'There is no vaccine for racism': Kamala Harris steps into history with VP nomination and issues call to action

‘There is no vaccine for racism’: Kamala Harris steps into history with VP nomination and issues call to action

Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris has formally accepted her nomination for Vice President of the United States at the Democratic National Convention. She’s officially stepped into history as the first black woman and Asian-American to accept a spot on a major presidential ticket.

Harris was officially nominated by her sister Maya, niece Meena and stepdaughter Ella Emhoff, who introduced her as “Momala”, the name Ella and her brother have always called their stepmother.

Maya called her “my very first friend, my confidante, my partner in mischief and in justice.”

“I love you, I admire you, I am so proud of you. Even though mommy is not here to see her first daughter step into history, the entire nation will see in your strength, your integrity, your intelligence, and your optimism the values that she raised us with,” Maya said.

“You’re my role model, who taught me I could be and do anything I wanted,” Meena said.

“You’re a rock, not just for our dad but for three generations of our big, blended family,” Ella said.

“We love you, mamala. We are so proud of you, auntie. You mean the world to us, Kamala. And we could not be more excited to share you with the world. As the next vice president of the United States,” the women said together.

In her speech, Harris spoke about the legacy of her Indian born mother, saying she taught her that service to others gives life purpose and meaning. She said she often wonders what her mother must have thought when she gave birth to her at 25-years-old.

“On that day, she probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you now speaking these words: I accept your nomination for Vice President of the United States of America,” Harris said.

Harris spoke her commitment to fighting racism and for the “America we know is possible”. She said the structural racism in America had compounded the disproportionate effect the COVID-19 pandemic is having on people of colour.

“While this virus touches us all, let’s be honest, it is not an equal opportunity offender. Black, Latino and Indigenous people are suffering and dying disproportionately,” Harris said. “This is not a coincidence. It is the effect of structural racism.”

“This virus has no eyes, and yet it knows exactly how we see each other—and how we treat each other,” she said.

“And let’s be clear—there is no vaccine for racism. We’ve gotta do the work. For George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for too many other to name, for our children and for all of us. We’ve got to do the work to fulfill that promise of equal justice under law. Because here’s the thing. None of us are free until all of us are free.”

Harris also referenced her previous roles in public life, especially as a prosecutor and California’s attorney-general.

She talked about her advocacy for survivours of sexual assault, saying in what could be considered a jab at Donald Trump, “I know a predator when I see one.”

Harris said America is at an inflection point, and that Joe Biden must be elected the next President of the United States in order to see change.

“We are a nation that is grieving. The loss of life, the loss of jobs, the loss of opportunities, the loss of normalcy and yes, the loss of certainty.

“We’re at an inflection point. The constant chaos leaves us adrift. The incompetence makes us feel afraid. The callousness makes us feel alone. It’s a lot,” she said.

“And here’s the thing: We can do better and deserve so much more. We must elect a president who will bring something different, something better, and do the important work. A president who will bring all of us together — Black, White, Latino, Asian, Indigenous — to achieve the future we collectively want. We must elect Joe Biden.

“Years from now, when this moment has passed, our children and our grandchildren will look in our eyes and ask us: ‘Where were ​you​ when the stakes were so high?’ And we will tell them, not just how we ​felt​—we will tell them ​what we did.”

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