January 15, 2018

Harris at MLK Parade: “We are fighting for the best of who we are”

LOS ANGELES – Today, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris served as Grand Marshal for the 33rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Kingdom Day Parade in Los Angeles, honoring Dr. King’s 89th birthday and the 50thanniversary of his sacrifice in the name of civil and human rights. Harris also delivered remarks at the Kingdom Day Parade Breakfast, where she highlighted the importance of Dr. King’s legacy and how it lives on through all those who organize and fight to ensure freedom and justice for all today.

“Dr. King’s fight is about understanding we are all equal and saying that we will fight always for that beautiful premise,” Harris said. “He talked about a beloved community and what that looks like. He understood that a beloved community was a diverse community of equal people, of equal stature, that deserved and required equal dignity. And so our fight right now is a fight for all of that, but as we march out here let’s march with joy, let’s march with pride. Let’s understand that a fight for the ideals of who we are as a country is the essence, is the whole definition of what it means to be a patriot and this is a fight about love of country.”

Harris was joined in the 2.5-mile parade along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd with community leaders and organizations including Jack & Jill, Inc., Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Special Needs Network, Inc., Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute, Alpha Kappa Alpha, United Farm Workers, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, First AME Church of Los Angeles, Holman United Methodist Church, Christ Our Redeemer AME Church of Irvine, Rock Harbor Mission Viejo, City of Long Beach, Korean Resource Center, Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), UCLA Undergraduate Student Association Council, actresses from the Time’s Up movement, and LINKS INC.  

Key excerpts from Harris’ remarks:

  • “So certainly we know that we are living in dark times when we have supposed leaders who are thriving, who are politically profiting off of sowing hate and vision in our country. We know we are living in dark times when we look at whole communities of people who are being belittled and denigrated and insulted. We know we are living in dark times when we look at those Dreamers who received DACA status and then this Administration arbitrarily on September 5 said they were going to take it away, and that’s about 220 [thousand] Californians in addition to the almost 800,000 Dreamers around this country. We know these are dark times that require us to fight and march and resist.”
  • “In these moments where we are fighting for the best of who we are, because as a country we are better than this, I would suggest, and this is what I started to talk about and think about, I think we must be joyful warriors. Let’s be joyful warriors. Let us understand that we are not fighting against something, we are fighting for something. And Dr. King understood that.”
  • “2018 is our year. It is our year to get out there and own the words that Dr. King spoke and to understand he didn’t want us to reflect on him only in the rear-view mirror. He wanted us to know that everything he stood for, fought for, and died for would be internalized and embraced as a living document, those words he spoke, as a living spirit, as something that always understood who we are in terms of our better selves but we always have to fight for that. And that’s what we are doing now.” 

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Harris at the Kingdom Day Parade

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Harris delivering remarks at the Kingdom Day Parade Breakfast

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Harris at the Kingdom Day Parade Breakfast with renown civil rights leader, Dolores Huerta 

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