Unity Theme

Unity Theme Surrounds Biden and Harris Inauguration

Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. This inauguration marks the next four years as Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as Vice President for the United States.

During Biden’s inaugural speech, he made the word “unity” a constant theme. He said the word “unity” or “uniting” eleven times during his inaugural speech, hinting at his tasks ahead for the United States.

Sarah Cooper, a senior psychology student, said that she is hopeful that this theme of unity will be displayed throughout the next four years.

“I am hopeful that progress will be made to create more equality, which has already happened through an executive order on advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities through the federal government which happened on 1/20/2021,” said Cooper. “This is just the first step and I am hoping action in the workplace such as training and the same especially for our law enforcement.”

Cooper also said that this inauguration was important to her as a college student because Biden has made claims to include college students in the next stimulus checks and to potentially help with student loan debt, which is prominent in our country.

Joseph N. Patten, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science, also commented that he thought the general theme of unity that ran through the whole inauguration was appropriate.

Kamala Harris, current United States Vice President, was also inaugurated on Jan. 20. She is not only the first female United States Vice President, but also the first Black and first Asian-American United States Vice President.

Patten said that having Harris as the new Vice President will be important in several ways.

“I think that it is critically important in many ways, that the republican and democratic parties are kind of in many respects at a divide in long racial and ethnic lines, so that has kind of led to the political tribalism,” said Patten.

He also said that the African American population has been the most loyal democratic base.

“And actually, Joe Biden is the president of the United States really because of the African American population. Specifically, during the South Carolina primary when a lot of people had Biden’s primary chances written off and he came back into South Carolina and to some of the other states because of the black primary votes,” said Patten.

He then concluded by saying that this is certainly “long overdue”. 

Jennifer McGovern, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Sociology, said that she is hopeful for that having a woman and a person of color as Vice President that it would show that anyone who wanted to serve their country (who have the credentials and experience) could be in this role.

“But my fear is that one of the things as a sociologist that I know is a lot of the times especially women and women of color get into a position of power, there is a little more of a shorter leash or less patience, and sometimes people can get upset with small things that they might not be upset with if that same action, speech, or behavior was conducted by someone who looked different,” said McGovern.

She hopes that the American people will give Vice President Harris a chance to govern, to influence policy, and do not automatically assume she is doing certain things for other reasons. McGovern also said that the inauguration and theme of unity made her feel hopeful.


IMAGE TAKEN from Click2Houston