Madam Vice President. That's It, That's The Headline.
We are not gonna lie. You cried like a baby when the Kamala Harris section of last night's Democratic National Convention got started. You just did. And we are not going to lie about you doing that.
After former President Barack Obama scared all our pants off with his warning that if we do not choose to fight for November's election, American democracy is literally finished, it was time for Kamala Harris to officially accept the Democratic nomination for vice president and give her speech. You started crying when the intro video montage started, like maybe three seconds in, as the women who call Harris their big sister, their auntie, and their "Mom-ala" told her how proud they were of her and how much they loved her.
Then, after another intro montage that made you cry some more, Harris started to speak. She got to just be herself last night. All of herself. The funny and warm Kamala Harris who loves her family and loves this country, and the kickass Kamala Harris prosecutor who said, "I know a predator when I see one," paused long enough for us to nod along, understanding she was talking about Donald Trump, and then moved on.
Democratic National Convention 2020: Sen. Kamala Harris accepts VP nomination www.youtube.com
We're going to skip to the end of Harris's speech, because we do what we want, and because while Harris wasn't as grave throughout as Barack Obama was, she ended striking some of the same notes.
Years from now, this moment will have passed. And our children and our grandchildren will look in our eyes and ask us: Where were you when the stakes were so high?
They will ask us, what was it like?
And we will tell them. We will tell them, not just how we felt.
We will tell them what we did.
We sure will.
Harris talked about how this week is the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in America, how Black women's contributions to that are so often overlooked, and how even then, they still had to fight for their franchise.
She talked about her Indian-American mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris, "whose shoulders I stand on," who raised Kamala and Maya largely as a single mother, to both be "proud, strong Black women" and also proud of their Indian heritage.
She talked about family. Her husband, Doug Emhoff, with whom she is still kinda newlywed-ish. (You should read this sweet Washington Post story about their marriage.) His children Cole and Ella, to whom she has become "Mom-ala." Her sister, her best friend, her chitthis, which is the Tamil way of saying "auntie." She talked about chosen family, too, which we imagine made anyone who's ever lost or been rejected by their families feel seen and comforted.
She talked about how much she wishes her mom was here to hear her say, "I accept your nomination for Vice President of the United States of America."
And like so many have this week, Harris talked to a nation that is grieving, that's in crisis, that's broken, largely but not completely because of the malevolent "leadership" of one man named Donald Trump. We may be dealing with Trump's malfeasance in confronting a coronavirus pandemic, which has now killed over 170,000 Americans, but there are other viruses, Harris said, for which we also don't have vaccines:
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.
This is not a coincidence. It is the effect of structural racism.
Of inequities in education and technology, health care and housing, job security and transportation.The injustice in reproductive and maternal health care. In the excessive use of force by police. And in our broader criminal justice system.
This virus has no eyes, and yet it knows exactly how we see each other—and how we treat each other.
And let's be clear—there is no vaccine for racism. We've gotta do the work.
Harris talked about how we must do the work, and how people are already doing the work in the face of our current national nightmare. The frontline healthcare workers, the teachers, the people working to keep our election secure in the face of an un-American attack from within by the president and his party. She mentioned postal workers, specifically. (They sure did do the work this morning, when the POST OFFICE arrested STEVE BANNON lolololololol HEY-O!)
Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy. We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.
We believe that our country—all of us—will stand together for a better future. We already are.
And then Harris ended with the quote at the top about what we will say when future generations ask what we did during this time. You know, just in case you were thinking about not doing anything about it.
It was a beautiful acceptance speech.
In summary and in conclusion, you sure did cry a lot last night during the Kamala Harris section.
It's OK. So did we.
(OR DID WE?)
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