MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked Kamala Harris how she does not have “hatred towards white people” after she claimed to have been one of the first groups of black children in California to be bused to schools to enforce desegregation.
During Thursday night’s Democratic primary debate, Harris confronted former Vice President Joe Biden about his boasting of working with two segregationists during his career in the senate.
“I do not believe you are a racist. And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground,” Harris said. “But 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 went on to tell a story about her childhood, saying “there was little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day — and that little girl was me.”
During her post-debate interview in the spin room in Miami, Matthews asked her about the story of her childhood — and how she doesn’t hate white people.
“I have a great deal of respect for Joe Biden,” Harris told MSNBC. “I do not believe he’s a racist but his perspective on those [segregationist] senators was something that was hurtful and it had consequences.”
“How did you come out of that and not have hatred towards white people, generally?” Matthews asked.
“Most Americans do not conduct themselves that way, and most parents don’t conduct themselves that way,” Harris responded. “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.”