- Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris slammed President Trump and Attorney General William Barr for denying that institutional racism exists in the US during an interview with CNN on Sunday.
- “There are huge disparities in our country based on race. And it does us no good if we want to solve those disparities to pretend they don’t exist,” Harris told CNN.
- Harris also said that Trump and Barr are “spending full time in a different reality.”
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Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, sharply criticized President Donald Trump’s and Attorney General Willam Barr’s denials that systemic racism exists in the US during an interview with CNN on Sunday.
“I don’t think that most reasonable people who are paying attention to the facts would dispute that there are racial disparities and a system that has engaged in racism in terms of how the laws have been enforced,” Harris said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Barr, the top law-enforcement officer in the country, has repeatedly pushed back against the notion that the criminal justice system treats people differently based on race. “I don’t agree that there is systemic racism in police departments generally in this country,” Barr said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in July.
Speaking with CNN earlier this week, Barr said he does not believe that there are two systems of justice in the US, adding, "I think we have to be a little careful about throwing the idea of racism around."
Trump and administration officials including national security adviser Robert O'Brien, Dr. Ben Carson, and Larry Kudlow, the president's top economic adviser, have flatly denied the existence of systemic racism in the US, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
"I think that Donald Trump and Bill Barr are spending full time in a different reality," Harris said. "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."
Many studies support Harris' point of view that racism is deeply ingrained in US institutions, including law enforcement. A Stanford University study that analyzed close to 100 million traffic stops found that the bar for searching Hispanic and Black drivers was lower than that of white drivers. A study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that, from 2010 to 2018, Black people were 3.64 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, despite similar usage rates between the two groups.
Harris' comments came as widespread protests against police brutality and racial injustice, ignited by the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, continue into their fourth month. Her criticism also followed Trump's announcement to ban federal agencies from conducting workplace trainings on race as the president believes they are "divisive, anti-American propaganda."
"There are huge disparities in our country based on race," Harris told CNN. "And it does us no good if we want to solve those disparities to pretend they don't exist."