It’s not a topic you hear California State Attorney General Kamala Harris talk alot about–race.
As she herself puts it, “I don’t feel compelled to sing long ballads about my experiences with injustice,” she told Michael Finnegan of the Los Angeles Times.
Harris, who is running to replace retiring U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, opposes the death penalty, is outspoken about racial injustices in the criminal justice system and is skeptical about mass incarceration for drug offenses.
She was raised by an Indian mother and a black father. Her parents were divorced when she was 5, but she “grew up going to a black Baptist Church and a Hindu temple.”
She experienced segregation even in Palo Alto where her father was a professor at Stanford.
Harris says she’s also personally felt the sting of unequal treatment by police.
“I’ve got a lot of stories — getting stopped, getting — oh, yeah. Lots of stories,” she said.
Her political career has been filled with controversy, but through it all, she has weathered it.
She is considered the favorite against Rep Loretta Sanchez (D-Orange county), although Sanchez has made up some ground in the polls.
You can read how Harris has responded to each controversy and how her experience has shaped her politics in the Los Angeles Times.