Is Kamala Harris proof that America isn’t ready for a woman of color as president?

In May, Sen. Kamala Harris stood before the largest chapter of the NAACP and focused her remarks around one subject: electability. Five month later, Harris would call the issue of her electability the “elephant in the room” during an interview with Axios.

She wondered aloud if “America was ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United States of America.” It was an issue she brought up on the campaign trail as well. Would her race and gender be a hindrance to her campaign amid the largest group of major contenders the Democratic party has ever seen? Would Harris, a woman who is both black and Indian American, have more difficulty as a candidate than an openly gay mayor, a Hindu Pacific Islander congresswoman, or an Asian


Harris was just five months into her bid for the White House when the California senator went to Detroit at address the NAACP’s largest branch in May. She told the packed room that “there has been a lot of conversation by pundits about electability, and who can speak to the Midwest. But when they say that, they usually put the Midwest in a simplistic box and a narrow narrative. And too often their definition of the Midwest leaves people out. It leaves out people in this room who helped build cities like Detroit.”

The largely African American crowd warmly received Harris’ remarks in the midst of her slow climb up the polls. A month later she would tangle with former Vice President Joe Biden over busing and race at the June presidential debate.

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