We sisters know: Kamala Harris is battle-hardened for this election
She is tough, aggressive, fearless. A Black woman must be. And that is why Sen. Kamala Harris, the presumed Democratic vice presidential nominee, is the quintessential VP pick for our times.
These are incendiary times, make-or-break times. The fall presidential campaign will be brutal.
We sisters know. African American women have been battle-hardened by the racism and sexism we have endured for centuries.
Last week, Joe Biden, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, tapped Harris, the former California attorney general and San Francisco district attorney.
When Harris hit the hustings, President Donald J. Trump’s sexist and racist insult arsenal was already loaded and ready.
The vile broadsides rolled out. “Nasty” seems to be Trump’s favorite adjective for Harris, a recycled insult leveled at the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016. Trump’s puny vocabulary does not have enough bandwidth for new material.
On Wednesday, Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, “favorited a tweet, which was later deleted, that referred to Ms. Harris as a ‘whorendous pick,’ ” the New York Times reported.
On Friday, the Trump/Pence campaign dispatched a fundraising email that highlighted the Harris pick. It warned: “It’s going to be up to Patriots like YOU to save our Nation from that dark fate, Friend.”
The Trumpers are eagerly spreading vicious “birther” lies on social media. They posit that Harris is not eligible to serve as vice president or president because her parents were not American citizens.
For the record, Harris was born of immigrant parents, in Oakland, California. Her mother, a cancer researcher from India, her father, a Black economist from Jamaica. Harris is a natural-born American citizen.
Others whisper that her mixedrace heritage means that Harris is “not Black enough.”
Trump and his ilk tried those tropes years ago on a Black presidential candidate, Barack Obama. It did not work.
No matter. Black women are born and bred for these moments.
U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly knows. I asked Kelly if she had any advice for Harris. Kelly is the first African American woman to be elected to Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District, which spans parts of Chicago’s South Side and south suburbs.
“Someone told me when I ran, ‘just put on your battle jacket …’ ” Kelly said Thursday on “At the Virtual Table,” the Chicago Sun-Times’ ongoing series on politics and public policy.
Kelly has worked with Harris in Congress.
“She’s smart, she’s tenacious, she knows what she’s doing, so I have no fear that she can’t handle what they say.”
Harris will do Harris because Black women possess titaniumgrade armor, fortified by racial and sexual oppression.
We endure, strive and excel when the worst is hurled our way. From the times of slavery to now, African American women have been fighting their way up from the bottom of every American economic indicator.
We rise, propelled by the fuel of oppression.
Biden learned that at a debate last year, during Harris’ breakout moment in the Democratic nominating campaign.
Harris, the only Black woman on the stage, exquisitely prosecuted Biden’s record on race, attacking his political ties to Southern white segregationists and his opposition to school busing in the 1970s and 1980s.
The moment did not win her the nomination, but it should send the message that she is ready for the racist and sexist onslaught to come.
Harris “makes them nervous,” Kelly said.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden (left) looks on as his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks Thursday at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware.