Harris utters a profanity in advice to young Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders

Vice President Kamala Harris has used a profanity while offering advice to young Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders about how to break down barriers

ByThe Associated Press
May 13, 2024, 2:04 PM

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Kamala Harris used a profanity on Monday while offering advice to young Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders about how to break through barriers.

Harris was participating in a conversation moderated by actor and comedian Jimmy O. Yang when he asked her what it means to be the first vice president of Asian descent and how that heritage has informed her views and roles as a leader. Harris' mother was from India and her father was from Jamaica, and she's the first woman elected vice president.

Harris gave a lengthy response in which she told the young people to keep their chins up when they go into spaces where no one else looks like them.

She added: “We have to know that sometimes people will open the door for you and leave it open. Sometimes they won’t. And then you need to kick that f——— door down."

The audience clapped and hollered. Laughing herself, Harris said, “Excuse my language.”

Profanity in politics is not altogether unusual. This past weekend, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump led a crowd at a rally chanting “bulls—-" in reference to his criminal trial in New York City. When Joe Biden was vice president, he was overheard telling President Barack Obama that newly passed health care legislation was a “big f——— deal.” Harris generally avoids such language in her public appearances.

The vice president made her comments in a conversation at the annual Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Legislative Leadership Summit. The conversation was live-streamed on the White House website.

Harris spoke later Monday, along with President Biden and actor Lucy Liu, at a White House Rose Garden reception celebrating May as Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Liu said Harris' election as the first female Black and Asian vice president was a "testament to the limitless possibilities of the American dream.”

Biden said Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders make up the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. He said they represent immigrants, dreamers and a nation of freedom.

The president opened his remarks with: "My name's Joe Biden. I work for Kamala Harris.”