Things That Matter

Here Are Your Key Takeaways From The Vice Presidential Debate

The vice presidential debate was, well, an actual debate. Both Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence spoke on several real issues impacting American families. Unlike President Donald Trump’s performance at the presidential debate, the two vice presidential candidates maintained some civility and decorum while tackling the issues.

One of the biggest moments of the debate was Sen. Kamala Harris confronting Vice President Mike Pence about interrupting her.

Vice President Pence seemed to want to take a page out of President Trump’s playbook during the debate. VP Pence tried to interrupt the senator as she answered questions but Sen. Harris was not going to let him steamroll over her. Instead, she turned to him as he tried mansplaining things and let him know that, “I’m speaking.”

Women are celebrating Sen. Harris’ assertiveness when being talked over by a white man.

Sen. Harris arguably had one of the most difficult jobs on the debate stage. She has to be poised and assertive without falling into a perceived angry Black woman stereotype. Like most women in politics, and most other aspects of life, Sen. Harris’ job on the debate stage was more than debating and offering facts. This moment of her asserting herself and not letting VP Pence bulldoze her is something young girls need to see.

VP Pence tried to mislead the American people about the administration’s failed Covid response.

VP Pence was asked by the moderator about the staggering death toll of Covid-19 in the U.S. According to the numbers, more people have died in the U.S. per capita than in any other wealthy nation. VP Pence was unable to explain the disastrous outcome of the federal response that he led.

Instead of answering the question, VP Pence tried to shift the focus claiming that Sen. Harris was disparaging the American people who had sacrificed so much. Sen. Harris shot back that the American people have sacrificed more than they should have after the Trump administration lied about the seriousness of Covid-19 and let more than 210,000 people die.

Political opponents pointed out Pence’s urgency in dodging the questions.

Throughout the debate, Pence did little to sway American voters and distract from the Covid crisis. At times, Pence would use his time to speak on previous questions and disregarded the questions asked by Susan Page. At other times Pence tried to speak over Sen. Harris to deny her claims while adding little substance of his own.

Of course, the fly was the fan-favorite during the debate.

People were excited and distracted when a fly landed on VP Pence’s head during the debate. The fly stuck around to Pence’s head for a solid two minutes, which was the time limit for answering questions. Some people have pointed out that the fly showed a better adherence to the time limit rule than Pence did.

The common consensus is that Sen. Harris came out of the debate the winner.

The fact that Pence was unsuccessful in distracting or even remotely explaining the Covid crisis is a loss for the Trump/Pence campaign. Pence had a lot of work to do to overcome Trump’s poor debate performance on Sept. 29. Trump’s attacks on Biden’s family, especially Beau Biden’s drug addiction struggle, pushed uncertain voters farther away from the Trump/Pence ticket.

Oh, and Sen. Harris’ facial expressions have gone viral because they say so much more than words can.

We have all been given these faces when we acted up or lied to our moms. Tbh, seeing Sen. Harris’ faces was a kind of representation we didn’t know could even exist. It was subtle, poignant, and chilling.

READ: The First Presidential Debate Went Off The Rails Fast And The Internet Had Fun With It

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Biden/Harris Campaign Appeals To Latino Youths In New Ads Weeks Before Election

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Biden/Harris Campaign Appeals To Latino Youths In New Ads Weeks Before Election

Olivier Douliery / AFP via Getty Images

Politicians understand that courting a broad and diverse coalition of voters is the key to winning the election. That is what paved the way for the 2008 victory of President Barack Obama as well as the House and Senate during the same election. So far, early voting numbers for young voters are way higher than this point in the 2016 election.

The Biden/Harris campaign is going strong to secure the youth vote days before the election.

The youth vote is an elusive vote and has always been. Presiden Barack Obama successfully brought the youth vote out in 2008 and that led to a sweep by Democrats in the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives. The Biden/Harris campaign is hoping for a similar youth turnout in this election to secure their path to the White House.

Biden and Harris are hoping to turn out young Latino voters.

Latinos are a large electoral voting bloc in the 2020 elections. For the first time ever, the Latino vote outnumbers the Black vote. According to the Pew Research Center, there are 32 million eligible Latino voters and that accounts for 13 percent of all eligible voters. This is a major step into democracy for the Latino community.

Youth voters are currently turning out in early voting in record numbers.

In Florida, current early and absentee voting numbers are showing almost 100,000 more early and absentee youth voters than this time in the 2016 election. Some of the increase in participation in early voting among young voters is pandemic still raging in the U.S. There is also an enthusiasm among young voters to get out and vote.

The 2020 election is energizing similar numbers to the 2008 election between President Obama and Sen. John McCain.

According to polling, 63 percent of voters between 18-29 said they are definitely voting in the 2020 election. This is a major increase in voter participation in 2016 and 2018. The number of young people planning to vote this year is much greater than the 47 percent who said they would vote in 2016 and the 40 percent who planned to vote in 2018. Polling further found that 60 percent of young voters strongly favor Biden in the upcoming election.

There is a lot of appreciation for the young people who are turning up and voting for their future.

