Democratic nominee for vice president Kamala Harris praised the "brilliance" of Black Lives Matter and called the continuing nationwide protests "as an essential component of evolution in our country."
During a virtual convention for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on Friday, Sen. Harris (D-Calif.) said that BLM is the "most significant agent for change within the criminal justice system."
"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," Harris told CNN political commentator Angela Rye, who was hosting the event.
"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 proclaimed, according to RealClearPolitics.
"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," Harris continued. "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," Harris said during the NAACP remote convention. "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."
Rye asked Harris about the founders of the Black Lives Matter organization — Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi — being named to TIME's 100 most influential people of 2020 list. Harris said, "Good for TIME magazine for doing that."
In a 2015 interview, Cullors admitted that she and her fellow BLM creators are "trained Marxists."
"Myself and Alicia in particular are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists," Cullors said. "We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories."
Tometi has endorsed Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro, and was honored to meet him in 2015. While visiting Venezuela, Tometi tweeted, "Such a relief to be in a place where there is intelligent political discourse."
This comes at a time when new polls show public support for Black Lives Matter and the protests are falling. One poll released in the past week showed support for anti-police brutality protests declined from 54% in June to 39% in September. A Pew Research survey found that support for the BLM movement dropped from 67% in June to 55% in September.
During the interview, Rye asked Harris, "Who is the best rapper alive?" Harris responded, "Tupac."
The rapper Tupac Shakur died 24 years ago on Sept. 13, 1996, from the injuries he suffered from a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.
Harris reacted to her mistake by saying, "I keep doing that."
She continued, "Who would I say? I mean, there's so many. There are some that I would not mention right now because they should stay in their lane, but others."
Rye was confused by the response and said, "I don't know what that means. I want to know who one of those are."
"Keep going, keep moving," Harris instructed Rye.
"Okay, all right," Rye obediently replied. "All right. I think that was not supposed to be a stumper either."
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