by Nat Helms
Kamala Harris, a 55-year-old career prosecutor who plans to become our next vice president, didn’t have to wait long to be attacked by Donald Trump and his band of misogynist racists.
On Thursday, Trump was unwilling to refute baseless reports that Harris, of Indian and Jamaican descent, is not an American citizen despite irrefutable evidence she was born in Oakland, Calif.
Trump apparently was informed that some Facebook users are circulating a meme that suggests Harris was not born in the U.S. The memes began appearing when Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was narrowing his list for a running mate, the Associated Press reported.
Biden’s decision to name Harris, California’s junior senator, as his running mate after vetting 11 disparate female candidates wasn’t an accident. Harris is tough. She has spent much of her life putting bad people in jail and letting out others who didn’t need to be there.
In the process, she endured plenty of body blows from disenfranchised African-Americans, distraught Republicans, white supremacists, neglected Latinos and a Roman Catholic men’s organization that claims Harris, a Baptist, attacked the Knights of Columbus fraternal organization because she hates Catholics.
Biden, a devout, transparent Catholic who often relates how much his religious faith has helped him endure several terrible personal tragedies, says Harris is everything he wants and needs in a vice president. He said she is totally equipped to carry on the nation’s business that Biden began during two terms as President Barack Obama’s VP, dear friend and confidant.
The oddsmakers have Harris being Biden’s heavy in the election process. He needs someone who knows how to be ruthless and where to drop a hammer for the best effect. She certainly learned how while being a successful prosecutor from 1990 until she was elected to the U.S. Senate. If Harris had her way, it is likely impeached President Donald Trump would already be in federal stir with his new best friend Bubba.
Kamala Devi Harris was born in Oakland in October 1964, a little more than a mile from the city hall where she symbolically threw her hat in the ring almost 18 months ago to be the Democratic candidate for president of the United States.
Her mother was an Indian immigrant, and her father was Jamaican. They met at the University of California, Berkeley, while pursuing graduate degrees and shared a passion for the civil rights movement, which was active on campus. They divorced when Kamala was 7 and went their separate ways.
Being a child from a broken home in Oakland and attending a crumbling elementary school, Harris was scooped up in the first great experiment to provide equal facilities and opportunities to impoverished children living on the hard streets of broken down Oakland.
Harris says she was put aboard the “red rooster” school bus every weekday morning for her daily round trip trek from Berkeley’s working-class badlands to Thousand Oaks Elementary School in affluent north Berkeley Hills. The radical idea was voluntarily paid for by the Berkeley city government with local taxpayer funds.
Harris eventually left Berkeley’s busing program behind, but not before she says she benefited from rubbing shoulders with all races and all social castes in her daily travels. Harris was profoundly affected by her busing experience. In the very first Democratic presidential debate last year, she waylaid Biden for his past opposition to federally mandated busing to desegregate public schools. Harris called the issue “personal.”
When she was 11, her mother moved Kamala and her sister Maya to Montreal, Canada, where she had obtained employment at a university. All things considered, Harris could not have earned better liberal credentials growing up hard in Oakland than if her early life had been contrived. She remained in Montreal through high school, returning to the U.S. to go to Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Harris never looked back after she graduated from Howard with a dual degree in political science and economics. In 1989, she graduated from the UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, choosing to be a professional prosecutor. She subsequently joined the Alameda County district attorney’s office in 1990, serving there eight years in the shadow of the volatile U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. As an Alameda County deputy district attorney, she prosecuted gang-bangers, drug dealers and sexual predators.
After Alameda County, Harris jumped into high cotton on the other side of San Francisco Bay, intent on cultivating “important” people in San Francisco who could one day help her. She must have done a lot right. By 2004, Harris was the district attorney of San Francisco, a position she held from 2004 to 2011. Politico says that during her first three years as district attorney, San Francisco’s conviction rate jumped from 52 to 67 percent. Her measurable effectiveness earned her almost as much enmity as it did accolades.
In 2011, Harris was elected attorney general of California in a race she won by less than a 1 percent margin — the first female and first African-American to hold the position. In 2017, Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate, the position she gets to keep in suspension while she goes gunning for Trumpites.
One thing Harris certainly doesn’t lack is spice. Whether her youthful past will come back to haunt her is already being answered. She admits to most of the human foibles she is accused of. Harris has already proven she can handle down and dirty.
Her first moments of notoriety arrived along with a present of political patronage from her then powerful boyfriend Willie Brown, at the time the Democratic Speaker of the California Assembly. Harris was 30, and he was three decades her senior when he appointed her in 1994 to highly paid positions with the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and the California Medical Assistance Commission. Harris took a leave of absence from her prosecutor job to serve in the positions.
On Jan. 26, 2019, Brown wrote a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle acknowledging that he helped Harris boost her career:
“Yes, we dated. It was more than 20 years ago. Yes, I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was Assembly speaker. And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco. I have also helped the careers of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a host of other politicians.”
Brown, who was not without his moments of scandal, claims Harris reciprocated while still the California attorney general by threatening to bust him for jaywalking or anything else illegal he did as long as she was the California AG. It made an impression on Brown, now an 86-year old former politician.
Last week, Brown advised Harris to “politely decline” if Biden offered her second fiddle on the Democratic ticket. He gave this advice in an opinion article for The San Francisco Chronicle. Brown a former San Francisco mayor, said that the vice presidency is a “dead end” and “not the job she should go for.”
Harris declined to comment.
Her Republican critics started attacking her political style and personal acumen while she was still finding her office in the Senate building. Harris makes weak men nervous because she is stronger and meaner than they are. She can strip flesh from bones with her rapid-fire style of inquisition.
The Republicans are claiming that while Harris was running the California Department of Justice, she refused to get involved in the political battles always taking place in the state legislature. It seems like a smart plan to most people. One example mentioned was a bill that would have required her office to investigate police shootings. She did not take a formal position despite saying it would be bad policy. The bill died.
Her proponents claim Harris was focused on seeking to reconcile the competing demands of police and civil rights groups without inflaming either side. As is often the case, staying on the fence left her open to criticism, that she didn’t do enough to limit police use of lethal force. There was another proposal to force police departments to gather data on the ethnicity and race of the civilians they stop. Harris also declined to take a position. The bill never passed, the Los Angeles Times reported.
All of that is well and good, inspiring even, but it means nothing if Harris doesn’t strap on some big guns and go after the Republicans the way she has torn into Brett Kavanaugh, whom she brought to tears when he was a Supreme Court nominee, and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr.
Trump was quick to criticize Harris as being “extraordinarily nasty” during the confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh.
“She was nasty to a level that was just a horrible thing … the way she treated now Justice Kavanaugh, and I won’t forget that soon,” Trump whined miserably on Tuesday afternoon.
Kavanaugh’s tears went viral on social media after Harris made the future justice weep, making her the undisputed bad ass on the Democratic ticket. Biden should waste no time turning her loose on Trump and his lackeys