California’s Sen. Kamala Harris urged Democrats on Friday to embrace issues of race, gender, sexual orientation and more — lambasting critics of “identity politics” who she said had weaponized the phrase “to try to shut us up.”
“It’s a pejorative,” Harris told progressives gathered here for the annual Netroots Nation conference. “That phrase is used to divide and used to distract. Its purpose is to minimize and marginalize issues that impact all of us.”
She pointed to civil rights, women’s reproductive rights, criminal justice and immigrant rights, saying “we won’t be silent” about those issues.
“These are the very things that will define our identity as Americans,” Harris said. “This is about American identity.”