The Kid Mero introduced Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) as “only the future Vice President of America, y’all,” with customary brash confidence. Not that Kamala Harris needs a hype man as a rule, but, for a country weary, battered, and anxious about the gradual realization that our always in-progress democracy totters precariously on GOP cowardice in the face of a racist dimwit, the gesture was refreshing. And, indeed, Harris wasted no time in laying out 19-minutes of progressive policy targeted at first undoing, then redressing, four years of Donald Trump’s misrule that seem to have set back American society a half-century or more.
“Donald Trump has got to go,” expressed Harris matter-of-factly, before enumerating just some of the reasons why. (She only had those 19 minutes, after all.) You know, like the recently revealed early-pandemic recordings of Trump explaining in great deal to author Bob Woodward that he knew full well the looming crisis posed by the airborne and lethal COVID-19 virus at the same time he (with access to 24-7 personal testing) pandered to manly-ignorant ding-dongs everywhere with rhetoric like—as Harris summed up Trump’s murderous misinformation—“If you’re soft you wear a mask, if you’re tough, you don’t.” Mero, shaking his head, reminded Harris he and fellow New Yorker Desus have long tried to warn people about this “real estate grifter from Queens,” even before his naked narcissism started actually killing folks.
But that’s just (one of the) most recent Trump targets Kamala was ready to attack, as she lambasted Trump and “his boy” Attorney General Bill Barr for attempting to destroy the Affordable Care Act in the Supreme Court as we speak. (During a pandemic, because ordinary villainy just isn’t enough for this administration.) Noting that the pandemic has struck “Black and brown people” with disproportionate force, and that those same people are more likely to suffer from what insurance companies greedily label disqualifying “pre-existing conditions,” Harris typically wasn’t shy in portraying this pushback against affordable health care as just another of Trump and the GOP’s traditional racism when it comes to setting literally every policy agenda.
You know, like the economy, with Harris talking up the Biden/Harris plan to address the “racial wealth gap” in the form of student loan forgiveness, post-high school education free tuition, entrepreneurial loans from community banks in traditionally underserved poor communities, raising the minimum wage to a livable one, and fostering affordable home ownership in the Black and Latino community, which Harris pointed out is “one of the greatest sources of wealth for any family.”
Or criminal justice reform, where, as Desus pointed out, the GOP plan seems to be nothing but “more racism,” asking Harris bluntly, “What are we gonna do about the cops?” Former prosecutor Harris went all-in on sweeping police reform, with everything on the table including a national standard for use of force, a national database of officer misconduct (which will actually follow fired cops from job to job), banning choke holds, abolishing the racist War On Drugs relic of mandatory minimums, complete decriminalization of pot and the expunging of all pot-related criminal records, and—hitting on her former gig—“pattern and practice” investigations of both police departments and prosecutors’ offices for evidence of racial bias.
For Harris (like her hosts, the child of first-generation immigrants) the candidate’s enthusiasm was necessarily tempered by hard-learned lessons about what it means to be not-white in the self-proclaimed land of opportunity. Explaining that her Indian mother taught her to “challenge people’s expectations about who can do what,” the if-we’re-fortunate future first female Vice President said she’s all too aware that her job as the first person through a lot of doors in her career has been about “widen[ing] the opening” for the next people in line. Sharing Desus and Mero’s sorrow over the recent death of actor and friend Chadwick Boseman, Harris held her fellow Howard University alum up as “walking dignity,” and called him another inspiration to her as someone who “understood what he represented and the responsibility he had.”
On her way out to continue stomping all over Trump and his various Republican cronies in very photogenic ways on the campaign trail and Senate hearing rooms, Harris happily kicked up her leg to show noted kicks aficionado Desus Nice that, yes, she was wearing a pair of low-top Chuck Taylor All Stars, as is her preferred way. Pooh-poohing along with Desus (broadcasting, as ever, from his gloriously organized sneaker closet) the idea of “ladylike” female candidate footwear, Harris reaffirmed her love for Chucks, teasing that, in addition to her standard styles, she has owned some pink satin and gold Chucks over the years. No word if either will make an appearance on what we can only collectively pray will be a victorious, country-salvaging Election Night, but, regardless of the color, look for Kamala Harris’ sneaker prints all up on homophobic accomplice Mike Pence’s ass at the first Vice Presidential debate on October 7.
Election Day is coming up fast, so don’t screw around. Check vote.org for all your necessary registration and other voting information or, as Harris suggested, text 30330.