On Saturday morning, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris let it be known to the crowd at the 2019 Essence Festival in New Orleans that whatever the current president means by “Make America Great Again,” she’s not going back to it.
“What exactly does ‘again’ mean?” Harris questioned. ” Back before the Civil Rights Act? Back before the Voting Rights Act? Back before Roe v Wade? Back before the Fair Housing Act?”
“Well, Essence, we’re not going back,” she said to raucous applause. “In fact, it is time to turn the page. And it is time to write the next chapter.”
Harris also emphasized the need to pay close attention to Black life, underlining pivotal work done by the Black Census Project; led by civil rights activist Alicia Garza, it is largest survey of Black people conducted in the United States since Reconstruction.
Harris believes that Black life, and by extension, Black people’s issues, are America’s issues: such as the economy, health care, the racial wealth gap, national security, and more. Some of these entrenched inequities are the fuel behind Harris’ $100 billion plan to invest in Black homeownership.
“I’ll invest $100 billion to put homeownership within reach for those who rent or live in federally-supported housing,” Harris said to applause. “It would help up to 4 million families with down payments and closing costs.
“By taking these steps we can shrink the wealth gap between Black and White households by at least one third,” Harris continued. Still, the former prosecutor was clear that righting the institutional wrongs of the past are but a necessary precursor to shaping a just future.
“We cannot bridge the racial wealth gap just by addressing historical inequities, although we must do that, we also have to write the next chapter.”
Harris also used her time to talk about the policies she will push forward as president to fix these issues, reiterating her support for Medicare for All and discussing her signature maternal mortality bill, as well as the news for substantial investment in our education, specifically our HBCUs.
“The fight of Black women has always been fueled and grounded in faith and in the belief of what is possible,” Harris said. “We have always built the future that we can see and believe in and fight for.”
She added, “And that’s why Sojourner spoke. It’s why Mae flew. It’s why Rosa and Claudette sat. It’s why Maya wrote. It’s why Fannie organized. It’s why Shirley ran. And why I stand here as a candidate for President of the United States.”Share :