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Yesterday marked a historical day in the American politics, with women from various backgrounds becoming “firsts” to step into Congress: the first former refugee, first Native American women, the first Palestinian American, among others.
Twitter had numerous hashtags and reactions for each of the candidates; one video in particular that went viral is the embrace of Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) and Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas) hugging each other as they were sworn in.
It’s only a few seconds long, and can look like an ordinary emotional moment, but we all know it’s not. Native American women’s representation in Congress has been long overdue, and both Haaland and Davids are answering a wait two centuries in the making.
And Twitter can feel that.
"The first two Native women are finally sworn in Congress."— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) January 4, 2019
IN 2019. https://t.co/PLWS7GyhOA
God, look at their strength.— Kaitlin Curtice (@KaitlinCurtice) January 4, 2019
You can see it in their shoulders, in their tears, in the way they hold each other.
We are still here.
We've always been here.
We will not be ignored or forgotten. https://t.co/74Y5no7nnB
So much pain and heartache in this embrace. And so much joy and beauty as well. Such a powerful moment.— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) January 4, 2019
That's what America is all about. https://t.co/BXuLAp8wUa— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) January 4, 2019
This literally made my skin tingle with joy. May they thrive the hell out of that place. https://t.co/mYU3Eg0UTU— (((A. L. Kennedy))) (@Writerer) January 4, 2019
The best part, however, is when, after their embrace, Haaland voluntarily takes Davids’ scarf to wipe her own tears. At the very least, it’s a symbol of sisterhood; beyond that, it signifies the unity between the women, the comfort of using each other to wipe your own tears (seriously, how many people do we feel that level of connection with?).
Sisterhood: Congresswoman Deb Haaland feels natural to use Congresswoman Sharice Davids' scarf to wipe off her own tears.— Kanat (@KanatEnergy) January 4, 2019
It's for tears and they are family 😉— Turin Epicurean (@turinepi) January 3, 2019
Oh 💯 that’s the sisterhood right there— Tanya 수정 Tarr (@nerdette) January 3, 2019
When Deb uses Sharice's scarf to wipe her tears. That's what sisters do. Bless. *bawls into hijab* ❤😭 https://t.co/fi14QJ0fGd— Shireen Footybedsheets Ahmed (@_shireenahmed_) January 4, 2019
Just know, if you’re ugly-crying over this moment, you’re not alone.
Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque