THE MSNBC commentator asked the California senator the question after the Democratic presidential debate.
Kamala Harris seemed to be taken aback by a question fielded to her following the Democratic presidential debate on Thursday.
During the debate, Harris confronted Joe Biden about a recent remark he gave at a fundraiser where he said he worked with segregationist senators John Eastland (D-Miss.) and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.) in the 1970s and 1980s.
“Vice President Biden, 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 I also believe — and it’s personal — it was actually 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 continued to criticize the former vice president and referenced the time he tried to prevent the Department of Education from enforcing school busing to integrate schools during the 1970s, using her own personal busing experience during the debate.
“That little girl was me,” Harris said. “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.”
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 28, 2019
Following the debate, Harris spoke with MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews about her calling out Biden.
“I have a great deal of respect for Joe Biden,” Harris said. “I do not believe he’s a racist, but his perspective on those senators was something that was hurtful and it had consequences.”
— Celeste Lavin (@celestelavin) June 28, 2019
Elsewhere in their conversation, Matthews asked Harris, “How did you come out of that and not have hatred towards white people generally?”
“Most Americans do not conduct themselves that way, and most parents don’t conduct themselves that way,” the senator responded, seemingly taken aback. “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.”
Prior to asking the question, Matthews also voiced his dislike of the word “race,” instead preferring to use the word “ethnicities.”
Following the interview, people took to Twitter to highlight Matthew’s question and the fact he said he disliked the word race.
Chris Matthews interviewing Kamala:
– referred to segregationists as "old seggies"
– said: "ethnicities. I don't like the word race––ethnicities."
– asked Kamala how she doesn't hate all white people, generally
— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) June 28, 2019
Oh my god Chris Matthews just asked Kamala Harris if she hates white people. PLEASE make him stop
— Jessica Ellis (@baddestmamajama) June 28, 2019