Vice President Kamala Harris participated in a “fireside chat” with actress Keke Palmer at the Essence Festival of Culture Saturday, where she spoke on important issues pertaining to women and the Black community.
Speaking on the “outrageous” decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — the law protecting the right for women to have an abortion — Harris shared her thoughts on the ruling’s implications and its effect on other personal topics like contraception and same-sex marriage.
“What else might be vulnerable that we otherwise thought was settled law?” she questioned.
She called the decision a “serious matter” — a phrase applauded by those in the audience a part of the Black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, of which Harris is a member. “It requires all of us to speak up, speak out and to be active,” Harris said. She added, “We have to recognize we’re a nation that was founded on certain principles that are grounded in the concept of freedom and liberty.”
Remembering the words of Coretta Scott King Harris said, “The fight for civil rights — which is the fight for freedom, the fight for liberty, the fight for justice — the fight for civil rights must be fought and won with each generation.”
In relation to the continued fight for freedom in America, Harris suggested two key points from King’s words: “The very nature of these fights is that whatever we gain, they will not necessarily be permanent.” And that, “you have to be vigilant.”
“Don’t be overwhelmed to the point that we are disheartened and we think that we can’t do anything about it,” she said. “It’s the nature of it that these gains will not be made. And so we must be vigilant and we must remember we are always going to have to fight to maintain these rights.”
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