Thursday on MSNBC’s post-Democratic candidates’ debate coverage, anchor Chris Matthews asked Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) how she managed not to hate white people after experiences with racial discrimination as a child.
Partial transcript as follows:
MATTHEWS: And the picture tonight we saw you turn to him, look him in the eye in almost a way that a prosecutor has to point a finger at a defendant and say you did these things. it was very dramatic.
HARRIS: Well, I mean it .I felt that. I felt that. Look, going back to when I was a young girl I mean everything I said on that stage is the truth. U grew up where the kid next door said she couldn’t play with us anymore because we were black.
MATTHEWS: Do you feel that still? Do you feel that memory?
HARRIS: Of course I do. It’s the memory of a child who felt pain. I mean I have gotten beyond it obviously, and i didn’t let it cripple me. But it is a — that a child feels based on a fact that these issues are real in our country and we have to speak truth about it. And so that’s what I was attempting to do is speak the truth and in a way that is also ability hopefully conveying that the consequences are not only about what is wrong morally and legally with a perspective that is about segregation, as an example. But the consequences are also very painful emotionally. There was a young woman who came up to me after the debate and said I’m glad you brought that up because I was also blessed and it was also hurtful for me to hear those comments. So that’s really important to people of all backgrounds and ethnicities.
MATTHEWS: I don’t like the word race, I like ethnicities. How did you come out of that and not have hatred towards white people generally? You talked about being a kid and having other kids being kept off as friends because their parents looked at you as someone else.
HARRIS: Well most Americans do not conduct themselves that way, and most parents don’t conduct themselves that way. So there was no need to create a broad application because of that one experience, but we cannot deny that there are many children, black children in America who have had that experience. Children of color who have had that experience be they Latino, Asian or black. That has happened in America.
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