BE Exclusive: Kamala Harris on What a Joe Biden Presidency Means for Black America
After three-and-a-half years of living in Donald Trump’s America, Sen. Kamala Harris is doing all she can to prevent the reality TV star from spending another four years in the White House. According to Harris, a top contender on Joe Biden’s shortlist of potential running mates, the country might not be able to recover from “irreparable” damage should President Trump get reelected in November.
During an interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE, the California senator pitched Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan for economic recovery and racial equality, an all-encompassing proposal to stimulate the economy and level the playing field for communities of color. Under the plan, $150 billion would be invested in minority businesses, minimum wage would be raised to $15 an hour, cash bail would be eliminated, and formerly incarcerated people would be provided temporary housing upon release from prison.
“This plan that Joe Biden is offering around dealing with racial disparity in the economy is a very important step because he is his acknowledging that racial equities have to be a part of the priority.”
Harris specifically highlighted parts of his plan that would cancel $10,000 of student loan debt for borrowers with federal student loans and make both public colleges and private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) tuition-free for families making up to $125,000 a year.
“Ninety percent of black students take out student loans. And what he is proposing as part of his ‘Build Back Better’ plan is that for families who have an income of $125,000 or less, they will be able to attend HBCUs, including private HBCUs and public universities and colleges, tuition-free,” said the Howard University grad.
Harris also pointed out that Biden’s plan offers “$15,000 refundable tax credit for first-time homebuyers,” which, she says, will help families build generational wealth. “When we look at the rates of homeownership within the black community, we know that we are still looking at great disparities.”
Despite being criticized for calling Donald Trump the “first” racist president and joking that “you ain’t Black” if you vote for Trump, Harris says she is doing all she can to help Biden’s campaign, arguing that the difference between the Trump administration and a Biden presidency is “night and day.”
“I am really looking forward to doing everything I can in whatever capacity to help Joe Biden be elected the next president of the United States,” she said. “This one without any question is the most important election of our lifetime.”
Harris went on to list a number of examples where Trump’s policies and rhetoric have hurt Americans and created division, starting with his handling of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over 4 million people have contracted the virus,” she said. “African Americans and Latinos are three times as likely to contract the virus and are twice as likely to die from it. And Donald Trump has his attorney general, who, in my opinion, is his personal lawyer, Bill Barr, in court right now trying to get rid of The Affordable Care Act that Barack Obama together with Joe Biden instituted that brought health care to tens of millions of people who didn’t happen. Let’s start there.”
The senator went on to note when the president referred to African and Caribbean nations as “s—thole countries,” called white supremacists “very fine people,” and called climate change a “hoax.”
“I do fear that if Donald Trump is reelected that the damage that he has done may be irreparable.”
Watch Sen. Kamala Harris’ full interview on The New Norm With Selena Hill below.