ATLANTA – Making her first high-profile foray into the Southern black church, California Sen. Kamala Harris told a Georgia congregation founded by former freed slaves that the United States remains wracked by racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination that flout the nation’s core values.
But the rising Democratic Party star added that Americans aren’t as split as “forces of hate and division” suggest. “I believe it is time we replace the divide-and-conquer,” she said from the pulpit of First Congregational Church in downtown Atlanta, adding that national unity comes from citizens’ recognizing their share priorities while still honoring diversity.
A 52-year-old, first-term senator widely mentioned as a potential national candidate, Harris did not mention President Donald Trump in her remarks.
Yet her approach highlights a complex political task for Democrats as they try to counter Trump’s economic appeals to working-class whites, while honoring their core supporters among nonwhites, to rebuild the electoral coalitions that twice elected President Barack Obama. And the choice of venue — a congregation that includes business,…