for the aged. Yes, Kamala is for the people. Uncompromisingly. Incorrigibly. Incurably. She is blatant about it. She is brassy about it. And she is brazen about it.
She is confident. Self-assured. She is determined, decisive and dogged. Her outward dazzling cocoons her resolve and resoluteness. The kindness of her heart is steeled in the strength of her conviction. Clear-headed and clear-eyed. Panoramic. Decent and decorous. Cultivated and civilised. Steady and sturdy. Brilliant and bold. Beautiful and beautiful!
A lady of many firsts. She is a trailblazer in her own right. She has kept on shattering Hillary Clinton’s proverbial glass roof with which women were held at bay.
(i) She established the first Bureau of Children’s Justice in California
(ii) She is the first African American elected as the District Attorney of the City of San Fransisco.
(iii) She is the first woman elected as the District Attorney of the City of San Francisco.
(iv) She is the first African American to be elected as the Attorney General of the State of California.
(v) She is the first woman to be elected as the Attorney General of the State of California.
(vi) She is the first African American Senator elected by the State of California to Washington DC.
(vii) She is the first woman Vice President in the United States’ History.
(viii) She is the first African American elected as Vice President in the United States’ History.
(ix) She is the first person of Asian descent elected as the Vice President in the History of the United States of America.
I am not Nostradamus. I could not see tomorrow. Neither do I know tomorrow. I am also not a Prophet. I could not claim to have a hotline to God to be imbued with the clairvoyance about God’s plan for tomorrow. But I know very certainly that if it is the Will of God and that of the American people, Kamala, named after a Hindu goddess, may still act out the meaning of her name.
Kamala is the Hindu goddess of prosperity, good luck, and beauty, and she’s often depicted with the lotus flower. Devi, her middle name, is a Hindu goddess as well. It is a Sanskrit word that means “goddess,” but it is also the name of the Hindu mother goddess. Devi is considered to encompass womanhood completely, and is a nurturing force and the protector of villages. However, she does have a fierce side, and is involved in not only creating worlds, but destroying them as well.
But this Devi, this our own Kamala, is not a destroyer. She is a builder. She is a mother. She nurtures. She cares. She nourishes. She bolsters. She empathizes. She protects. She salvages. This Kamala, is for the people.
In this new task to rebuild our America from the ruins of resurgent racism, economic abracadabra, cremating of the American honour and credibility, may Kamala Harris be nurturing and motherly. May the next for years, anchored by Joe Biden, be a seismic shift from the tragi-comedy of the last four years.Amen.
-Remi Oyeyemi, journalist (who once worked with TheNEWS/Tempo) and public affairs analyst, writes from the United States.