Kamala Harris closed out the third night of the Democratic National Convention with a speech officially accepting her nomination as the party’s vice presidential nominee. With it, she became the first Black woman and South Asian woman to be nominated on a major party’s presidential ticket.
Harris dedicated her historic remarks to her late mother, breast cancer researcher Shyamala Gopalan Harris, and spoke about her experiences growing up in a Black and Indian family. “My mother taught me that service to others gives life purpose and meaning,” Harris said. “And oh, how I wish she were here tonight.”
Harris—who was nominated in a stirring tribute from her sister Maya Harris, niece Meena Harris, and stepdaughter Ella Emhoff—described President Trump as “a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons,” saying that his “failure of leadership has cost lives and livelihoods.”
She also addressed the current state of the country, with over 170,000 lives lost to COVID-19. “We’re at an inflection point,” she said. “The constant chaos leaves us adrift. The incompetence makes us feel afraid. The callousness makes us feel alone. It’s a lot. And here’s the thing: We can do better and deserve so much more.”
She touched on a number of other issues plaguing the U.S. today, like police brutality, job loss, high maternal mortality rates, and racial injustice. “There is no vaccine for racism,” she said. “We have got to do the work.”
Kamala Harris’ speech comes two nights after Michelle Obama—wearing an iconic “vote” necklace—described President Trump as “the wrong president for our country.” Obama explained: “He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is.”
Harris also appeared at the start of tonight’s convention to offer some short comments about voter suppression—and how we can beat it. “When we vote, things change,” she said. “When we vote, things get better. When we vote, we address the need for all people to be treated with dignity and respect in this country.”