Joe Biden's newly-picked vice presidential running mate Kamala Harris called young voters, ages 18 through 24, "stupid" in 2015.
During a keynote address at a Ford Foundation symposium, then–California attorney general laid out her plan for a "Back on Track" crime recidivism reduction pilot program in Los Angeles.
The program, modeled after a similar initiative Harris had launched as chief prosecutor of San Francisco, would provide social services to young adults in the 18 to 24 age range who were convicted of "non-violent felonies."
Harris' sister program in San Francisco allowed first-time drug offenders to take high school classes and get a job, rather than go to prison. Harris admitted during the speech that even adults up to 30-years-old took advantage of the program, who are more than capable of functioning in the real world and can subjectively be held to a higher standard of accountability for their actions.
Why did she target this specific demographic? Because people of that age are "stupid," Harris simply stated, causally noting that "it's a specific phase of life."
“And remember, age is more than a chronological fact," she went on to characterize the adage "age is just a number."
But instead of acknowledging that not all youths engage in reckless behavior to the extreme of criminal activity, Harris overgeneralized her young constituency.
"What else do we know about this population, 18 through 24 [years of age]?" Harris questioned the audience.
"They are stupid," she answered as the audience erupted in laughter.
"That is why we put them in dormitories and they have a resident assistant. They make really bad decisions," Harris concluded, pardoning thuggery as "kids just being kids."
"It was a joke," a campaign spokesperson commented on Harris' remarks, Vice cited.
But if young people of this age are legally able to drink, drive, smoke, and gamble, then these coming-of-age laws have laid out the blanket rule, hoping that young adults exercise their freedoms responsibly.
The small sector of delinquents, who are irresponsible and require discipline and perhaps a little old-fashioned chastising from Harris, are the exception, not the rule.
The majority that are full-fledged working citizens who contribute to society, who serve in the military, who vote our leaders into office—well, they aren't quite "stupid" then, after all.
Millennials and Generation Z will comprise more than one-third of the eligible voting population by election day, a Harvard Institute of Politics survey reported in spring 2019.
"As indicated by the unprecedented youth turnout in the 2018 midterm election, the youth vote is likely to play a historic role in the upcoming primary and general elections," the survey stated.
Based on these statistics, maybe Harris shouldn't have insulted her constituents.