“The Truths We Hold: An American Journey.” | Hamro Patro

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“The Truths We Hold: An American Journey.”

   Manaswi Sapkota - Jan 12 2024

‘The Truths We Hold: An American Journey’ is a book by Kamala Harris that gives a genuine outlook on the political world. It showcases the struggles of a woman of colour in the political world as well as the “ugly” side of politics. The author of this book is Kamala Harris who is the first South Asian black vice president of the United States. In this book, Harris takes us on a journey where she explains her values, principles, etc and tells us how they helped her be a better person.

The first thing we learn about Harris from this book is her reason for standing up in the election. Harris had always found inspiration in lawyers. She found it fascinating how lawyers could help people in need. She decided to go to law school because of this and eventually became a lawyer. She became the senator and the day she won the election she partied with her team and family. But this is only the beginning of the book. As the pages turn, Harris writes about deeper political issues like racial profiling, inflation, poverty, etc. She tells the readers about her experiences being racially profiled.

There are instances in this book where one can see how Harris manipulates words to show the readers the political world in a simpler manner. Harris writing about a black man being harassed by some white officers outside her office showcased the extent of racism in America. How much confidence does one have to have to be racist in front of a senator's office in broad daylight? Situations where Harris had to justify her actions simply because of her race also really highlighted racism in America.

Inflation also seems to be an important issue in America. This topic is given the spotlight when Harris writes about a letter she received from a voter pleading with Harris to do something about the inflation as 100k a year was not helping anyone nowadays. Although some products do have a reasonably high price, items made with recycled stuff also cost the same as non-recycled stuff, sometimes even costing more. This discourages the public from buying recyclable stuff/ stuff made from recycled materials.

Furthermore, other social issues like sexism, homophobia, anti-semitism (hatred towards Jews), etc are also brought to light in this book. Harris writes about the public not showing her much support because of her gender and similarly even in law school, she often feels left out as the guys are paid more attention to. People protesting during June for anti- pride month showcased the homophobic part of America. Protests against abortion and protests against removing Trump as president also show the common ideology of America. Harris also does not forget to mention personal things like the struggles of interracial couples. Being raised in different environments does affect a person because Harris was much more cautious than her partner, Doug as she was raised as a minority whereas Doug never had to feel anxious to get a visa for a country or anything of that sort.

“The Truths We Hold” is an impressive book as I can see some aspects of American society relating to our, Nepali society. Our society isn’t as developed as the American society in terms of infrastructure but at the same time, it is also not as racist, fascist, and full of hatred as America. The part that I find common between American society and Nepali society is the oppression of minorities. Although in Nepal the people from the same country but different castes are oppressed it is still similar to America where people with different nationalities are suppressed. This just shows how humans like to themselves be higher than others within their race just for the sake of power for a short time.

“Everyone deserves a second chance in life”, we can understand Harris’s ideologies. She believes that every person has a heart that will change with enough help, punishment and redemption but in all honestly looking at this opinion from a realistic view rather than an idealistic view I highly disagree. People are unpredictable and no matter how much someone forces an individual to change it is highly unlikely that they would change. "Only when a person chooses to be better themselves can they change?" Another thing I think this line was trying to say is how people are good or bad but to me people are neutral. Everyone has a little bad in them and a little good in them, the only thing that matters is which overcomes which.

Somewhere as the pages went by, a line got stuck to me “The criminal justice system punishes people for their poverty.” This is true. Have you ever seen people in higher positions get in scandals ending their careers and face real consequences for it without a person in a lower position being harmed? The thing about poverty is that you have no power over anything that happens to you. As long as people with money successfully bribe the law, they will keep getting away becoming richer and richer whereas those in trouble will become poorer and poorer. Similarly, the homeless shelter in America also only ever looks for money. Homeless people are arrested for sleeping on the roads and they aren't provided with enough aid even when they are taken to the homeless shelter they are treated like criminals with limited outside visiting time, eating time, etc.

This book left me with a lot of opinions. Something I would like to bring attention to is the fact that this book is supposed to be a memoir but rather than going in-depth about personal details of her life, Harris writes more about her political achievements. Of course this isn’t something I am criticising, I just felt that this was an interesting way to write a memoir. I also really admire Kamala Harris as a person. She just feels like a genuinely nice person. Her ideology of bringing justice to oppressed people is inspiring to me. The way she writes about being proud of her heritage makes me feel proud as well, it makes me believe that Harris will change America for the better.

Name: Manaswi Sapkota
Grade: X
ID No: 26004 

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Hamro Patro is one of the first Nepali app to include Nepali Patro, launched in 2010. We started with a Nepali Calendar mobile app to help Nepalese living abroad stay in touch with Nepalese festivals and important dates in Nepali calendar year. Later on, to cater to the people who couldn’t type in Nepali using fonts like Preeti, Ganesh and even Nepali Unicode, we built nepali mobile keyboard called Hamro Nepali keyboard.