Vice President Joe Biden’s record on racial segregation was harshly criticized by Senator Kamala Harris during the second Dem Debate Thursday night.
As reported by the Huffington Post, Harris broke into a conversation about race by pointing out she was the only black woman on stage. She recounted discrimination she experienced growing up, then turned to Biden, who earlier this month fondly recalled collaborating with segregationists during his long Senate career.
Harris attack stated: “I do not believe you are a racist and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground. But I also believe — and it’s personal and 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. It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. That little girl was me. So I will tell you that on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously. We have to act swiftly.”
Biden responded saying: “I did not oppose busing in America. What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education. That’s what I opposed.”
He went on to defend his civil rights record as a senator, but ultimately opted not to use his full 30 seconds to respond.
Harris talked about her own experience attending public schools as a child and brought up Biden’s opposition to busing programs to integrate schools.
“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,” she said. “And that little girl was me.”
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 28, 2019
As a young senator in the early 1970s, Biden worked to oppose federal initiatives to use busing to integrate public schools in an effort to overcome decades of schooling and housing discrimination across the United States.
Biden said Harris had mischaracterized his career. “I did not praise racists,” he said. [Read More]
WATCH: Harris says she doesn't think Biden is a racist, but she talks directly to Biden about his having worked with segregationists on the issue of school busing. #DemDebate2 pic.twitter.com/Ytb2xvOhux
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 28, 2019