Why We Cried When We Saw Kamala Harris In That White Suit

6 minute read
Susanna Schrobsdorff writes the It’s Not Just You newsletter on Substack

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So hope for a great sea-change

On the far side of revenge.

Believe that further shore

Is reachable from here.

Believe in miracle

And cures and healing wells.

Seamus Heaney

Hello friends, I’m so glad you’re here. ☀️ What a week. Some thoughts on the events of Saturday, and a few nuggets of good below.

I didn’t expect to cry when I saw Kamala Harris in that white suit. I’d been waiting for the woman president we should have had by now, and damn if I wasn’t going to keep most of my joy in reserve until that happened. Besides, vice-president seemed like a consolation prize–a political tactic that would help elect a good man, but in the end, wasn’t it mostly symbolic?

Then Harris took the stage in Delaware as Vice President-Elect and started to talk about her mother coming to the U.S. from India at 19 and all the generations of women of every race who paved the way for her own ascent. The women who fought for the right to have a voice and a vote, particularly the Black women whom she called “the backbone of our democracy.” These women had the “vision to see what can be unburdened by what has been.”

I thought about how Harris’ mother made it to the U.S. in a year when only 100 Indians were allowed in the U.S. due to the racist immigration quotas of the late ’50s. Then I tried to calculate the odds of this brilliant senator, a Black woman and Asian American daughter of immigrants being elected to the second-highest position in the country, and I couldn’t. The chances of her party winning the election at all were nowhere near sure, as we learned this week, and you could add to that the series of woman-made miracles that had to align for her to be standing there in that white pantsuit.

And so this jaded and weary heart decided to believe that a woman Vice President was worth the wait, and an occasion of deep joy. She’s right, little girls watching her now won’t have to have the kind of vision that is unburdened by the past, their past will include the sight of Harris. I chose to have faith that President-Elect Joe Biden is committed when he says she’ll be the last person in the room when he needs to make a big decision. We must trust him and Harris with so many other promises and difficult if not impossible missions, why not that? And I’m already sure that Harris will carry all of us within her when she is in the room where it happens, and as miracles go, we get a world-class prosecutor to argue our case.

I’d also note that this recognition isn’t partisan. Fox News host and former George W. Bush administration official, Dana Perino interrupted the post-election call punditing to say: “I want to take a moment, obviously, for Kamala Harris. This is a significant, historic moment for America, for women in America, and for Black Americans and Indian Americans. It’s a big deal, and I think we should acknowledge that.”

Agreed. Because if a Vice President Kamala Harris is possible, then well, so is a country that figures out how to work together.


A Single Mom Reached Out For Help, Dozens Responded

Traci and her daughter.

In May, Traci, a single mother in San Jose, California, filled out the “Get Help” form on the Pandemic of Love website which matches local givers with those who need essentials. Traci had lost her job and her home due to the pandemic. She and her 13-year-old daughter were living in a motel and were at risk of living on the street.

Sheridan Amarillas, the local chapter leader for Pandemic of Love, reached out immediately when she saw Traci’s form come in. “My father experienced homelessness and was living in his car with his dog in a Walmart parking lot. Traci’s story hit close to my heart,” recounts Sheridan.

“I knew this was doable,” says Sheridan, “and I made a promise to Traci that I would not abandon her.” She helped Traci find steady employment, connected with donors to ensure Traci had a place to stay while others provided the required deposits to secure a small apartment. To top it off, Sheridan found an interior designer who pitched in with furniture.

“There were times that I had given up hope on ever catching up and having a proper and stable home with my daughter,” says Traci. “Sheridan and the Pandemic of Love network gave me a second chance at life and they made me feel seen at a time in my life when I felt invisible. They gave me back my faith in humanity.”

–Shelly Tygielski, Pandemic of Love

“One day we’ll wake up and discover we are family.” 🧡

Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu on the interconnectedness and interdependence of human beings. He’s also fond of saying: “We are made for complementarity.”

For a glorious hit of happy in your day, check out this video of the Archbishop’s legendary laugh.

And for something more, here’s a profile in which he talks about forgiveness and why he believes enemies can become friends.


  • Action is the Antidote to Anxiety Check out local mutual aid organizations that offer opportunities to give or volunteer directly in your area, like Pandemic of Love (above) or World Central Kitchen which prepares and serves hot food to those in need whether it be an ongoing crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic or a natural disaster.
  • When Earth is making you weary, visit a nebula A little natural awe is always good for body and soul. Check out the Iris nebula in these images recently released by NASA. 🌌
  • Take a Forest Bath Even a two-hour ‘forest bath’ walk during which you really pay attention to your physical senses can have real health benefits. 🌳


    Cindy Murphy

    Meet Frances submitted as this week’s comfort dog, submitted by Cindy Murphy. Send your most comforting dog pix here: susanna@time.com

    Have suggestions, ideas, questions? Email me at: Susanna@time.com

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