President Donald Trump has been itching for a fight against former vice president Joe Biden. Well, now he has one. Biden, the presumptive Democratic Presidential candidate, made history when he selected California Sen. Kamala Harris as his official partner on the Democratic Party ticket for the General Election in November.
Harris is the first Black woman or woman of color to be chosen for the No. 2 job in the country. How big of a deal is this? Social media went through the roof and it became the No.1 news item on just about every TV network, including Fox News.
The Obama Endorsement
“Choosing a vice president is the first important decision a president makes,” former President Barack Obama said in a released statement from the Office of Barack Obama. “When you’re in the Oval Office, weighing the toughest issues, and the choice you make will affect the lives and livelihoods of the entire country – you need someone with you who’s got the judgment and the character to make the right call. Someone whose focus goes beyond self-interest to consider the lives and prospects of others.”
No. 44 thinks that Biden made the right decision in picking Harris, the former California attorney general turned senator.
“Joe Biden nailed this decision,” Obama said. “By choosing Senator Kamala Harris as America’s next vice president, he’s underscored his own judgment and character. Reality shows us that these attributes are not optional in a president. They’re requirements of the job. And now Joe has an ideal partner to help him tackle the very real challenges America faces right now and in the years ahead.”
In his official remarks, Obama, who served as President of the United States for eight years, went on to drop well-deserved platitudes on Harris.
“I’ve known Senator Harris for a long time,” said Obama. “She is more than prepared for the job. She’s spent her career defending our Constitution and fighting for folks who need a fair shake. Her own life story is one that I and so many others can see ourselves in: a story that says that no matter where you come from, what you look like, how you worship, or who you love, there’s a place for you here. It’s a fundamentally American perspective, one that’s led us out of the hardest times before. And it’s a perspective we can all rally behind right now. Michelle and I couldn’t be more thrilled for Kamala, Doug, Cole, and Ella. This is a good day for our country. Now let’s go win this thing.”
Fearless on the Campaign Trail
Harris seemed destined for this position. After working as California’s top cop, Harris has made a name for herself as a pitbull lawmaker on Capitol Hill. Her rise in politics became so strong that she even had the urge to make a run for the highest job in the nation. While on the campaign trail, Harris showed the nation that she is more than tough enough for the job, even going after Biden and not pulling any punches against the current occupier of the Oval Office.
“We need a new leader,” Harris said during a presidential campaign stop at Los Angeles Southwest College in Los Angeles, California in 2019. Let’s speak truth; Russia interfered in the election of the President of the United States. Yet on this subject, we have a Commander-in-Chief who, on this subject, prefers to take the word of the Russian president over the word of the American intelligence community. We have a Commander-in-Chief who prefers to take the word of a North Korean dictator over the word of the American intelligence community when it comes to an American student who was tortured and later died. We have a Commander-in-Chief who prefers to take the word of a Saudi Prince over the word of the American intelligence community when it comes to a journalist who was assassinated, a journalist who had American credentials. We need a new Commander-in-Chief.”
That thought process seems to resonate with a lot of people. Many organizations came out with positive sound bites to applaud Biden for choosing Harris as his running mate.
A Watershed Moment
“Today is a spark of hope and a watershed moment for Black women and women of color. Kamala Harris — a woman of Jamaican-American and Indian-American descent — as Vice President is nothing short of historic,” said Aimee Allison, founder of She the People. “This is one step in a much larger fight for representation towards the multi-racial Democracy women of color have dreamed of, fought for and bled for, for generations. We need Black, Latina, Indigenous, and Asian American women leading at every level of American politics.”
Allison lauded Harris for her recent work in the United States Senate.
“In the past months, Senator Harris has taken a stand against police brutality in the streets and in the Senate,” Allison said. “Her work to understand the struggles of the women of color leading the movement on the ground is what sets her apart in this critical moment. The data has shown that when women of color are inspired to get out to vote in higher numbers, Democrats win. This November, we will do it again.”
As a graduate of Howard University, Harris no doubt has the support of the HBCU community, especially from her alma mater.
“Today is an extraordinary moment in the history of America and of Howard University,” Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick said in a released statement to the media. “Senator Kamala Harris’ selection as the Democratic vice presidential candidate represents a milestone opportunity for our democracy to acknowledge the leadership Black women have always exhibited but has too often been ignored. Let’s pause and take a collective breath that has been denied to so many. We are proud to call Howard University alumna Kamala Harris a member of our HU family. As Senator Harris embarks upon this new chapter in her life, and in our country’s history, she is poised to break two glass ceilings in our society with one fell swoop of her Howard hammer! The HBCU community and I will be watching.”
Caution to the Wind
While there has been an overabundance of glowing kudos directed to Harris over her nomination, there are some organizations like the Action Center on Race and the Economy, who are not entirely sold on the Biden-Harris ticket when it comes to rooting out systemic social injustices against people of color.
“While we can acknowledge the historic nature of a Black woman being nominated Vice-President to the Democratic Party ticket, we know that the policy put forth by these candidates is what is most important,” said Maurice BP-Weeks, co-executive director of ACRE. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will need to demonstrate that Black and Brown communities are a priority — and that they need our votes to win. Senator Harris’ record of failing to investigate cases of police brutality and hold involved officers accountable has not been forgotten by communities of color. She will have to show up in strong support of systematic change to our so-called justice system, as will Biden. They both have a lot of work to do.”
When it comes to speaking truth to power, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, the Black representative from the 7th Congressional District of Massachusetts, saluted Harris as the VP choice on the Democratic ticket.
“This is a historic moment in America,” Pressley said. “Generations of our elders have dreamt of this moment, and – because of their struggle and sacrifice – little girls expected it. Kamala Harris will meet the moment and more. She is a trailblazer. Her life has included many historic firsts, and today she becomes the first AAPI American and the first Black woman chosen to serve as Vice President. In this moment, when our communities face overlapping crises of public health, economic inequality, and systemic racism, Kamala will be a fierce advocate for the policies that will roll back the cruel and callous actions of the current Administration, and usher in bold, long-overdue change.”