Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) told supporters at a drive-in rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday evening to “vote to honor the ancestors.”
Harris was not referring to the Founding Fathers of the country, nor to her own literal ancestors, who are from India and Jamaica (and apparently included slave owners, according to her father, Prof. Donald Harris).
Rather, Sen. Harris was referring to those who had struggled for the right to vote in the past:
One [reason to vote] is to honor the ancestors. Honor the ancestors. You know, this year we lost a great American hero, Congressman John Lewis. John Lewis shed his blood fighting — good trouble — shed his blood on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, for the right for folks to vote, right? For the right for black Americans to vote when black Americans were being denied the right to vote. John Lewis understood that was a civil rights issue, that was an issue about a statement about who we are as a county, which is why, in John Lewis’s life, he also was one of the first in line to fight for marriage equality. Why John Lewis was one of the first in line to fight for immigrant rights. Because he understood, this is about civil rights. And he paid a price for that by shedding his blood. So let’s honor the ancestors, let’s honor the ancestors, when we just this year celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Let’s honor hose suffragettes, who, in their white, marched and shouted and fought and dared anyone to tell them they were less than equal. And let’s also, speaking truth, remember history — that black women, however, were not allowed to vote until 1965. But let’s honor the ancestors, understanding it is our responsibility to take on what they fought for us to have as a right.
Harris spoke in Phoenix after a stop in Tucson, where she told a crowd of about 100 that she and former Vice President Joe Biden sought to bring about a “long-overdue reckoning on racial injustice in America.”
Black women were denied the right to vote in many Southern states under restrictive and racially discriminatory eligibility requirements until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Some black women did vote after 1920, however, when and where they could, often overcoming significant obstacles to do so.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.