Sheila Jackson Lee: Harris has ‘taken us to the mountaintop’ in Martin Luther King Jr.’s sermon

Greg Nash

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who was selected as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, has “taken us to the mountaintop” that Martin Luther King Jr. mentioned in his final sermon.

Jackson Lee told CNN’s Anderson Cooper late Tuesday that history was made when the former vice president picked Harris, who will be the first woman of color to run on a major party’s ticket. She also called it an “enormously important moment.”

“There was much reflection, but a lot of tears and a lot of reflection on the history of what we’re making today,” the Texas Democrat said on “AC360.” “What I would say is that so many women have tried to climb that mountaintop that Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of.”

“I think today it is evident there is an affirmation not only of Black women, but women of southeast Asia, women of color, that they have finally reached a status where they are affirmed in this nation as equal partners, and this mountain that we’ve all been trying to climb, Kamala has now taken us to the mountaintop,” she added. 

The Texas Democrat added that Biden’s choice was based on Harris’s “own history and talent” noting she was California attorney general, a senator and a 2020 presidential candidate. 

“It has now been affirmed that women can lead,” Jackson Lee said.

King mentioned the “mountaintop” in his last sermon, which was delivered the day before his assassination in 1968. 

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind,” King said in the sermon, CNN noted

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now,” he continued. “I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.”

Washington, D.C., Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) also told Cooper that Biden “threw out the old playbook” for presidential candidates choosing a running mate. 

“He wanted a new way to, quote, ‘balance … the ticket.’ He wanted to make history. And that’s what he has done,” she said. “We have had white women on the ticket. We have never had an African American woman.”

Norton also predicted that Harris’s addition to the ticket will inspire “excitement that the ticket needs.”

Tags 2020 election 2020 presidential election Biden running mate Black women Eleanor Holmes Norton Joe Biden Martin Luther King Jr. running mate Sheila Jackson Lee vice presidential pick

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