Bully smashed a rock over Kamala Harris' head when she was five: Book
EXCLUSIVE: Bully smashed a rock over Kamala Harris’ head when she was five after he destroyed artwork during class at their ‘diverse’ elementary school, her best friend claims in new book
- The vice president’s childhood best friend is speaking out in a new book
- Stacey Johnson Batiste has known Kamala Harris since she was 4-years-old
- In the excerpt obtained by DailyMail.com Batiste recounts Harris yelling at a schoolyard bully who destroyed Batiste’s art project, and the bully attacked
- She claims Harris still has a scar above her left eye after the confrontation
- Batiste said the school they went to resembled ‘some sort of diversity catalog’
A young Vice President Kamala Harris was one bloodied by a schoolyard bully for attempting to stand up for her childhood best friend, a new book excerpt revealed on Monday.
That childhood best friend, Stacey Johnson Batiste, is releasing a memoir titled Friends From the Beginning: The Berkeley Village that Raised Kamala and Me on growing up in California side-by-side with the future trailblazer.
Batiste wrote that her and Harris’s mothers were some of the ‘early activists’ who shaped Berkeley, California’s ultra-liberal, artistic reputation into what it is today.
‘We were a happy, loud, and vibrant crew, led by mothers who were both petite, but who loomed large,’ she wrote of her earliest memories meeting Harris and her sister.
At the time they met Batiste was five and the vice president, 57, was nearly five. According to earlier reports she and Harris were born at the same hospital in Oakland, California.
DailyMail.com obtained an exclusive excerpt from the upcoming book, published November 16 by 12 Books.
She said their mothers enrolled them in Berkwood Hedge School, a private school that Batiste described as ‘very progressive, even for that time and place’ and encouraged ‘freedom of expression.’
‘Kamala and I began our education surrounded by a vibrant range of students who provided a strong foundation for under-standing the years to come in Berkeley,’ she wrote.
‘When our small class would sit on the ﬂoor every morning, gathered for circle time or listening to our teachers read, we resembled some sort of diversity catalog.’
Harris pictured with her childhood best friend Stacey Johnson Batiste (left). Batiste says in her book that the pair met when she was five and Harris was four-going-on-five
When Harris was selected to be Joe Biden’s VP Batiste said she cried tears of joy and said of Harris, ‘The person people see and hear is the same person I’ve known since we were five years old’
She said the other students included a Filipino girl, two black children and a white boy Batiste described as a ‘good friend.’
It was at that school where Batiste said she learned Harris ‘has no time for bullies and no fear about telling them as much.’
She recounted a specific incident that occurred when the children were tasked with molding pieces of clay, which Batiste referred to as ‘lumps.’
After they were put in the oven to bake, young Batiste and Harris were ‘admiring’ their artworks when a 5-year-old boy ripped the former’s piece of of her hand, smashed it on the ground and laughed.
‘I was stunned, and devastated, as I looked down at my shattered piece of art, tears welling up in my eyes,’ Batiste recalled in her book.
‘Before I could launch into a full-throated wail, Kamala stepped in between me and the boy and started shouting at him, telling him exactly what she thought of his behavior.’
Next she said the boy, who appeared ‘stunned’ at the scene, ‘picked up a hardened piece of clay or rock and smashed it on Kamala’s head, just above her eyebrow.’
‘Her forehead started gushing blood, but she didn’t recoil at all. Instead, she continued laying into the boy, demanding that he apologize to me,’ Batiste wrote.
It continued until a teacher broke up the fight and whisked the bloody Harris away. Batiste recalled that Harris’ wound was so bad her mother needed to pick her up early and get her stitches.
But nevertheless she remembers Harris showing up to school the next day – and that the injury would last for decades.
‘That little boy never bothered either of us ever again. Kamala still bears a very faint, tiny scar just over her eye,’ Batiste wrote.
‘Though I was arguably more shaken up by the whole scene than she appeared to be, in the aftermath it made me proud, and it still does.’
The incident left a scar above Harris’s left eye, Batiste claims in her memoir
She said the anecdote was one she ‘often mentioned when asked to describe Kamala’s character.’
Batiste described the year she shared with Harris at Berkwood as one of the most significant moments of her childhood.
‘Though I have assorted shards of early childhood memories, Berkwood is where my recollections really start to crystallize, right around the time when Kamala and I were playing outside on the playground,’ she wrote.
‘We were the friends most likely to be running around and lingering outdoors on the swings and slides. As soon as I arrived at school I would try to ﬁnd Kamala. We shared only one year there together, but my memories of Berkwood are very strong. And strongest among them was the sturdy root of having met my ﬁrst true best friend.’
Batiste’s name has come up before when members of the media have sought to learn more about Harris’s personal life, particularly after she made headlines as Biden’s running mate.
When she and the president were sworn in Harris became the first woman and woman of color to serve as vice president in US history. Before that she was San Francisco’s first female district attorney, and California’s first female, first black and first south Asian American attorney general.
Batiste told Spectrum News in August that she ‘cried tears of joy’ when Harris was added to the 2020 ticket.
‘The person people see and hear is the same person I’ve known since we were five years old,’ she had said of the now-vice president.
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