Watch: Kamala Harris tells young Asian Americans to ‘kick the f---ing door down’

Ms Harris wears black, holds a microphone and gestures with an index finger
Ms Harris speaking during at campaign event in Philadelphia earlier this month - Matt Rourke/AP
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Kamala Harris has said young Asian Americans need to “kick the f---ing door down” when it comes to barriers to equality.

The US vice president drew applause as she addressed a leadership summit for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander people in Washington DC on Monday.

She said: “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‑‑‑ing door down.”

“Excuse my language,” Ms Harris, 59, added laughing, amid cheers from the crowd.

Jimmy O Yang, the actor and comedian moderating the conversation with the vice president, quipped: “We gotta make T-shirts with that saying.”

Ms Harris, who was appearing at the annual Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies legislative leadership summit, also spoke about making history as the first first female, black and Asian vice president.

She said: “Here’s the thing about breaking barriers. Breaking barriers does not mean you start on one side of the barrier and you end up on the other side... when you break things you get cut. And you may bleed.”

Ms Harris added: “And it is worth it every time”.

She said her experience has affirmed her view that: “You have to be in the fight. You can’t sit it out, because you know how inequity happens.”

“You know what happens when systems displace power or when systems are suppressing the rights of other people,” she said.

Mr Yang onstage
Jimmy O Yang, hosting the event, applauded Ms Harris's words - Kevin Winter/Getty

She advised those listening in the audience: “You walk in those rooms, chin up, shoulders back. You walk in those rooms knowing we are all in that room with you, applauding you on, and expecting certain things from you.”

The event comes as Ms Harris and Joe Biden’s re-election campaign aggressively targets ethnic minorities, whom polls suggest are abandoning the Democratic Party.

This month, the campaign launched a $14 million (£11 million) ad campaign aimed at Black, Latino, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander voters.

Ms Harris said the key question for voters in November’s White House race was: “What kind of country do we want to live in?”

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