Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential elections opens a window of hope for a state as multicultural as Alaska, the most heterogeneous in the United States and almost certainly the most diverse in the world.
The fact that Biden chose Kamala Harris as his vice presidential ‘alter ego’ was a statement of principle. He is the first practicing Catholic President in over half a century, since John F. Kennedy. However, he is heterodox and supports abortion, albeit with limitations, and this has caused him to have his support withdrawn by the most conservative Catholic sectors. For her part, Kamala Harris is a Protestant of the Baptist Church.
Joe Biden is a genuine American, the son of an American and an Irish woman (very typical of the country’s population) and born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, whose most populous city, Philadelphia, gave birth to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Kamala Harris is from California. She is the first woman in the vice presidency of the country, and she is of Jamaican and Asian (India) descent.
A 180-degree turn Biden-Harris turns the old tandem of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, both of whom have deep Anglo-Saxon and Protestant roots, upside down, with the nuance that Pence is evangelical.
The latter’s government has been insensitive to immigrants. It was not by chance that when they came to power, the border with Canada saw an increase in human migration asking for refugee status in the neighboring country. Trump ended the Temporary Protection Program that saved 200,000 Salvadorans from deportation twenty years ago, and another 50,000 Haitian refugees after the earthquake that devastated the Caribbean country in 2010.
The most diverse land on the planet Alaska is almost certainly the most diverse land on the planet, in terms of both race and culture. It is the home of 229 of the 556 recognized tribes in the USA. Its first settlers came from Asia after crossing the Bering Strait. There are seven major indigenous peoples: Iñupiat, Yupik, Aleut, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and several Athabaskan cultures. They are organized into thirteen Native Regional Corporations and are classified into five groups: Aleut/Aluutiq (Southwest Aleutian Islands), Athabascan Indians (Inner Alaska), Inupiat (Northern Region), Yup’ik (Southwest Region), and Tlingit/Haida/Tsimshian Indians (Southeast Coast). Native Alaskans make up 16% of the statewide population.
The most racially diverse neighborhood in the United States “is not in Queens, Los Angeles, or Honolulu ... it’s in Anchorage,” says Eric John R. David, a Filipino American who holds a doctorate in Psychology and is a specialist and researcher in multiculturalism and multicultural psychology. “The top three most racially public high schools in the country; the fourth and sixth of the top ten most diverse public middle schools in the country, and 19 out of the 20 most racially diverse public elementary schools in the country are in Anchorage. Additionally, after Hawaii, Alaska has the second highest percentage (around 7 percent of the state population) of mixed-race individuals too”.
However, “in Alaska, as in the case with the rest of the country, most of the power is still held by White people. This imbalance in power and privilege is precisely what oppression is. And when the imbalance of power and privilege is between racial groups, then we call that racial oppression.”, David says. On January 20, 2021, when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are officially named president and vice president of the United States, may be the beginning of the end of this “racial oppression”.
PROUDLY POWERED BY SOL DE MEDIANOCHE CO. Sol de Medianoche is a monthly publication of the Latino community in Anchorage, Alaska