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Kamala Harris: Unbossed, Unbothered and Black AF

On this episode of democracy-ish, Danielle and Toure are feeling all the feels. But naturally, in the Trump era, there’s plenty to be pissed off about, too.

  • It’s official: Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s running mate. Cue the confetti and maybe a few happy tears, too.

  • Her historic nomination has profound significance, both for the 2020 race and history writ large. Can the Biden/Harris ticket transform voter turnout?

  • We can’t wait for Kamala to rhetorically eviscerate Trump on the campaign trail –– and (hopefully) prosecute his criminal ass afterward.


Finally! After months of anticipation and endless speculation, she has arrived.


Kamala Harris makes history as the first Black vice-presidential nominee and the first Black and Asian woman on a major-party ticket.


Our hosts thought through the issue last week and predicted Biden would choose Kamala. But they were unprepared for how it would feel when it actually happened.


“I’m more emotional than I thought I would be,” says Toure. “It's historic, it's powerful, it's inspiring. It's empowering.”


Danielle is reminded of immortal words of Shirley Chisholm –– the first black woman to be elected to Congress in 1968 and the first black woman to run for president in 1972 –– which can be applied so well to Kamala: She’s “unbossed and unbothered.”


For the first time in a long time, there’s something to celebrate. Now that we’ve got the ticket, what’s next?



Episode Highlights –– Kamala: Unbossed



Kamala’s nomination — a ‘stepping stone’ that gives us chills

Toure, who has known Kamala for many years, says she “has always seemed like one of those people who, if our plane was going down, I’d be happy to entrust with saving our lives.”


Moreover, the significance of her nomination is profound –– both now, in the summer of Black Lives Matter, and in the context of American history.


“It's thrilling to see this Black woman ascend so high,” he adds. “Not just because of the importance of Black women to the Democratic Party –– but because anybody who's moving through the world with their eyes open knows: in whatever institution, you see Black women rolling up their sleeves, being powerful leaders, making shit happen.”


He sees her nomination as a “stepping stone” toward an electrifying vision of the future. It’s hard not to fast-forward a few years and get the chills.


“Ten or 12 years ago, if I said, you'll see two black presidents in your lifetime, and they're both gonna be cool people you’d like to hang out with –– you would have been like, get the fuck out of here,” he tells Danielle.


“This is beyond my wildest imagination,” she replies. “In my lifetime, the potential of two?”



A true partnership with a ‘strong Black woman’

Danielle wrote about Kamala this week for more for Zora magazine.


“Zora Neale Hurston wrote, through her character in “When Their Eyes Were Watching God,” that ‘Black women are the mules of the world,’” she says. “It goes back to the trope of the ‘strong Black woman’: We can carry everything on our backs.”


Toure agrees: “We understand that Black women are the spines of our families and our communities, and are the strength by which we, as Black men, are able to do what we’re able to do.”


But the newly minted veep nominee isn’t just any Black woman. It’s Senator Kamala Harris, former Attorney General of the nation’s largest state justice department. And she was chosen from a field of qualified, brilliant women, including several other Black women.


Biden didn’t “pull what the fucking Republicans did with Sarah Palin –– just pick some woman out of some obscure-ass place and say, we can teach her these tricks. Biden was looking for a partnership,” Danielle says.



Turning up the turnout

Kamala adds some serious electoral-math heft to the ticket as well.


Steve Kornacki recently pointed out the difference between Democratic candidates who get 59 to 60% of Black voter turnout (John Kerry, Hillary Clinton) and candidates who