‘Representation matters’: Shawnee family proudly watches inauguration of VP Kamala Harris

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SHAWNEE, Kan. — People around the country are celebrating representation Wednesday.

The swearing in of Vice President Kamala Harris was a historic moment for many reasons. Harris is now the first woman and first woman of color with Jamaican and South Asian ancestry to hold the office.

“I am not an emotional person, and I found myself in tears, even now, choked up,” Dawn Rattan said.

When she sees Harris, Rattan said she sees her daughter.

“I remember looking her up, gosh, my daughter was probably in high school or middle school. I wanted to show my daughter, ‘Hey look at this woman who has the same racial makeup as you, and look at what wonderful things she’s doing,” Rattan said. “It just makes us happy. It gives us hope and representation matters.”

The Rattan family

She and her husband are the parents of three children, ages 13, 18 and 22, who are of Indian and Black descent.

The Rattans said this day will forever be in the hearts of their family.

Kamala has spoken about the pride in Indian and Jamaican heritage and being a daughter of immigrants.

Manu Rattan shares that story. He’s the son of Indian immigrants. He said watching the inauguration was a defining moment.

“It was very exciting when she became attorney general in California. Then she was a senator, then ran for president and now is the Vice President,” Manu Rattan said. “It is all very, very exciting to see someone that has the same background as you do.”

The Rattans said Harris is breaking barriers, especially for their children who look like Harris.

“I said it before, representation matters, and I think they represent — it’s not just about race. The Bidens and Kamala and Doug represent a huge slice of America that we can all relate to,” Dawn Rattan said.

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