Sen. Kamala Harris, who recently announced her run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, visited Charlamagne tha God on The Breakfast Club radio show to talk about her critics, her priorities, and claims that she panders to black people.
The interview starts off with Charlamagne asking Harris about her role as a prosecutor in California and how many have questioned her record since she announced. Harris, who has tackled questions about the subject before, said, “I’m not going to ever apologize for saying that when a child is molested or a woman is raped or that one human being kills another human being, that there shouldn’t be serious consequences. I also believe strongly that the criminal justice system in America is deeply flawed, and it must be reformed.” But she made a point to say she believes it’s OK to reform these systems from the inside and that her main regret was that she didn’t do enough during her time as a prosector and as Attorney General.
She was also asked about how she will approach any future battles with President Trump, who often takes to making fun of his opponents. She admitted it would be a tough race, saying, “This is going to be a knock-down drag out.” She continued, “You may think breaking barriers means you start on one side of the barrier and you just end up on the other side of the barrier. No, that’s not how it works. There’s breaking involved. And when you break things, you get hurt, and sometimes you get cut and you may even bleed. It will be worth it… To do what we’re talking about is going to involve pain, and it will be worth it. And it’s also going to involve a lot of fun and joy.”
Harris, whose mother is from India and father is from Jamaica, also explained that it’s not surprising that people say she’s not black or not black enough. “This is the same thing they did to Barack,” she said. “This is not new to us. We know what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to do what has been happening over the last two years, which is powerful voices trying to sow hate and division among us. So we need to recognize when we’re being played… I’m not going to spend my time trying to educate people about who black people are.”
She also clarified some of her policy positions, including the fact that she does support legalizing marijuana and that she’s an advocate for medical marijuana. (“I think it gives a lot of people joy, and we need more joy.”) When asked if she’s ever smoked herself, Harris admitted to smoking a joint in college, possibly while listening to some Tupac.
As for her interests now? Harris says she thinks Cardi B is “fantastic” and that her favorite recent movie is Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk. When asked about her favorite recipes, she said she makes the best greens you’ve ever had, at which point Charlamagne said some people might hear her say that and claim she’s pandering to black people. “I’m black, and I’m proud of being black,” she responded. “I was born black. I will die being black. And I’m proud of being black. And I’m not going to make any excuses for anybody because they don’t understand.”
Watch the rest of the interview in the video above.