Kamala Harris – How to Fix Policing and Criminal Justice in America | The Daily Show

Senator Kamala Harris. (cheers and applause) Welcome to the show. Thank you. -Happy birthday.
-Thank you so much. This really is a birthday
for me, uh, because you have come out
of the gate firing. In fact, Donald Trump,
apparently said you were the best opening
so far. That’s what he said.
He was like, (mimics Trump):
“She was great. So great. Came out firing.” He likes big crowds. (normal voice):
He does, but I mean, if even he was impressed,
what do you think you’ve done right
to begin your journey as a presidential candidate
for the Democrats? Well, I that, um, coming out
of the gate speaking truth about how America really needs
a fighter for truth and justice
in this country -which are right now
under attack. -Right. Truth and justice
are under attack. I think it’s about also fighting for the opportunity America
that’s lost for so many people. But coming out of the gate
in Oakland, California, the place of my birth,
and talking about, um, the fact that we are better
than this as a country, and I think we all know that,
and we want folks who are gonna fight
for the best of who we are. So it’s been a good beginning,
it’s been a strong beginning, and I hope to continue
on this path. That’s exciting.
It’s an exciting journey. -Exciting beginning.
-(cheers and applause) Um… Since this is the beginning,
and, you know, I read the book, and I’ve learned so much
about you now. There are so many things that people do want
to know about you. I think the most important is how do people pronounce
your name? Because people argue about this
all the time. Is it “Hah-ris”
or is it “Ha-reece”? (laughs) It’s Harris. No, but seriously,
everyone goes like, “Is it ‘Kah-mala’ or is it
‘Ka-mah-la’ or is it…?” Kamala. Just think of a comma
and then add a “la.” -They– Oh. Kamala.
-There you go. Kamala. -I like that. It’s like a long
“a.” -There you are. And what I didn’t know
from the book is that you grew up
in a household where– for the most part of your life you were raised by a single
mother who is Indian, -but she raised you
in black America. -Yes. You know, you went to
civil rights speeches, you went to marches with her. Has that shaped a lot
of how you see the world, growing up in a household where
you were in a black community but at the same time, had
multiple cultural influences? Well, it’s true. I mean,
you and I were both raised -by very strong mothers,
you know. -Right. My mother was all of five feet
tall, but after meeting her, you would have thought she was
seven feet tall. And my mother was one of
the smartest, the toughest, and the most loving people
I’ve ever known. And she was a fighter. She was a breast cancer
researcher. She had two goals in her life: -to raise her two daughters
and end breast cancer. -Wow. And she would take us to the lab
with her on the weekends and after work, and her whole
vision of life, and I adopted that vision, was of what can be, unburdened
by what has been. Knowing what can be in a way
that we improve human condition, and seeing, even though
we have not seen it before, seeing the potential in human
beings and in our future. And that’s how our mother
raised us. And she was active
in the civil rights movement, that’s where my parents met. You know, we joke that we grew
up surrounded by a bunch -of adults who spent full time
marching and shouting -Right. about this thing called justice. And, um, and my mother knew
that she was raising her two daughters into a world
that would present obstacles, and would not necessarily
get us, but my mother raised us to
understand, and she would say, “Don’t you let anyone tell you
who you are. -You tell them who you are.”
-Wow. And, um… -Thank you.
-(cheers and applause) I always wondered… I always wondered, I mean,
you know, I know that you love
your country, and I know that there is
oftentimes a call that people feel to-to-to,
you know, ascribe to-to a larger goal,
you know, -I want to be president.
I want to be that. -Yeah. But why did you want to get
into this line of work? I mean, you know,
to have a mom who’s trying
to cure breast cancer, and you go, no, I want to go
into being a district attorney. I want to go into public office.
Why? Well, when I was growing up
in that environment. It was a very rich environment. It was an active environment. And the heroes in the
civil rights movement, among many were the lawyers. It was Thurgood Marshall,
and Charles Hamilton Houston, and Constance Baker Motley. And these individuals
who understood the skill of the profession of law
to translate the passion from the streets to the
courtrooms of our country. And do that work
of reminding folks– and we know it must
continually be done– reminding folks of the promise
we articulated in 1776: that we are all and should be
treated as equals. And so I decided that’s the work
I wanted to do, that that was noble,
important work. And I went to law school,
and then out of law school, I made the decision to become
a prosecutor. And I will tell you,
you can probably imagine– my sister went on, for example,
to head the ACLU– When I made a decision
to become a prosecutor folks thought it was
a curious decision. Yeah, I can imagine. With some of my family,
I had to defend the decision like one would a thesis,
but what I said– -Truly.
-(laughter) But what I said is that
when we want to reform systems, and I was born knowing
the failures, and-and the problems with the criminal justice system
in America. But I also believed then,
as I do now, that when we want to reform
these systems that need and must be reformed, that we have a role to play
on the inside -as well as on the outside.
-Right. And so that’s
the decision I made. And it was a decision to be able
to then do things as I did when I was D.A. I was elected the first woman,
and the first woman of color to be district attorney
of San Francisco. And the first woman of color
in the state of California. -Right.
-When I was then later… Thank you. When I was later elected
attorney general of California, I was elected as the first woman
and the first person of color ever to be the attorney general of the biggest state
in the country. And in that position, having the power
that comes with the position, I was able to champion reform, um, like-like had
really not existed before. When I was district attorney,
Trevor, of San Francisco, I started a reentry initiative
focused on young men -who had been arrested
