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Kamala Harris is angry that this one phrase is used against liberals

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) decried the use of the phrase "identity politics" to criticize the rise of progressive minority voices within the Democratic Party. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) decried critics among the left who used the phrase "identity politics" during a speech on Friday at a progressive conference.

'This is gonna be an uncomfortable truth'

Harris criticized the Democratic Party for not including enough minority members in the leadership, when she further attacked those on the left who would be upset at her demand.

"An uncomfortable truth is also that the folks, and this is gonna be an uncomfortable truth," Harris said, laughing, "the truth is that the folks who helped build the Democratic Party and have been the backbone of the Democratic Party, have not always been given equal voice in the Democratic Party, and we need to deal with that.

"Now I am aware," she added, "that some people would say that what I just said is playing 'identity politics.'

"I have a problem, guys, with that phrase, ‘identity politics,’" Harris continued. "Because let’s be clear, when people say that, it’s a pejorative. That phrase is used to divide, and it is used to distract.

"Its purpose is to minimize and marginalize issues that impact all of us," she added. "It is used to try and shut us up.

"We won't be silent about immigrant rights," Harris continued. "We won't be silent about a woman's right to control her own body. We will not be silent about equal opportunity and equal justice under the law."

Establishment elements in the Democratic Party have warned that focusing on "identity politics" has given critics on the right to gain support from voters who reject progressive policies.

Here's Harris' entire speech at the Netroots convention:

Harris is widely considered to be a possible candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidential election in 2020. The senator's proclamation in defense of identity politics is a clear indication that she would intend to move the party to the left if she received the nomination.

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