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Harris pledges to fight for country's ideals in accepting VP nomination

Harris pledges to fight for country's ideals in accepting VP nomination
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisGOP sees immigration as path to regain power Senate confirms Gupta nomination in tight vote Earth Day 2021: New directions for US climate policy rhetoric MORE (D-Calif.) vowed on Wednesday to “realize the ideals” of the United States in a speech that alternated between biting attacks on President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: LeBron James's 'racist rants' are divisive, nasty North Carolina man accused of fraudulently obtaining .5M in PPP loans Biden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies MORE and biographical sketch of her own background as a historic vice presidential pick.

“Joe and I believe that we can build that beloved community. One that is strong and decent, just and kind. One in which we can all see ourselves," said Harris, who formally accepted her party's vice presidential nomination. 

“That’s the vision that our parents and grandparents fought for. The vision that made my own life possible. The vision that makes the American promise ... a promise worth fighting for," she continued.

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Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies Overnight Defense: Top general concerned about Afghan forces after US troops leave | Pentagon chief: Climate crisis 'existential' threat to US national security | Army conducts review after 4 Black soldiers harassed at Virginia IHOP Feds expect to charge scores more in connection to Capitol riot MORE picked Harris last week, and she is now the first Black woman and the first Asian American to join a major political party’s presidential ticket.

Her speech touched on the generations-long struggles over racial injustice and the ongoing threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking in Wilmington, Del., the California senator acknowledged the history-making nature of her candidacy and pledged to work with Biden toward “a vision of our nation as a beloved community, where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, no matter where we come from or who we love.”

Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, delivered a tough assessment of President Trump and his administration, describing a country overtaken by a sense of “chaos” and “incompetence” at the highest levels of government. 

She said that under Trump, the United States “feels distant” from its ideals, claiming that the country is at “an inflection point” in its history. 

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“The constant chaos leaves us adrift. The incompetence makes us feel afraid. The callousness makes us feel alone,” Harris said. “It’s a lot. And here’s the thing: We can do better and deserve so much more.”

She also acknowledged the disproportionate impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on people of color. 

“This virus has no eyes, and yet it knows exactly how we see each other — and how we treat each other,” Harris said. "And let’s be clear, there is no vaccine for racism. We’ve gotta do the work.”

Harris did not speak directly about the ongoing protests over racial injustice and police brutality that have spanned the summer. But she did mention the names of two of the Black Americans whose deaths at the hands of police officers helped ignite the protests — George Floyd and Breonna Taylor — vowing to work toward “equal justice under the law.”

“We’ve gotta do the work to fulfill that promise of equal justice under law,” Harris said. “Because, none of us are free until all of us are free.”

Harris’s remarks provided a more sober view of the presidential election than in 2016, when Democrats celebrated Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFrench-American Foundation selects new president with fundraising background Pelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro MORE as the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. While the California senator sought to make the case against Trump, she also noted that “the road ahead will not be easy.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.”