The US has two systems of justice for Black and White Americans, Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris has said, as the Indian-orign Senator rebuked President Donald Trump and his Attorney General for denying there is systemic racism in the country’s justice system.
The strong criticism from Harris, the first Black and Indian-American woman on a major party vice presidential ticket came less than two months before the US presidential election.
Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Harris are challenging incumbent President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence of the Republican Party in the November 3 election.
Harris, 55, strongly criticised President Trump and Attorney General William Barr for denying there is systemic racism in the US justice system, saying they are “spending full time in a different reality.”
“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,” Harris said in an interview.
But she said she was optimistic that as a nation, Americans hold dear to an ideal that is inscribed in marble on the Supreme Court, which is that ideal of equal justice under law.
“And so, while we have two systems of justice, we also fight for equal justice under law. And that means doing what Joe Biden and I are proposing, which is having a criminal justice system that, yes, bans choke holds and carotid holds, make sure that we’re going to require accountability for police officers who break the rules and break the law.”
Harris said their administration would invest in communities and the economic strength of those communities, but doing it all recognising that there are huge disparities in the country based on race.
“And it does us no good if we want to solve those disparities to pretend they don’t exist,” she said.
Harris also suggested that President Trump was not a “real leader” on racial justice and was trying to “pretend that he has been a leader” on the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” said Harris, a California senator and former state attorney general.
“It does us no good to deny that. Let’s just deal with it. Let’s be honest. These might be difficult conversations for some, but they’re not difficult conversations for leaders, not for real leaders.”
Barr, America’s top law enforcement official, dismissed the idea of “two justice systems” said on Wednesday.
“I think we have to be a little careful about throwing the idea of racism around,” he said.
“I don’t think it is as common as people suggest.” “There is no vaccine for racism,” she had said in her acceptance speech last month and criticised Trump for turing “our tragedies into political weapons,” she said.