Kamala Harris delivered an emotional speech during Thursday night’s Democratic debate about having suffered as a little girl due to segregationist measures supported by senators that Joe Biden praised just recently.
Ripping into claims that he found it easier to work with fellow politicians who had opposing views back in his first Senate days (Biden was particularly referring to two well-known segregationists, Mississippi Senator James Eastland and South Carolina Senator Fritz Hollings), Harris told her rival that his statements had been especially “hurtful” to her, as she had to endure forced bussing when she was in school as a young girl.
As reported by The Daily Mail, she accused the former vice president of opposing federal intervention to desegregate the United States and end policies such as forced bussing, which he struggled to respond to despite knowing that he was most certainly going to be attacked for both his past and his latest nostalgic comments.
“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. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose bussing,” she stated.
“There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.”
Biden claimed it was not the U.S. Senate but instead Berkeley City Council who was responsible for implementing those measures but struggled to justify why he opposed federal government intervention back in the day. He brought up his decades-long record on voting rights but ended up cutting his own speech halfway through when he threw his hands up in the air and said, “My time’s up. I’m sorry.”
Kamala Harris wasn’t the only one attacking Biden, as it would be expected considering he is the party front-runner for the time being, but she was the one who effectively brought the Democratic debate’s squabbling to an end when she stated that “America does not want to witness a food fight – they want to know how we’re going to put food on the table,” as per The Guardian.
Sen. Kamala Harris displayed her skills as a former prosecutor in challenging front-runner Joe Biden in Thursday’s Democratic debate https://t.co/huMOZLBN02— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) June 28, 2019
In what was the most poignant performance of the night, the California senator offered insightful responses to questions about immigration, income inequality, race relations, and health care. But one idea resonated among all other presidential hopefuls — that it is time for Biden to “pass the torch,” as Representative Eric Swalwell put it.