for drug sales. -Right. Getting them jobs and counseling and then dismissing the charges
against them. This was back in 2004,
when I became D.A. People would say to me,
“Why are you letting people out when you should be
locking people up?” People would say to me–
I would talk to other D.A.s– “This is a smart way
to do business.” We need to stop
the revolving door. Let’s-let’s incorporate
and embrace -that concept of redemption.
-Mm-hmm. Right? The idea people,
when they make mistakes, they should be held accountable, but let’s let them earn
their way back. Right? You know this. This is what
Mandela talked about so much. -Right.
-Right? And, so, I would start
these programs. I’d talk with other D.A.s. “Hey, let’s do
reentry initiatives.” They’d say, “What is reentry?
What does that mean? “That’s not our job. “Our job is not
to get people services. Why are you getting people jobs
when they’ve committed crimes?” I’d say, “Because it’s
the smart thing to do. “Plus, the war on drugs
was a complete failure, and we need to have a different
approach to how we do business.” Let’s-let’s talk a little bit
about that different approach. -(cheering and applause)
-The, um… The journey you’ve been on
has been unique -because you started
as a prosecutor. -Right. You were in a position where
you had to put people in prison. -You had to enforce the law.
-Right. But you’ve come under criticism
recently where people say, um,
you had some programs that some feel
targeted minorities or communities
that didn’t have the means. You know, for instance,
truancy programs where mothers were threatened
with prison because their children
weren’t going to school, weren’t where
they were supposed to be. When you look at your past… I know what
you’re proposing now, but what do you think
was the biggest thing that changed the way
you saw criminal justice reform? Do you think
it’s just a time thing, or do your views continue
to evolve as you learn? Well, okay,
first let me say this. I will never regret
having prosecuted people who molested children,
people who raped women, people who murdered
other individuals. Those are serious crimes
for which I believe -there should be
serious punishment. -Mm-hmm. And I’m never gonna apologize
for that. And I think
most people would agree that when one human being
harms another human being, especially those who are weak
and vulnerable, that there should be serious
and severe consequence and accountability. We also know,
and I was born knowing, that this system
of criminal justice in this country needs reform. It has been biased.
There is systemic racism. We have had a policy in place
in this country that has led
to mass incarceration where we have incarcerated
more people per capita than any other civilized
or-or advanced, so-called advanced country,
and it needs to be reformed. I will say to you
that over the years, one of the benefits that
I believe the system received and that helped me do the work
that I was able to accomplish was because of
the incredible activism and smart activism of folks like the folks
who are Black Lives Matter, the folks who were involved
on the outside saying and demanding
that the system would change. Demanding and marching
and advocating, because that activism allowed me to then be able to do some
of the work that I accomplished. I could not have done
anything that I did without that level of organized,
smart activism on the outside. And we have thankfully evolved,
but there’s a lot more to do. -Right. -There’s a lot more
to do. I believe, first of all, that we have got to continue
on sentencing reform. We have a Department of Justice
led by this administration that has shut down
consent decrees where there should be
supervision of police departments
that have proven to be engaged in racist or in-in…
in systemic kind of targeting -of people of color.
-Right. Um, this administration
has shut down the pattern
and practice investigations of police departments
around the country. They’re engaged in a pattern
and practice of discrimination. -We’ve got to change what we’re
doing right now. -How do you… Let me ask you this.
How do you change that as a commander in chief
and leader of the country while still making police
and people who love the police feel like you are a candidate
who believes in law and order? ‘Cause that’s-that’s one piece
of framing that President Trump
has done exceptionally well, is he’s gone and said
the Democrats love crime. The Democrats hate police. So how do you say to the police, “Hey, we’re going to
come after you, essentially, “for the things that you’ve done
wrong, but at the same time, -we still respect
the police force”? -Yeah. How do you balance that? Well, it’s…
In my mind, it’s simple. But I agree,
he has created this false choice and this paradigm that suggests that he really doesn’t
understand who communities are. When your grandmother’s house
gets burglarized, when you have a family member
who has been victimized, you want to know that you
can be able to pick up the phone and call police
and they’re gonna be there. -Mm-hmm. -And so it is a mistake
and a myth to suggest that certain communities
don’t want police. They do. What they don’t want and what no community
should want is excessive force,
racial profiling and-and unequal application
or enforcement of the law. -Right.
-But… -(applause)
-So we have to really… we have to reconcile
these points. And, in fact, that’s why
when I was attorney general, one of the issues
that I worked on– and we created the first
of its kind in the nation– training for police officers on implicit bias
and procedural justice. And brought together
leaders in law enforcement as well as leaders
in civil rights communities to say,
“Look, we have got to deal “with the fact
that when you carry a gun, “when you have the ability
to enforce the law, “which means
to pull somebody over, “to stop them, to arrest them, “you got to check
where the bias is kicking in, “and you got to recognize
that it’s there “and that if we’re not
gonna deal with it, “there’s gonna be
uneven application of the law, and injustice results
because of that.” And, so,
there is work to be done, but we have to have
an understanding, also, that this president
has suggested that so many issues are issues
about national security and public safety that are
a figment of his imagination, and, um, including the vanity
project called the wall and his suggestion that there are terrorists
who are invading the country and, for that reason,
suggesting that we should have
a concrete wall from sea to sea.