This is shaping up to be the most important elections in our lifetime. The rights of several marginalized communities are at stake and access to affordable healthcare is being threatened. In the midst of a pandemic, there is a legal challenge by the Trump administration against the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, that has become increasingly popular in recent years.

One of the most crucial parts of the ACA that would be erased if it is overturned is protections for those with pre-existing conditions. President Trump has often spoken about protecting those with pre-existing conditions but striking down the ACA would also eliminate those protections. There has been no plan to replace the ACA presented by the Trump administration or the Republican Party.

READ: Joe Biden Says ‘Healthcare is Not a Privilege, It’s a Right,’ Donald Trump and the GOP Disagree

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#MyNameIs: Twitter Hits Back At Republican Senator Who Mocked Kamala Harris’ Name

Things That Matter

#MyNameIs: Twitter Hits Back At Republican Senator Who Mocked Kamala Harris’ Name

Robyn Beck / Getty Images

How often have you had your name mispronounced? In the U.S., if you don’t have a Anglo-sounding name, so often people think it’s totally acceptable to not even attempt to pronounce it correctly.

Well, one GOP senator took that even further by deliberately mispronouncing Sen. Kamala Harris’ name at a recent Trump rally in Georgia. And his ‘flub’ which his team is terming it was welcomed with loud cheers by the audience who welcomed his ignorance.

After a Republican Senator mocked Kamala Harris’ name, Twitter is standing up to ignorance and racism.

#MyNameIs has been trending on Twitter since the weekend, after a Republican Senator mispronounced Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris’ name multiple times at a rally for President Trump. 

Following the blatantly insensitive and even racist ‘flub’ by Senator David Perdue (R-GA), who was speaking at a Trump rally in Macon, Georgia, many derided the act as race baiting. Twitter users, celebrities, and politicians rallied behind Harris by sharing empowering anecdotes about and meanings behind their own names, plus instances where people have mispronounced them.

Sen. Perdue – who has worked with Kamala Harris for years – mispronounced her name to loud cheers at a Trump rally.

Sen. Perdue – who has been Harris’ Senate colleague for more than three years – repeatedly mispronounced her name during the rally ahead of the president’s arrival. 

“But the most insidious thing that Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden are trying to perpetrate — and Bernie and others with them — and Kah-MAH-la, KAH-mah-la, Kah-MAH-la, Kamala-mala-mala, I don’t know, whatever,” he jeered, prompting laughter from rallygoers.

Perdue’s remarks drew instant backlash from fellow politicians and other users on social media — including his Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, who claimed his opponent’s mispronunciation of Sen. Harris’ name was a deliberate act of racism. 

It’s not the first time the Republican senator has come under fire over racial issues. In July, his campaign ran an ad on Facebook that featured Ossoff, who is Jewish, with an enlarged nose.

“This is the oldest, most obvious, least original anti-Semitic trope in history,” Ossoff tweeted at the time.

Perdue’s campaign said it was an “unintentional error that distorted the image.”

Many other politicians took to Twitter to explain the meaning behind their own names.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-5) took to Twitter in response to a tweet from fellow squad member Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17). In her tweet, Omar explains how her name is actually spelled with an ‘m’ but she prefers the ‘n’ sound. She goes on to explain that her name means ‘inspiration’ in Arabic and that her father named her Ilham in the hope that she would one day lead a life of service to others.

The original tweet from Rep. Khanna says that her name is Rohit, which means ‘bright light’ in Sanskrit.

Plenty of celebs also chimed in with their own personal stories.

Celebrities are coming together to share the meanings and origins behind their names as part of the #MyNameIs hashtag on Twitter.

Comedian and actor and activist Kal Penn explained that he decided to change his name from Kalpen, in the hopes that it would help him more easily get a job. In a jab at Sen. Perdue, he adds in that he’d be happy to offer the senator “some tips on finding a new one [job] of his own.”

Olympic athletes also felt moved to share their names.

Even Michelle Kwan, the record-setting Olympic ice skater, was called to share the origins of her name. Her full name, in Chinese pinyin, is pronounced ‘Guan Ying Shan’ and it means beautiful, strong, and smart.

She also calls out people for mocking ‘foreign sounding’ names and asks her followers to join her in voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Others pointed out the obvious – people of color shouldn’t have to adapt their names to make it easier for white people.

It’s a shame that we have to state the obvious but that’s exactly what many were having to do on Twitter – and so often in our everyday lives. One Twitter user named Zara Ahmed explained that her parents picked out a name that would be easily pronounced by non-Indian people. But she rightfully goes onto explain that it shouldn’t be POC who have to limit their cultural identities to make life easier for white people. 100%!

Harris has even released a video on how to properly pronounce her name.

Kamala Harris, who could become the country’s first black Indian-American vice president if she and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden are elected next month, has previously described how to pronounce her name, which means “lotus flower” – a sacred symbol in Asian cultures

Harris, who is running alongside Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, is the daughter of Shyamala Gopalan, who is from India, and Donald Harris, who is Jamaican. In 2010, she became the first Indian-American-Jamaican attorney general in California, and she was elected to the Senate in 2016. She also ran for president before dropping out of the primary race in late 2019.

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