Harris makes history on stage; Virginia Tech expert weighs in

Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 10:44 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG Va. (WDBJ) -Wednesday’s vice presidential debate marked a milestone as the first biracial woman on a major presidential ticket took to the stage.

Brandy Faulkner is a professor of Black studies and political science at Virginia Tech. She said this is history-making, but not as significant as it would be under more normal conditions.

“I think if we were in any other time it would mean more,” Faulkner said.

She says other big national circumstances are overshadowing this historic moment.

“I don’t think it would have that level of limitation if we weren’t in the current environment,” Faulkner said. “I think you would see far more enthusiasm for Kamala and for the significance that her presence will bring to this debate.”

Faulkner calls it ‘limited excitement’ as coronavirus and national violence shift the spotlight.

“All of those things are going to weigh far more than just seeing Kamala Harris on stage,” she said. “We have some very real and serious issues that people are demanding policy action on, so I think we are beyond the point of just being able to celebrate Kamala on stage.”

Faulkner says the real story comes after the debate, as people let their thoughts be known about it.

She says Harris faces more scrutiny because of her gender and race, but she has worked very hard to get to her position.

“Hopefully we will move toward a point in our public discourse where that is acceptable and she will not be branded as playing the race card if she brings it up or trying to take advantage of her sex,” Faulkner said. “We just aren’t there yet and we should be.”

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