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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Hoosiers celebrate Biden, Harris

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Hours after former Vice President Joe Biden was projected the winner of the 2020 presidential election Nov. 7, Hoosiers flocked to Monument Circle to celebrate his victory. After several days without results following Election Day, many Democrats said they were ready to celebrate, especially parents of Black girls.

“We’re the parents of biracial children, and our oldest is our daughter,” Alexx Kennedy said. “As a veteran who fought for this country, it’s so nice to be able to tell her she can grow up to be anything she wants to be and mean it.” 

Sen. Kamala Harris is the first woman to be elected vice president of the United States. A daughter of immigrants — her father was Jamaican and her mother was Indian — she will be the first woman of color, and one of just two people of color, to hold the position. Charles Curtis, vice president for President Herbert Hoover, was Native American.

Among a crowd of over 50 people, many Black children and teenagers held Biden campaign signs, cheering as cars honked in solidarity. Even those too young to vote recognized the significance of the election. 

“It’s awesome to see someone represent us,” Micah Peck, 17, said. “This is a pathway for other Black women to change the country.” Her 12-year-old sister, Hope, said Harris gives her hope for the future of the country. Both young women say they plan to vote in the first election they’re eligible because their mother taught them the importance of participating in democracy.
Grady Wicker Jr. brought his 10-year-old daughter Abijah to the rally, he said, to keep her informed 

“She has to function in this democracy,” Wicker said. “And in order to function in it, she has to understand it.”

Abijah said she’s excited to see Harris take over as vice president. 

“I think it’s really cool because she’s the first Black woman to do it,” she said. “And … Joe Biden is really old, so she could be the first woman president.”

Not everyone at the rally was excited to see the Biden/Harris ticket win the election. 

Khyran DeLay, who voted for President Donald Trump’s reelection, said Biden stole the election by encouraging his supporters to vote early. While early voting is legal, DeLay said even if investigations and lawsuits find no evidence of fraud, he wouldn’t accept Biden as the president of the United States. 

“He’ll be y’all’s leader,” he said, referencing the crowd. “But he won’t be my leader. And Kamala … women can’t keep doing men’s s—.”

DeLay’s friend, Jay Alexander, felt differently. 

“I’m all about change,” Alexander, a Biden voter, said. “And this is change right here. … Women can do whatever a man can do, and I think Harris will be great.”

Whitney Torientine, 32, watched the rally from the top of the stairs of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. As a Black woman, she said she hasn’t felt like this after an election since the 2008 election of President Barack Obama. 

“This is history,” she said. “ … She’s [Harris] not just a Black woman, she’s Asian American, she’s a boss at whatever she does. … I’m so ready to see what she’s going to do for this country.”

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

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