Kamala Harris really went after Joe Biden during the second Democratic debate when she pulled him up on his record on race and civil rights.

The California senator's emotional speech about how Biden worked with segregationist to oppose busing programmes in the early 1970's marked a defining moment in the second Democratic primary debate on Thursday night.

Speaking about her time growing up as a black woman and her experience of discrimination, Harris turned to Biden and said:

I do not believe you are a racist. And I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground.

But it was actually very hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States Senators who built their reputations and careers on the segregation of race in this country.

Tearing up, she continued:

It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. And you know, there was a little girl in California, who was a part of the second class to integrate her public school, and she was bused to school everyday. And that little girl was me.

So I will tell you that, on this subject, it cannot be an intellectual debate among Democrats. We have to take it seriously.

Biden quickly tried to defend himself, claiming he did not oppose busing in America, calling it a "mischaracterization" of his position, and that he had opposed busing being ordered by the Department of Education but it was clear that Harris had thrown him off guard.

And while the heated exchange continued, Harris never let go of her strong argument, earning her loud applause from the audience.

The internet was also suitably impressed with Harris and couldn't pass on the opportunity to not comment:

Watch the full exchange here:

HT Mashable

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