By Rosetta Miller Perry
In today’s right-wing media universe, racist attacks against Vice-President Kamala Harris are a regular occurrence. If you believe the rhetoric of such outlets as the New York Post, the Vice President at best is unable to properly communicate complex issues to the public, a fancy way of saying she’s dumb.
Keep in mind they are maligning a woman who’s not only a graduate of Howard and the University of California, Hastings College of the law, but a former state attorney general and US senator. But many of the same people who shamelessly excuse every idiotic comment and lie that comes out of former President Donald Trump’s mouth repeatedly attack and demean a woman whose career and devotion to public service far outweighs anything any of them have or will do.
The latest right-wing cheap shot came from the New York Post and assorted other right-wing racist jerks after Harris appeared last week on a syndicated radio program called “Morning Hustle.” What got this crew steamed was her response to a question asked by one of the hosts to explain the Ukraine/Russia conflict in layman’s terms.
Harris responded in this manner, saying “So, Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia,” she continued. “Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine. So, basically, that’s wrong, and it goes against everything that we stand for.”
According to the right-wing mob her answer insulted the American people and again showed her inability to master complicated foreign affairs issues. Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel described Harris’ statement as “terrifying.”
“She just has a real inability to talk normally to [people],” Mandel noted on Twitter. “Layman’s terms doesn’t mean ‘assume the audience has never heard of Russia.’”
“Layman’s terms just means don’t answer ‘the parallel trends of NATO enlargement and post-Soviet de-nuclearization in the 90s really set us on the path to the failed Minsk Agreement,’” he went on. “You may use, without defining, words such as ‘Russia.’”
“Sounds like me reading off notecards in 5th grade,” cracked GOP campaign consultant Nathan Wurtzel.
Former Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway called Harris’ statement “embarrassing” and added, “No wonder staffers smarter than her have quit.” “As I’ve said before: Harris’ answers to substantive questions always sound like she’s doing a book report on a book she hasn’t read,” tweeted conservative commentator and media critic AG Hamilton.
When you read these comments, they give you an insight into the right-wing mind. To them, Kamala Harris is an inferior lightweight, some Black woman out of her league. Being a former attorney general and senator means nothing in their world. The thing that counts most is to them she represents another Black. person in a position of power they don’t deserve.
What makes all this criticism both absurd and racist is that these same people praise the barely literate rhetoric of Donald Trump every day, overlook his constant lies, ignore the wealth of accusations about his moral conduct, and excuse his multiple business failures. They never talk about the abject failures of his administration, his involvement in an attempted coup, or his general unwillingness to do anything other than constantly claim he won an election that he lost by millions of votes.
Vice President Harris did exactly what she was asked to do, provide a simple explanation of a complex problem. That idiot yammering on about NATO and post-Soviet de-nuclearization is doing precisely what was NOT asked, offering a bunch of academic drivel that only historical experts on the Cold War either know or care about, and certainly not the way to present the issue to a national radio audience. It’s also a hardcore right-wing view of the world, and certainly not a unanimously proven or historical assessment.
But like so many “conservatives,” these people are nowhere near as smart as they think they are, and their racism isn’t hard to identify, despite it being hidden within what they think is lofty rhetoric. Vice President Kamala Harris on her worse day is far smarter on this and any other issue than any of this crowd, and fortunately all they can do is spew more racist propaganda to their followers.