Kamala Harris: Black Lives Matter Protests An "Essential Component" To Counter Racist Status Quo | Video | RealClearPolitics

Kamala Harris: Black Lives Matter Protests An "Essential Component" To Counter Racist Status Quo

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Democratic nominee for vice president Sen. Kamala Harris praised the "brilliance" of Black Lives Matter and said she will always interpret the ongoing protests "as an essential component of evolution in our country" at the NAACP convention on Friday.

"I actually believe, as a former prosecutor, that Black Lives Matter has been the most significant agent for change within the criminal justice system, because it has been a counterforce to the force within the system that is so grounded in status quo and in its own traditions, many of which have been harmful and have been discriminatory in the way that they’ve been enforced," Harris said.

"Nothing that we have achieved in our country that has been about progress, and in particular around civil rights has come without a fight," Harris said. "I always, I’m going to interpret these protests as an essential component of evolution in our country, as an essential component, a mark of a real democracy."


HARRIS: The brilliance and the impact of Black Lives Matter and their brilliance in conceiving it, history is going to show was an inflection point in the ongoing fight for justice, to your point, and to reform the criminal justice system and America’s criminal justice system. I actually believe, as a former prosecutor, that Black Lives Matter has been the most significant agent for change within the criminal justice system, because it has been a counterforce to the force within the system that is so grounded in status quo and in its own traditions, many of which have been harmful and have been discriminatory in the way that they’ve been enforced. Being there, being at the protest, I mean, I grew up in protest. My, parents were active in the Civil Rights Movement, as you know, so it’s nothing new.

I’ve been in marches since I was in a stroller. When I was at Howard University, I was protesting against apartheid. I mean, it’s nothing new for me. But, being there, at this point in terms of, honoring the life of George Floyd and Breonna and Ahmaud Arbery, and we can go down the list, sadly, a long list. It is about, I think, a community and the country speaking out, understanding that nothing that we have achieved that has been about progress in this country has come without a fight. Nothing that we have achieved in our country that has been about progress, and in particular around civil rights has come without a fight.

I always, I’m going to interpret these protests as an essential component of evolution in our country, as an essential component, a mark of a real democracy and as necessary, as necessary. The people’s voices must be heard. It is often the people who must speak to get their government to do what it is supposed to do, but may not do naturally unless the people speak loudly, and obviously peacefully, but speak loudly.
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