Opinion: Who is Kamala Harris Running For?

Kamala Harris announced her presidential run on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this year and will appear in the first Democratic debate Thursday. Her first campaign stop was historically black Howard University, her alma mater. Born to an Indian Tamil mother, Shyamala Gopalan, and a Jamaican father, Donald Harris, Harris is running as a black woman. This makes sense: at 12.5%, black voters are a bigger bloc, with well-traveled inroads for Democratic candidates.

But Harris is also quietly courting South Asian voters. Though Asian Americans will comprise just 5% of the electorate by 2020 and only 1% are South Asians, they’re active voters. Wealthy Indians have hosted fundraisers and invited Harris to conferences; they have targets of raising $10 million for her campaign. Indian newspapers and