  1. Would love to see an interview with Andrew Yang. Legitimately think he has one of the most robust platforms (and actually details specifics about his plan. Is that too much to ask?) to curb wealth inequality which is also one of the strongest tools in racial inequality as well since it disproportionately affects minorities.

  2. trevor why dont you invite jordan peterson or ben shapiro to your show?
    Afraid they call you out on all your bs

  3. More "word salad" from Kamala Harris. She was raised around people who fought for Civil rights? Really? Jailing Truant Parents, Fighting bodycams, keeping innocent men in jail becuase they file court docs late, refusing to release low level offenders simply to keep cheap labor.

    Kamala cant connect with peoples pain. She lacks the emotional intelligence to represent community and world. Listening to her is painful.

    There is no warmth, reflection or love in her tone. You guys feel it… But cant explain it. She not authentic.

  4. This woman talking about true and justice for America? how come she don't give true and Justice to the 50 million babies that have been aboard through the Democrat policies? (remove this killer!)…..

  5. I'm not 100% convinced of her change of heart because of activism. It's timing is what gets in the way. Sorry, she may be on the right track now…but…

  6. She interviewed live on TV and radio stating in college she smoked pot listening to Snoop Dog, and Tupac yet they had no albums out even in 1986 when she even graduated college. Snoops first album came out 7 years later in 1993. She tried to come off as cool in order to appeal to younger voters,

  7. https://bigleaguepolitics.com/revealed-kamala-harris-father-admitted-she-is-descended-from-slave-owners/
    kamala's father has called her out before and now does a reality check on her fake narrative of who she really is. I bet kamala hates her father. I for one respect a guy who adheres to the truth and reality!

