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The true measure of character, a wise man once said, it’s not whether you make a mistake – all of us do – but whether you learn from that mistake. With those words in mind, we’d like to begin tonight with an admission. It’s contrition night on Fox News. It is time to reassess our view of Kamala Harris.
Now, if you watch the show, you know that for more than a year now, we’ve had a pretty conventional understanding of this country’s first Black/Indian/part Canadian vice president who also happens to identify as a woman. Now, we’ve assumed that Kamala Harris was historically unpopular because she’s historically incompetent and fake. We assume she earned her low approval numbers. We’re not alone in that. Lots of other people have come to the very same conclusion. d
There’s currently a debate among software engineers about whether Harris is even of biological origin or instead the product of a classified government A.I. project gone wrong. We don’t know the answer, but we certainly understand the question. She’s that synthetic. So again, until the other day, we assumed that people don’t like Kamala Harris because she’s highly unlikable. Keep in mind that even her own husband kisses her with a mask on. To us, that seemed like a pretty clear sign. But we’re here tonight to tell you that assumptions can change, even assumptions rooted in overwhelming evidence and observable reality.
Sometimes, and this happens, your entire worldview can flip upside down instantly, invert in a flash of light – ask Saul of Tarsus. Our road to Damascus experience came and we saw this clip of Joy Reid from MSNBC doing a drive time radio show. Watching it, we realized the problem isn’t Kamala Harris. The problem is us. So, take a look at this. Open your mind a little bit and see if you don’t come to the same life-changing conclusion that we did. Here’s Joy Reid.
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JOY REID, MSNBC: I think for Kamala Harris, she’s had like the triple problem of being a woman – and so people not being willing to respect her the way they would respect male vice president – of being Black, which we already know that what that carries with it is the anti-Blackness comes, you know, with the package and then also being vice president at a time that is really, really difficult.
TIFFANY CROSS, MSNBC: Joy and I talk about this all the time, Madam Vice President… she “Black, Black.” Okay? She went to Howard and when she talks to you it is, I mean, she sounds like me. She’s so regular and approachable and I just it’s unfortunate that more people don’t do that and there’s also just the dumbing-down of the American electorate. You know, people don’t understand civics. They don’t understand politics. They don’t understand how things work.
Did you hear that? Have you internalized it? Have you brought it deep inside? Let it marinate a little bit. People who don’t like Kamala Harris are sexist, obviously, because like Admiral Rachel Levine, she identifies as a woman, too. They’re also racist because Kamala Harris is the daughter of a Jamaican college professor. Duh! And by the way, they’re also stupid, by definition. They know nothing about civics or American politics. This is the dumbing down of America. Unlike Kamala Harris, you don’t “understand how things work.”
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So, the takeaway is Kamala Harris isn’t unpopular because she’s a bad person. She’s unpopular because you’re a bad person. You’re the problem. Your racism is hurting Kamala Harris’ political career. Damn you bigot!
And then we realize (How’s this for mind-bending?) Joy Reid was talking about us and then we broke down and shed the bitter tears of self-awareness and our journey of education began. We wanted to know more. So, we found an interview that Joy Reid recently did with a Black supremacist website called the Root, a website is now a permanent fixture on our Favorites tab.
Reid is the child of well-educated African immigrants, grew up in a White neighborhood in Denver and went to Harvard. So naturally, she’s got a gut level understanding of the historic Black experience in America, the way you do when you’re from Denver went to Harvard. You just feel it, it’s just part of you the way it’s part of Kamala Harris after growing up in Montreal. As Joy Reid put it, “Kamala is just a regular sister. In the same way, people would always say that Michelle Obama is like your sister if your cousin became first lady. Kamala Harris is like, if your cousin became vice president of the United States. I think she doesn’t get to show that personality often enough and so people haven’t had a chance to know her.” Are you following this?
So, Kamala Harris is like your sister in the same way that Michelle Obama would be like your sister if your sister was your cousin and also married to the president. Why hadn’t we realized that before? Well, as Joy Reid pointed out, “Most of the media is still White and male.” Of course, those damn White males always hiding the sister-cousin connection. It’s what they do, but for us, the veil had been lifted. We could see for the first time what our racism had blinded us to for so long, and the truth hurt. It was so painful that for days we had to wear sunglasses, even indoors. But it was worth it because at that point began a journey of contrition and self-discovery that honestly was long overdue.
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Like Adam Kinzinger, we finally face the truth about ourselves and were moved to weeping by what we saw. How could we be so darn racist? That’s the question we’re asking ourselves tonight in the fading light of this year’s Juneteenth observance. So, that was the old us. We’ve shed it like a snakeskin. It’s time to change. It’s time to do better. It’s time to think anew tonight about what we thought we knew about Kamala Harris.
So, we’re going to take a look at some of the soundbites we have mocked on this show over the last year and a half and boy, doesn’t it feel good just to admit fault, just to say to the world, “Yes, we’re not perfect. We get it wrong sometimes. But not anymore. We have fresh eyes and with those eyes, we’re going to assess this footage in a brand new way.” So, here’s tape of Harris repeating the very same line about, “speaking truth.” We used to make fun of this, not anymore.
KAMALA HARRIS: One of the most important values that I think we must fight for is to speak truth.
