The Critique: Harris’s self-evident truth https://t.co/KaHp07WVAZ
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 23, 2021
The always insightful Robin Givhan, at the Washington Post:
… Harris was traveling with the president last week for what had been billed as a victory lap to mark the passage of the American Rescue Plan and to thank Georgia and its two Democratic senators, who had played such a determinative role in getting it passed. Harris and President Biden were also there to highlight the glories of science during a stop at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They did all of those things, but at the heart of their day trip was their intention to speak to the killings, just days before, of eight people — six of whom were Asian women.
Harris’s words were blunt and unembellished, as they so often were when she was a senator interrogating a witness. She didn’t mention thoughts and prayers, because as much as the vice president might sit and ponder the pain of those who lost loved ones and aim to lift these survivors up to God, the government is not church, and it will not be there to hold anyone’s hand in the lonely quiet of extended mourning. Thoughts and prayers have been given and received — year after year after year — and nothing much has changed.
Instead, when Harris stepped to the lectern at Emory University, she did so with a tone that sounded often angry, sometimes sad and occasionally exasperated. She laid out what happened in Atlanta and the surrounding community with clear-eyed specificity.
“Whatever the killer’s motive, these facts are clear: Six out of the eight people killed on Tuesday night were of Asian descent. Seven were women. The shootings took place in businesses owned by Asian Americans,” Harris said. “The shootings took place as violent hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans has risen dramatically over the last year and more.”…
“Racism is real in America, and it has always been,” Harris said. “Xenophobia is real in America and always has been. Sexism, too.”
This is the America that so often goes undiscussed in mixed company. It’s the America that people of color see and lament — often with wry, self-protective humor — to others who look like them. It’s the America that women know intimately, the one about which they educate and warn their daughters. It’s the America of recent immigrants whose hardship and halting English may belie their tenacity, intelligence and courage — traits for which they are hailed by their loved ones even as they are barely visible to others…