  8. Why didn't you ask her why she's against cops having body cams. Also why didn't you ask her why she refused to investigate police shootings of unarmed men. Maybe because people choose their political parties like sports team rather than based on their policies.

  9. Shit, United States never suffered of any kind of Authoritarian party Socialist or Nationalist. I think it's time you Soy Boyz are witnessing how no strong you all are and vote for Bernie Sanders. Fucktards SJW who still gonna have the money to fly in New Zealand if shit is happening while others gonna be left behind.

  10. The Sacramento Bee today reported that Kamala Harris "rise" in politics has been linked to her fundraising skills, she has never met a big money donor she didn't like, including Donald Trump. Like Hillary, Harris is being backed by the billionaires, the CEO's, and Silicon Valley high tech moguls. She is not a progressive, she has no background whatsoever as a fighter for regular working people. I urge all Bernie voters from last time not to be fooled by Ms. Harris, her love affair with big Democratic money donors tells you she is not progressive, at all – she's a deal maker. If elected she will sell out working people in a California minute.

  11. Trevor truly disappoints me with this interview. Harris was a corporatist and when HRC lost the democrats said we need someone to go up against Bernie that is on our side and they chose her. She talks the talk but she doesn't walk the walk. She isn't out to help the little guy, she is out to help the corporations and the rich. Too bad you missed it Trevor.

  12. Bernie also has surrendered … He is Old & sound like Broken record . I will go for Tulsi If she not in race then I will choose Kamala Over Bernie .

  13. As a democrat and liberal, I do not support Kamala Harris. I want a politician who will actually help the U.S. people, not just her Hollywood friends and super-wealthy business owners.

  14. Wait! got to 6:00 and listen. When did California become this biggest state in the country? Lmao🤦🏽‍♀️

  15. Stop having Kamala on your show!!! I was a big supporter of hers until this story…..

    She lost my support.

  16. Nikki Hayley is a better Indian origin American candidate for presidency then her . She has done so much for Israel and is not a liberal . Republicans don’t support countries which are extremist unlike democrats who want them to live with us .

  17. Her explanation for why she chose to become a prosecutor was basically no kind of explanation. It was an acknowledgement of “curious choice” and then… nothing.

    Trevor basically gave her the opportunity to admit having grown and changed her beliefs around the criminal justice system, and she threw it away into another emotional talking point that says almost nothing. This approach works well with people who are not critical thinkers, and the USA is almost entirely that kind of person… which is why we are floundering as a nation and wrecking the whole planet for everyone else.

    Did she multiple times in this whole interview (this segment and the others) attempt to use little personal emotional links to Trevor in her long-winded rhetoric? “Like you, I was raised by a strong mother”, and “when your grandmother’s house gets burglarized”… This could seem like trying to make it personal to the host, but she’s supposed to be addressing the people, not Trevor in specific. Trevor is asking questions for the sake of all of us learning about her way of thinking and to get an idea of what she might be like as a president. As a politician, making these little personal nods comes off as a bit manipulative and somewhat disingenuous, and I don’t think politicians understand this. I think they are getting so caught up in technique and missing the fact that it isn’t universally good technique and that there’s more to public speaking than technique. You’re not supposed to “get through it”. You’re supposed to say something of substance.

    This continuing sense of disingenuousness from her is bothering me because I wanted to like her. I want interviewers to take her to task for the legit criticisms and have her give a sincere and direct reply to them, not talk around everything with more and more rhetoric.

    Please interview Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders. Stephen Colbert is continuing his “crazy grandpa that we love but don’t take seriously” nonsense with Sanders and was weirdly missing the point with Gabbard’s anti-war stance (I like Colbert most of the time, but he really seems to be part of the problem with mindless democrat party subscription; he’s part of the wealthy establishment, acknowledges it, but doesn’t seem to actually grasp it at the same time).

  18. This woman should be the president of the United States mi do hope and pray that all women,all young people will vote her in ,your country needs this

  19. Why can’t yall Bernie trolls stop like for real y’all will cause that man to not get it because y’all are sowing hate among us black people. Because we do care for her n she is black like me.. vote for who u want but stop putting Down all these other candidates with ur feel the Bernie shit.. that’s what I want to her Bernie say n then he will have my vote.