KAMALA HARRIS: And we will speak truth about the injustice. We will speak truth about the inequity. We will speak truth about the unfairness.
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KAMALA HARRIS: And let’s speak truth. Let’s speak truth. So, let’s speak some truth.
KAMALA HARRIS: And we must speak truth no matter how uncomfortable it may be to hear.
KAMALA HARRIS: We need to speak truth.
KAMALA HARRIS: We have to speak truth. One must speak truth.
KAMALA HARRIS: And that we speak truth.
KAMALA HARRIS: And we must have the courage to speak truth.
KAMALA HARRIS: Someone who has the courage to speak truth.
KAMALA HARRIS: I applaud her courage to speak truth.
KAMALA HARRIS: And let’s speak the biggest truth, the biggest truth of all.
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So, our assumption really for decades was that politicians who make a habit of using the word truth are probably really by definition, lying. That’s why they say truth so often. “I’m not cheating, I promise.” But what really struck us, the old us, was the fact that Kamala or Kamala, you know, it doesn’t matter how you pronounce your name. It just doesn’t matter.
That’s the only thing we’ve realized. She doesn’t know how. Neither do we. We’ll admit it, but what struck us was that she repeats the same line again and again and again and our old reaction was derision. “Not exactly Socrates,” that was the phrase we used, but that reaction we now see comes from a place of privilege. Evaluate your priors, deconstruct your unconscious bias, and ask yourself: would a moron be capable of repeating the same canned phrase dozens of times with this kind of precision, without changing a single facial expression? Oh, no. Try that at home. You can’t do it. You’re too self-aware. It’s impossible for you.
But not for Kamala Harris. She’s got what it takes to repeat herself verbatim for days at a time, behaving as if each time is the first time. Oh, We stand corrected, and we stand in awe. Here she was in May telling us about the importance of, and we’re quoting, “working together.”
KAMALA HARRIS: We will work together and continue to work together to address these issues, to tackle these challenges, and to work together as we continue to work, operating from the new norms, rules and agreements that we will convene to work together on.
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So again, we laughed at that clip. We’ve done it more than once. It feels good to admit it. At the time, we assumed Kamala Harris just got lost in the middle of a sentence. She couldn’t find her way out. “Together, working together… How do we get out of the sentence? Together,” But now we see what was really happening here. Kamala Harris fully understands the importance of working together, not just working, but together, working together and that’s not something we should mock. That’s brilliant and science has proven it’s brilliant.
Ten years ago, researchers at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, found, and we’re quoting, “proof that evolution of intelligence and larger brain sizes can be driven by,” (Do you know what by?) and we’re quoting “cooperation and teamwork.” In other words, working together. So, when Kamala Harris tells us again and again and again that we need to work together, she’s not simply repeating some vapid, canned soundbite she’s been handed by her handlers. No, she’s literally – literally – moving human evolution forward.
She’s making the species better on a cellular level. How long until we can fly? If Kamala Harris keeps it up, not long. She does this all the time. She makes us better and as she does, she does her homework. As Joy Reid told us, it’s the dumbing down of America. The dummies here can’t see it, but Kamala Harris can because she’s done the work. Here she was on Monday talking to kids at the National Museum of African American History.
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KAMALA HARRIS: Today is a day to celebrate the principle of freedom, and think about it in terms of the context of history knowing that Black people in America were not free for 400 years of slavery.
Okay. So again, there are a couple of different ways to assess that claim. The old us before we were reborn and since we’re dealing in clichés now, we’re just going to compare ourselves to a phoenix, before we rose from the ashes anew, the old us would have said, “Wait a second, Kamala Harris, African-Americans weren’t actually enslaved for 400 years in this country. That’s not true.” But we would have missed the point.
So, what happened here is that Kamala Harris, before her talk, Googled “How long was there slavery in America?” And she saw that it had been 400 years since slavery began in America, which is true, but she forgot to subtract the years since the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s actually fewer than 400, about 150 years fewer than 400, which would put us around 250, but whatever. The point is, that’s not her fault. It’s Google’s fault for not doing the subtraction for her. Talk about falling short of the promise of the Internet. Who runs Google? Hmm. Joy Reid anyone? White men.
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So, there’s a lot of White supremacy in Palo Alto, California, as Google has already admitted. Not convinced yet? Well, then you’re just a bad person and you’re also jealous. You know what you’re jealous of above all? Not just the brilliance, not just the tenacity. You’re jealous of “Kamala” or “Kamala”. Doesn’t matter. You’re jealous of her joy.
JOY REID: What did you think when you watched that hearing?
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KAMALA HARRIS: I will tell you, Joy, I experienced great joy when I watched this brilliant, phenomenal, Black woman jurist be so smart, and I watched that with incredible joy because it was just brilliance being displayed for the entire country to see, and I cannot wait to see it. That will only be matched by the joy that I experience when I see her take the oath to be the next justice on the United States Supreme Court.
Not just brilliant, but also phenomenal.
So, ask yourself and be totally honest and put the thesaurus away, how many synonyms could you come up with in a row extemporaneously? Just top your head. Not just brilliant, but phenomenal. Could you do that? Oh, no, you couldn’t. And by the way, you don’t have her joy. Maybe that’s why you don’t like her. We don’t know. We can only tell you about our journey.