A white man interrupts a woman of color while she’s speaking about the gender pay gap. Sounds like a setup from The Onion, right? Somehow, it’s real.
On Saturday afternoon, Senator Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California and 2020 presidential hopeful, participated in MoveOn’s “Big Ideas Forum” in San Fransisco. About ten minutes into her speech, moderator Stephanie Valencia asked Harris how she would approach ending the gender pay gap. Wonderful and important, right?
To the white man who jumped onto the stage, who literally grabbed Harris’ microphone, it apparently isn’t big or important. He said to the audience, “We were protesting just a few minutes ago asking for your attention to a much bigger idea…” which is so out of touch in context, it’s actually stunning.
He actually, literally inserted himself into someone else’s stage and speaking time to say he had a “much bigger idea” than ending pay inequality. Yikes.
Moderator Karine Jean-Pierre jumped between the protestor and Harris and tried to intervene. Harris appeared calm when he stole the mic from her and then exited the stage. As the senator exited, security lept onto the stage. The protestor resisted, and Douglas Emhoff (Harris’ husband) joined the stage and took the microphone from him.
Total props to Karine Jean-Pierre @K_JeanPierre for physically putting herself between Kamala Harris and that guy who rushed the stage tonight. In these scary times, events need better security than this. But wow did Karine step up in the moment. https://t.co/Z24ScYOjWe
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) June 2, 2019
A bunch of us, all Muslim and brown folks, right now discussing what would happen to us if we were this Loser Bro who bum rushed the stage and grabbed the mic from @KamalaHarris, a Senaror and Pres candidate? Answers range from death to being tased to jail to beat down. Thoughts?
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) June 2, 2019
The failure of security to guard @KamalaHarris in this instance is one topic.
The privilege of this man to think that whatever he had to say was so important that it was appropriate for him to hop on stage is another.
— Matt Rogers 🎙 (@Politidope) June 2, 2019
The petite, fierce woman who got between @KamalaHarris and the loon much bigger then both of them, is @K_JeanPierre. In a Kamala Administration, put that woman charge of Homeland Security! She could do job far better than that Nielsen lady. Karinne has a heart. #BlackGirlMagic https://t.co/Cyd3DuqBl4
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) June 2, 2019
This is patriarchy embodied. A white man runs up on stage UNINVITED, steals the mic from a black woman who is ANSWERING A QUESTION ABOUT THE GENDER PAY GAP, and says he has a “much bigger idea.” Masterful handling of this shameful behavior by @K_JeanPierre and @KamalaHarris. https://t.co/JETBlFbcEm
— Lauren Rankin (@laurenarankin) June 2, 2019
Next time someone asks me what I mean when I say I wish I knew how to walk through the world with the unearned confidence of a mediocre white man, I'll show them this clip.
— Megan McEwen (@mamaluna) June 1, 2019
Here’s a clip from her actual dialogue, before she was so rudely interrupted:
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) June 2, 2019
And here’s a clip of his interruption, courtesy of YouTube:
And if you’d like to read more about Harris’ proposal to end the pay gap, check it out here.