  20. She doesn't give a shit about issues. Her website doesn't even have an issues page. She will tell you what you want to hear. Corporate fucking hack.

  21. This is Trevor? I thought it was Obamas retard brother with down syndrome, looks like Kamala " HEELS UP " HARRIS on the mainstage looking like Miles Davis with jaundice 😂 fuck all these ugly cunts.

  22. whenever a candidate says "and I'm not going to apologize for that", haha they're just selling ya more bullshit

  23. LOVE HER way better than that fucking Bernie & his "LET'S GIVE PEOPLE FREE SHIT MOTTO" like that shit going to fly with those fence hopper voters who think this is what WE liberals agenda are giving free welfare for all PLUS he is just FUCKING CREEPY AS FUCK😲😲😲😲😲🙈🙉🙊

  24. Kamala is a great entertainer with her speeches…yet she is a corporatist…Trevor needs to be more critical with his questions…

  25. She will fight for us and we need this…SHE HAS MY VOTE….SMART , AMAZING WOMAN… SHE IS JUST LIKE HER MOTHER…FINALLY ANSWERS….❤️

    she says the usa has incarcerated "more than any other civilized or advanced country". WRONG.
    the usa currently has nearly 2.2 MILLION people locked up (not counting babies in cages). this is 737 for every 100,000 people.

    second place WORLDWIDE is china, with 1.5 million locked up. but this is only 118 per 100k people.

    russia is third with 875 thousand locked up, at a rate of 615 per 100k.

    america locks up more of it's people, BY ANY MEASURE, than EVERY other country on the planet.

    we also hold the record for locking womeen up, at almost 9% of prisoners here. russia again 2nd with 6.8%.

    this former prosecutor and ag raised by civil rights workers KNOWS this.

    i want to vote for her, but downplaying the disaster that is our criminal justice system does not inspire faith.

  27. Oh please. Stop pretending that these bright young liberals will make any real difference. The system they operate in is so innately fascist that simple human decency is labeled "radical socialism".

  28. Bernie is my man, but I would totally be happy with Kamala as well. She seems like a really genuine person, not a career politician.

  29. Kamala is a snake don't trust her she's evil!!! RESEARCH before you make your mind up about her!!!! Greed controls her!!!!

  30. She could win and lead. She is more than woke. She is more than smart. Hey KH…go after pharma makers and prescibing doctors of antidepressants aka ssri's which cause suicidal ideation and violence.

  31. Wow she feels soooo goddam fake. So many questions asked. None were answered. I'm not an American but I'd say Andrew Yang or.bernie is the better choice. I love Andrew Yang because he talks about policy in such details that it's realistic n yet optimistic at the same time.. Bernie bcuz he's been consistent with his political narrative for like 40 years

  32. Trump giving her props because he knows he would beat her. He cannot beat Biden, all these candidates need to just drop out. Also, she and Trevor are not just black they are mixed. This is White male America law from the founding fathers to keep their race free of mixed children, and keep a pure white race. Both of my parents are black, but I am light skin and have French ancestors. I look black, but I have white and black features. You can still be for civil rights without being 💯 black. Without whites in America there would be any civil rights billed past. Yes, their are a lot of racist white people, but not all. PEACE ☮️

  33. Kamala Harris use that same racist crime bill to put African American in prison for life or long term sentences with little or no evidence, she doesn't have a clean slate towards African American.

  34. WOW! We Dems are.blessed with SOME KINDA WONDERFULLY TALENTED people bringing something special+ unique to the proverbal 'table' for 2020! How fortunate we are this cycle! Luvin' it!

  35. What a nice, feel-good interview…. Why not point out some serious points? Why not confront her about some sh** she pulled of in the past? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvdTz-Of61s

  36. Dems still all about their identity politics. Have fun re electing trump with your immoral, unsustainable political ideology. Its depressingly stupid.

  37. Dems are basically just professional activists at this point. Activism for the sake of activism. It just makes them feel better about themselves without having to do anything difficult.

  38. Shes done like all demorats cause they don't have common sense the race card is done people tired of being categorize as victims by the Fake news media https://youtu.be/wIKGbur0QLU

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