Many are still recovering from watching the second 2020 Democratic debate, Thursday night where California Sen. Kamala Harris took straight aim to shoot her shot amongst the other nine candidates trying to be the next President of the United States. Harris clearly did not come to play.
This week, 20 Democratic candidates squared off in the first round of debates in Miami, Florida, with the first 10 Dems going head-to-head on Wednesday. Harris is the only Black woman candidate and even with the heavy burden of being both a woman and a woman of color, she took her place on that stage and let everyone know she isn’t afraid to hold people accountable (that’s for you Joe Biden) and woefully prepared to take on Donald Trump.
In case you missed it, here are the top five moments from last night that has everyone thinking Harris is the new front leaders.
1. Kamala Harris Getting Everyone to chill the hell out
Senator Kamala Harris:
"Hey guys, you know what? America does not want to witness a food fight. They wanna know how we're going to put food on their tables."
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) June 28, 2019
During a heated moment last night, the candidates found themselves engaging in the usual debate banter, but when the back-and-forth escalated to a point where not a single voice was distinguishable, Harris took it upon herself to be both moderator and mediator of the situation.
With her hands firmly raised, she said:
“Hey guys, you know what? America does not want to witness a food fight. They wanna know how we’re going to put food on their tables.”
Not only did everyone simmer down, but even opponent Joe Biden had to give Harris a round of applause.
2. Kamala Harris checking Joe Biden on his segregationist comments
— Reese Waters (@reesewaters) June 28, 2019
Despite their prior mutual respect, and friendship Harris had no problems confronting her biggest opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, over his most recent comments on the “civility” of working with former Senate colleagues Sen. James Eastland (D-MS) and Herman Talmadge (D-GA), both of whom once advocated for segregation.
Harris, not really known for revealing any emotion, turned to Biden and informed the arena that as the only Black person onstage, she needed to take a minute to speak on the issue of race. It was as if time suddenly stood still.
Addressing Biden directly, Harris said, “I do not believe you are a racist, but it is personal and it was actually hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country.”
Damn, it just got real.
3. Kamala Harris with the fire tweet of herself as a little girl addressing bussing issue
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 28, 2019
During her exchange with Biden, Harris also fiercely criticized him for his alleged, former opposition to busing, and even recounted her own busing experiences as a child growing up in Oakland.
“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bussed to school every day. And that little girl was me. So, I will tell you that on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly.”
Biden swiftly defended himself, saying he had not opposed busing in America, but rather wanted local control and not, “busing ordered by the Department of Education.” Calling her remarks a “mischaracterization of my position across the board” aka issa lie.
It was a tense moment, but one that allowed Harris to show a little emotion, get her point across, and let it linger with that image of little Kamala succeeding because of the opportunities provided to her like busing to better schools.
4. Kamala Harris invokes the pronoun that sets HER up as the next President
“I will immediately put in place reviewing cases for Asylum and RELEASE children from CAGES. And I will make sure that the microphone that this President holds in HER hand reflects the values of the country.”
— Joe Gomez (@JoeGomezNews) June 28, 2019
While on the metaphorical discussion of “What would you do if…,” Senator Harris was asked about the actions she’d take on her first day on the job. Harris specifically responded to the thousands of displaced migrants who continue to seek asylum at the border.
“I will immediately put in place a meaningful process for reviewing the cases for asylum, and release children from cages, and get rid of the private detention centers, and ensure that this microphone that the president of the United States holds in her hand is used in a way that is about reflecting the values of our country and not about locking children up.”
Invoking the pronoun that makes the next President of the United States a woman sounded strong, assured, and passionate. Most of all, it just sounds right.
5. Kamala Harris has a plan to make America safe again
I am not afraid of the @NRA. As president, if Congress doesn’t pass gun safety legislation in my first 100 days, I will take executive action to keep our nation safe. #DemDebate https://t.co/g6zqmH99H1
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 28, 2019
While on the ongoing topic of gun control in the United States, Senator Harris spoke again on her plans to implement a plan to save lives. After giving a nod to the ideas of those before her, Harris also acknowledged that very little work has been done to truly enforce gun control, and that she would make accountability and regulations a big part of her first 100 day plan in office.
“I will give the United States Congress 100 days to pull their act together, bring all these ideas together and put a bill on my desk for signature. And if they do not, I will take executive action, and I will put in place the most comprehensive background check policy we’ve had. I will require the ATF to take the licenses of gun dealers who violate the law, and I will ban, by executive order, the importation of assault weapons.”
Harris has first hand knowledge of the devastation brought on by gun violence. As a prosecutor, she mentioned seeing autopsy photos, bringing comfort to the grieving mothers of homicide victims and attending the funerals of slain police officers. She knows what’s up and if given the opportunity will do what it takes to save lives.