Angela Rye is not here for the Kamala Harris haters. She made that position abundantly clear when ESSENCE caught up with the CNN political commentator at the Sundance Film Festival.

“My response to the haterism that we’re seeing against Senator Kamala Harris is — it’s unfortunate that we’re not new to this,” asserts Rye. “We’ve seen it all before. We’ve experienced it all before.”

The CEO of Impact Strategies attributes the negativity towards Harris to the fact that the Senator from California is a Black woman. Throughout Harris’ professional career, she has often made history as the first African-American or first Asian-American to hold a specific title. In 2017, she entered the Senate as the first African-American woman from California to be elected into the role.

“We know what it’s like to be a Black woman trying to blaze trails in any space,” Rye quips. She also raises the point that Harris’ former role as District Attorney of San Francisco was groundbreaking and deserves to be celebrated. “We know that we desperately need folks who will serve as prosecutors and DA’s in communities that look like us everywhere and she blazed that trail.”

According to a Justice For All report, 95 percent of elected prosecutors are white. 79 percent are white men; three in five states have no black elected prosecutors, and just 1 percent of elected prosecutors are minority women.

Even though Rye wholeheartedly supports the efforts of Harris’ political bid, she does admit that there are likely some things in the democratic hopefuls past that she regrets, but is confident that she will be accountable for those things.

In the meanwhile, she suggests that those coming for the former Attorney General of California get their facts straight before attacking her fitness for the job.

“I think it’s abundantly important that if we’re going to hold someone responsible for their record that it actually is their record and not things that are made up by trolls,” challenges Rye.

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