Just minutes after her speech during Essence Fest, Sen. Kamala Harris sat down with Rev. Al Sharpton, CEO of Essence Michelle Ebanks, and Rich Dennis, CEO and Chairman of Essence Ventures.
During Harris’ speech, she stated, “We’re not going back. In fact, it is time to turn the page. And it is time to write the next chapter.”
Which made Sharpton’s first question quite apropos.
“Senator Harris as you spoke, and as the polls indicated, you are growing in terms of support. One of the things in public life is that we all look back and say ‘people attack this, people attack that.’ Are there things that you would do differently if you could?” Sharpton asked.
Of course, during the course of history, there are many things that have tarnished the legacy of the United States—and those were some of the issues Harris touched upon.
“I’ve talked about the Voting Rights Act, and that we’re not going to go back to a day before the Voting Rights Act. But we had a United States Supreme Court in 2013—through the Shelby vs. Holder decision—gutting the Voting Rights Act and immediately after it was passed, they passed legislation that was designed to restrict access to Black people, Native Americans, and students to vote,” Harris stated.
Harris went on to state that we have a lot to be shameful about, especially when it comes to segregated schools.
“The United Supreme Court said segregation was wrong and was against the constitution; that was in 1954. Know that there is still segregation in our schools,” Harris continued.
When it comes to the upcoming election, Sharpton segued into saying that many people want to see Donald Trump face a tough election and not get reelected. He then asked Harris:
“Do you feel that you’ll be able to face and stand up to a president who we know has no barriers or filters? We do know he’s afraid of prosecutors, so you’ll have that advantage. Are you ready for the fight if you are the nominee against this kind of president?”
“I’m ready,” Harris responded, without hesitation. “Because here’s the thing, because of my experience I’ve taken on all kinds of predators. I’ve taken on the big banks. I’ve successfully taken on transnational criminal organizations. And I’m telling you, we have a predator living in the White House. He has predatory instincts and a predatory nature. It is their nature to pounce on and try to beat down people they perceive to be weak. It is their nature to attack vulnerable people. It is their nature to attack people who are desperate for help,” Harris stated.
A week before the 2019 Essence Festival, a survey was done to find out what issues resonate with our consumers and Essence’s CEO Michelle Ebanks took the opportunity to ask Harris a question from a concerned consumer.
“We know that Black women are not a monolith. We come in all diverse hues and shapes and ideas about our future. But in our survey, there are two issues that stood out that were important to many Black women—abortion as a choice and the elimination of student debt. Can you talk about those issues,” Ebanks asked.
“In America today, a woman’s access to reproductive healthcare is under attack. We’ve seen it in Alabama, where that legislature passed a law that would incarcerate a physician up to 99 years. Here’s the thing, women will die because of these policies—and Black women and poor women will be the first,” Harris stated.
Watch Harris’ full interview below:Share :