Indian-Americans get key spots at Democratic meet

September 6th, 2012 - 11:19 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Sep 6 (IANS) California’s Indian-American attorney general Kamla Harris drew from her own experience to describe the November presidential election as a choice between an America with opportunity for all or tilted to the wealthiest few.

“We are here because we love our country, and we firmly believe in the American ideal that our country should work for everyone,” said the daughter of a Tamil Indian immigrant mother and a Jamaican-American father Wednesday.

Harris, 47, the first woman, the first African American, and the first South Asian to hold the attorney general’s office in the history of California, was given a prime time spot at Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Speaking ahead of former President Bill Clinton, who formally entered President Barack Obama’s nomination for a second White House run, she said his Republican challenger Mitt Romney “would have us roll back” the rules that “create a level playing field in this country.”

“President Obama will fight for working families. He will fight to level the economic playing field and fight to give every American the same fair shot my family had,” Harris said.

“I remember when my mother, Shyamala Harris, bought our first home. I was thirteen. She was so proud, and my sister and I were so excited,” she recalled.

“Millions of Americans know that feeling of walking through the front door of their own home for the first time - the feeling of reaching for opportunity and finding it.”

“That’s the choice in this election,” said Harris. “It’s a choice between an America where opportunity is open to everyone, where everyone plays by the same set of rules, or a philosophy that tilts the playing field to help the wealthiest few.”

Harris was the second Indian-American to get a prime time speaking spot at the convention. Indian-American actor Kal Penn, best known for his “Harold and Kumar” movies, provided the humorous touch to the convention Tuesday.

Penn, a former White House staffer is again set to have a starring role hosting primetime coverage Thursday when Obama accepts the party’s nomination.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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