"My mother taught me that service to others gives life purpose and meaning," she said in her DNC speech.
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Last week we learned California Sen. Kamala Harris is Joe Biden's VP pick and this week it became official as she accepted the nomination at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night.
"My mother taught me that service to others gives life purpose and meaning," Sen. Harris said, referring to her late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, a cancer researcher who immigrated from India. "She probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you and speaking these words: "I accept your nomination for vice president of the United States of America."
As the first Black and South Asian woman to find herself accepting the nomination of a major party, Harris said the moment is a "testament to the dedication of generations before [her]", noting that while white women were able to start voting 100 years ago as per the 19th Amendment, many Black women were denied the right to vote far beyond 1920. After thanking the generations that came before her she made sure to note how the current generations can change the future.
"There is no vaccine for racism. We've got to do the work, for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for the lives of too many others to name," said Harris. "None of us are free until all of us are free."
Noting that the coronavirus "has no eyes, and yet...knows exactly how we see each other—and how we treat each other," Harris called attention to how "Black, Latino and Indigenous people are suffering and dying disproportionately" during the pandemic.
"This is not a coincidence. It is the effect of structural racism," she said, calling attention to the inequalities in health care, education, housing, employment and technological and transportation infrastructure.
"We're at an inflection point," Harris said, noting how the United States' response to the coronavirus has left It's a lot of Americans feeling afraid. "We can do better and deserve so much more."
President Donald Trump took issue with Harris' speech and support of Biden, her former opponent in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, tweeting: "BUT DIDN'T SHE CALL HIM A RACIST??? DIDN'T SHE SAY HE WAS INCOMPETENT???"
The Washington Post fact-checked the claim earlier in the month when Harris was announced as Biden's running mate and debunked it, and as the Associated Press explained this week, "Harris specifically said Biden wasn't racist, and she didn't call him incompetent."
It is true that during the first round of Democratic primary debates Harris challenged Biden after he talked about his record of working with racist, segregationist lawmakers in earlier decades.
Taking on Biden's record of opposition to bussing as a means to integrate schools, Harris said: "There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me."
Harris did not call Biden a racist that night and Biden, which challenged by her called it "a mischaracterization" of his position and explained that he "did not praise racists."
Harris will debate Trump's VP Mike Pence in October.
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