Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris almost brought herself to tears when she hit back at former Vice President Joe Biden about school busing during Thursday’s Democratic 2020 debate.
In an emotional exchange, Sen. Kamala Harris challenged Joe Biden’s stance on busing to desegregate public schools during the 1970s, telling the former vice president that she was bused as a child two decades after the Brown v. Board decision to end the separate but equal policy in the American education system.
Harris told Biden on Thursday that she did not believe he is a racist, but that his recollection of working with segregationist senators a generation ago in discussing partisan gridlock in Washington today was “hurtful.”
“I will say also that in this campaign, we’ve also heard and I’m going to now direct this at Vice President Biden, I do not believe you are a racist,” Harris said Thursday. “And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground, but I also believe and it is personal and it was actually hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputation 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,” according to Daily Caller.
“And you know there was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bussed to school every day. And that little girl was me,” Harris continued as she began to get emotional.
Biden said Harris was mischaracterizing his position. Harris asked Biden, “Do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America?”
Biden said he didn’t oppose busing but federal intervention in the issue. Harris shot back: “There are moments in history where states fail to support the civil rights of people.”
Includes the report from The Associated Press.