Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris, campaigning Wednesday at a service hosted by the Islamic Center of Southern California, attributed the rise of California hate crimes motivated by religion to a national ratcheting up of "rage" in the political discourse.

Harris, a career prosecutor, said the relationship between speech and violent action occurs "on an almost constant basis."

"I know how painful and violent these crimes can be. I know they are uniquely insidious in that they are intended to strip its victim of dignity. So words matter," said Harris, speaking at a service marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

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