Harris said Trump uses hateful rhetoric to stir the pot.
“Let’s speak truth here today, this president isn’t trying to make America great, he’s trying to make America hate,” Harris said.
“He’s denigrated entire countries on the continent of Africa with foul language no president should speak,” she continued. “He’s attacked communities of color and leaders of color by name.”
Harris went further in her critiques by calling out media pundits who talk about “electability” in the Midwest, by overlooking “people in this room who helped build cities like Detroit,” a likely nod to majority Black populations in the region’s urban areas.
“There has been a lot of conversation by pundits about the electability and who can speak to the Midwest — and when they say that, they usually put the Midwest in a simplistic box and narrow narrative.”
There has been a lot of conversation about “electability” and “who can speak to the Midwest?” Too often their definition of the Midwest leaves people out. That is short-sighted. We cannot get dragged into simplistic narratives or yesterday’s politics. pic.twitter.com/fcG2PAF2iz
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 6, 2019
Harris also raised another issue of concern to voters who watched midterm elections play out with former gubernatorial candidates Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams losing close races: voter suppression.
“We need a new voting rights act in this country with automatic voter registration, Election Day as a national holiday. We need to fight back against Republicans who suppress our constitutional right to vote.”
Harris addressed the issue of arson attacks on African American churches, the gunning down of Black parishioners in Charleston, and mosque attacks as “domestic terrorism,” promising the following reforms.
“I’ll double the civil rights division and direct law enforcement to counter this extremism,” Harris told the crowd.
“I’ll hold social media platforms accountable for the hate infiltrating their platforms… And if you profit off hate… if you don’t police your platforms, we are going to hold you accountable.”
Tonight’s Detroit @NAACP speech was the biggest for @KamalaHarris so far and she owned it. She didn’t get weighted down on the aspirational talk that has consumed the primary, but she gave you something that would stick to your ribs.
— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) May 6, 2019
With 21 Democrats in the race for president, Harris has kept pace with the top of the pack generating fundraising dollars, press and endorsements.
But she and others still lag behind former vice president Joe Biden as a top voter choice of Democrats in the most recent CNN poll, which has him at 39%, Sanders at 14%, Buttigeg at 7% and Harris at 5%.
According to CNN, Sen. Harris leads that field of candidates at 23% when they were asked “which candidate they’d most like to hear more about.”
Watch Harris’ remarks below: