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Kamala Harris: Black Americans have been 'disproportionately harmed' by Trump

Kamala Harris: Black Americans have been 'disproportionately harmed' by Trump
© Hill.TV

Vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden-Harris team unveils inauguration playlist Trump approval rating relatively unchanged in wake of Capitol rioting: NBC News poll Harris to resign from Senate seat on Monday MORE (D-Calif.) implored fellow African Americans to "do the right thing" and vote for her and presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFear of insider attack prompts additional FBI screening of National Guard troops: AP Iran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries MORE this November, saying President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE has done more to hurt Blacks than any other group of citizens in the country. 

"The Black community understands just how critical this election is — because we are living the consequences of the last election every day. When it comes to nearly every issue that affects our lives, we have been disproportionately harmed by President Donald Trump and the failures of his administration," Harris wrote in an op-ed published Friday in the Philadelphia Tribune, one of the oldest continuously published Black newspapers in the country. "Make no mistake — our plans are achievable. But first, we need to vote. And we need to vote early." 

Harris cited statistics proving minorities have been more harshly effected by the coronavirus, contracting the disease at a higher rate and dying more than other ethnic groups. Other studies have shown that Black-owned businesses and African American households have been more adversely effected by lockdown measures than any other group. 

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"And as Joe always reminds us, returning to the status quo isn’t good enough — we need to build back better," she wrote. "A Biden-Harris administration will create more jobs by investing in the industries that make our economy strong, including infrastructure, clean energy, manufacturing and care work — and we will embed racial justice into the core of our agenda."

The senator from California invoked the death of George Floyd and the subsequent demands for social justice displayed in city streets across America as a direct result of Trump's rhetoric on race and what he calls a "law and order" approach to governance. 

"For centuries, our ancestors fought for causes bigger than themselves — first for their freedom, and then for the right of all people to participate in our democracy," Harris said. "They understood that we all have an equal stake in our future — and we must have an equal say in determining its course. They understood that, in the words of our hero John LewisJohn LewisUrgency mounts for new voting rights bill Reporter's essay: Capitol attack was a community invasion, not just an insurrection Georgia House to consider replacing Confederate statue with statue of John Lewis MORE, “Democracy is not a state; it is an act.”

Trump has repeatedly said that he has done more for African Americans than any president in American history, citing passage of the First STEP Criminal Justice Reform Bill and an increase in federal funding to historically Black colleges. 

"To bring prosperity to our forgotten inner cities, we worked hard to pass historic criminal justice reform, prison reform, opportunity zones, the long-term funding of historically black colleges and universities, and, before the China virus came in, produced the best unemployment numbers for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans ever recorded," Trump said last month at the Republican National Convention.

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"I have done more for the African-American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president," he continued. "I have done more in three years for the Black community than Joe Biden has done in 47 years—and when I'm reelected, the best is yet to come!"

Harris and Biden have accused Trump and his allies of trying to suppress the vote in minority communities by casting doubt on vote-by-mail systems and misleading minority voters about the history of the Democratic party. 

"Now, it’s up to us to act. To participate. To protect the democracy for which they sacrificed. So, let’s do right by them. Let’s do right by each other," she said. "Let's vote."