Democratic vice presidential hopeful Kamala Harris once called herself California’s “top cop.” Now, however, it seems the senator is trying to assign herself a new reputation.
According to Breitbart, Harris confirmed Sunday that she believes “we do have two systems of justice” in the U.S. — one for white Americans and one for Black Americans. But if that’s the case, isn’t Harris herself guilty for perpetuating (and capitalizing on) a corrupt system?
The “reality” of America?
Harris’ comments came on Sunday’s episode of CNN’s State of the Union. There, Harris told host Dana Bash that she thinks “[President] Donald Trump and Bill Barr are spending full time in a different reality,” Breitbart reported.
“The reality of America today is what we have seen over generations and, frankly, since our inception, which is we do have two systems of justice in America,” she added. According to Politico, Harris also said “most reasonable people who are paying attention to the facts” would agree “that there are racial disparities and a system that has engaged in racism.”
“But here is the thing that gives me a sense of optimism and a sense of belief in who we are as a nation,” she noted. “We also have an ideal that is inscribed in marble on a Supreme Court that we all hold dear, which is that ideal of equal justice under law.”
According to Breitbart, Harris went on to talk about criminal justice reforms she and former Vice President Joe Biden want to see enacted if elected, including a ban on the use of chokeholds by law enforcement.
“There are huge disparities in our country based on race,” Harris added. “And it does us no good if we want to solve those disparities to pretend they don’t exist.”
What Harris did not bring up, of course, was her record as a San Francisco district attorney and, later, attorney general of America’s most populated state. Harris has faced criticism in the past for her prosecutorial record; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) famously drew attention to it during a Democratic presidential primary debate last year.
“I’m concerned about this record of Senator Harris,” Gabbard said in August of 2019, according to Business Insider. “She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.”
Gabbard also accused Harris of blocking “evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row.”
“She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California, and she fought to keep cash bail system in place that impacts poor people in the worst kind of way,” the congresswoman said.
Gabbard then turned to Harris directly: “When you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in these people’s lives, you did not and worse yet in the case of those who are on death row, you blocked evidence from being revealed that would have freed them until you were forced to do so.” How can Harris come back from that?