Kamala Harris Calls BlackLivesMatter ‘Counter Force of Status Quo’

Kamala Harris Calls BlackLivesMatter ‘Counter Force of Status Quo’


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Presumptive Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris name-checked the Black Lives Matter movement for praise as she described a program that she developed earlier in her career in California.

Harris, who is Black, this week is scheduled to be nominated as her party’s vice presidential nominee, to run alongside Joe Biden, also to be nominated this week as the Democratic presidential nominee.

Currently Harris serves as a US senator from California. Previously, she served as state attorney general for California, and district attorney in San Francisco.

“And I’m proud of the work that we were accomplishing, which was about one of the first-in-the-nation re-entry initiatives focusing on young men–mostly black and Latino–who have been arrested for drugs and getting them jobs,” Harris said. “When I created that program, you know what people said to me? ‘She is creating all these programs…’ — I will tell you this term that was commonly used to refer to my program — ‘Hug-a-Thug’ program. They would say to me, ‘What are you doing? You’re supposed to be putting people in jail, not letting them out.’

“Because remember, this was long before the beauty and the power of BlackLivesMatter,” she added, referring to the racial justice and police reform movement which was jumpstarted across the country following the May 25 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis Minn., police custody. “And I give full credit to what has happened with and because of BlackLivesMatter, which is it has been a counter-force to the very deep rooted force of the status quo within the system which is reluctant to change, if not hostile to change.”

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