Kamala Harris’s Sneakers Are Made For Walking On Trump’s Stupid Face
Senator Kamala Harris arrived in Milwaukee Monday for her first solo campaign stop as the Democratic vice presidential nominee. And what an arrival it was! She hit the ground running in black Chuck Taylors. Give the sister a sonic screwdriver and she's ready to save the world.
Nice chucks, @KamalaHarris. They’re my favorite shoes too. https://t.co/yOJtegruZe https://t.co/UfZEwa21CF— Tina Smith (@Tina Smith)1599510919.0
Tina Smith, whose Twitter bio describes her as a "Converse-wearing, donut-eating U.S. Senator from Minnesota," gave a shout out to her colleague's sensible footwear. This is a good week for Converse.
Harris's mother, Shyamala Gopalan, worked for a while as a breast cancer researcher at the University of Wisconsin, so Harris once lived in the state. There's your Midwest Democrat! The Rust Belt is now securely fastened. Seriously, Wisconsin's loss in 2016 still stings. As journalist Malaika Jabali noted, Wisconsin's Black voter turnout rate dropped from 79 percent in 2012 to 47 percent in 2016, the lowest in the state's history. Voter suppression played its part but voter apathy arguably had a starring role.
The New York Times spoke to some Milwaukee residents shortly after the 2016 election. It was a lot of this crap:
Justin Babar ... said he voted for Mr. Trump as a protest against Mrs. Clinton. He blamed her husband's policies for putting him in prison for 20 years.
As for the claims of racism that have dogged Mr. Trump, Mr. Babar wasn't so worried. "It's better than smiling to my face but going behind closed doors and voting against our kids," he said.
We've now endured four years of unfiltered racism. There are chunks of racism floating in the water we drink. That's not an improvement. Fortunately, the Biden campaign isn't assuming that voters like Justin Babar have gotten less dumb since 2016. Harris is doing her part to build trust and strengthen relationships in Wisconsin. She had a private meeting with Jacob Blake, whom Kenosha police shot in the back and paralyzed last month.
From the Washington Post:
HARRIS: [The Blakes are] an incredible family, and what they've endured, they do it with such dignity and grace. And you know, they're carrying the weight of a lot of voices on their shoulders.
According to Blake's attorney, Benjamin Crump, who was present for the meeting, Blake told Harris he was proud of her. Blake obviously doesn't think Kamala's a cop.
.@JoeBiden’s favorite things aren’t just aviators, ice cream, and Amtrak. Thanks, @BarackObama, for giving me the i… https://t.co/io3KHDmlLe— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris)1599566703.0
Donald Trump and his toadie, Mike Pence, haven't given Blake and his family the time of day or even a jelly of the month club membership. Pence was also in Wisconsin yesterday and lied about how Biden won't condemn violence. He also seemed to think Biden and Harris are responsible for unrest in Wisconsin, when neither politician is a cop who shoots Black men in the back. They could kiss cops' asses until they have dry mouth but that won't keep people from protesting police brutality.
Pence also talked up Trump's warmed-over NAFTA substitute, USMCA, and criticized Harris for voting against it.
PENCE: I heard that Joe Biden's running mate is in Milwaukee today, but dairy farmers in Wisconsin deserve to know that Senator Kamala Harris is one of only 10 senators to vote against the USMCA ... She said it didn't go far enough on climate change.
People have lost their homes. People have died. Republicans will always ignore a public health or environmental crisis if it might cost their corporate owners a few bucks.
Harris toured an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training facility in Wauwatosa. The labor union supports Biden and Harris's climate plan. American workers aren't as shortsighted as conservatives hope. Later, Harris met with Black business owners in Milwaukee. She said investing in Black "entrepreneurship would be a priority for the Biden-Harris administration."
HARRIS: What we know about small businesses and small-business leaders is they are not only leaders of business, they are civic leaders. They hire locally. We see you. We understand you. We understand the significance of what you are in terms of the health and well-being of communities.
The messaging might seem over-the-top, but if 2016 taught us anything, a ground game is critical for Democratic victory in Wisconsin. The senator's got her comfy sneakers on and she's ready to pound the pavement before pounding Trump at the ballot box.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."