Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) challenged President Donald Trump from the pulpit at one of the nation’s oldest African-American churches on Sunday, accusing the commander-in-chief of carrying out “an assault on our deepest values” and “our commitment to equality, to fairness, and to justice.”
Speaking at the First Congregational Church of Atlanta, Harris — a potential Democratic contender for president in 2020 — said, “Racism is real in this country. Sexism is real in this country. Homophobia is real in this country. Antisemitism is real in this country.”
Prominent black leaders like Booker T. Washington and Bernice King have spoken at the church in the past.
The first-term senator also suggested there was a “systematic attempt to suppress the vote in America,” and, without mentioning “them” by name, referred to a court decision that said Republicans “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”
She added, “and when John Lewis said, this is a poll tax by another name, I could not agree more,” referring to one of several mechanisms implemented in the late 1800s to make it difficult for African Americans to vote.
Although Harris did not mention Trump by name throughout her sermon, she alluded to him through her rhetoric and suggested the president was “threatening” and “bullying” NFL players who refused to stand for the national anthem.
“Let’s speak the truth that when Americans demand recognition that their lives matter, or kneel to call attention to injustice, that that is an expression of free speech, protected by our Constitution, and they should not be threatened or bullied,” she said.
Harris again appeared to allude to President Trump when she said, “there are forces of hate and division trying to tear us apart,” adding, “Americans have so much more in common than what separates us.”