Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Kamala Harris did not wait for moderators to bring up segregation at Thursday night’s primary debate. Harris confronted former-Vice President Joe Biden about his spotty record of supporting Black people.
Harris repeatedly went over her allotted time to confront Biden about his recent comments about missing working with racist, segregationist senators and opposing federally mandated busing in the 1970s.
“I do not believe you are a racist and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground. But I also believe — and it’s personal and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country,” Harris said.
“It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. That little girl was me. So I will tell you that on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly.”
Biden did not have a solid rebuttal nor did he take a moment to acknowledge that his policy decisions and support of racists had an impact on Harris’ life and millions of other Black Americans. Biden also didn’t go until his time was up, although he pretended to.
“It’s a mischaracterization of my position across the board. I did not praise racists. The fact is that, in terms of busing, the busing, I never — you would have been able to go to school the same exact way because it was a local decision made by your city council,” Biden said.
“I supported the ERA from the very beginning. I’m the guy that extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years… I’ve also argued very strongly that we, in fact, deal with the notion of denying people access to the ballot box. I agree that everybody, once they, in fact — anyway, my time is up. I’m sorry.”
This morning the media world is feeding off of Harris’ energy and Biden’s lack of a real response. Perhaps Stephen Colbert said it best on a special live edition of CBS’ “The Late Show”.
“I believe in global warming because Kamala Harris was on fire.”