Birtherism and Black-Enough-ism Start Early Against Kamala Harris
It was a mere two days ago, on MLK Day, that California Senator Kamala Harris announced that she would be a candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. Harris, the former District Attorney of San Francisco and former Attorney General of the most populous state, has drawn national attention by making Trump nominees and officials squirm with her famously prosecutorial style questioning.
Almost as quickly as her announcement came the attacks - not on her record but on her very being. Harris, who would be the second African American to be president (as well as the first woman and the first Asian American) were she to be elected, is attracting the tried and true tactics of birtherism and black-enough-ism. The insane Right renewed its idiotic anti-Constitutional claim that the citizenship of parents, rather than being born on American soil, determines one’s citizenship at birth, through who else but its wunderkid Jacob Wohl:
It’s at least a little funny that the parental citizenship question never occurred in the minds of birthers when they were using their racism to undermine the legitimacy of Barack Obama. Obama was not only born in Hawaii but was born to a white mother from Kansas, and paying attention to that would have really ruined the Right’s fun.
Harris was born in Oakland, California - a town nearly a stone’s throw from my home - and there is this thing called the 14th amendment that is, like, not at all ambiguous about those born on American soil being Americans. It has no mention of citizenship status of parents. But I pity the Right wing mind, which believes the second phrase of the Second Amendment to be the entirety of the US Constitution.
If there’s a silver-lining to this cloud, it occurs to me that the Right is petrified of another black candidate who speaks their mind and upends the white-privileged political order, and they are terrified of Kamala Harris.
Attacks on Harris’ identity weren’t restricted to birtherism from the Right, however. In an eerie reminder of the Obama campaign, Harris’ blackness is seen by some as a subject of legitimate question because of - wait for it - the race of her husband.
I don’t get this. I really don’t.
Are we really going through this bullpucky birtherism and black-enough-ism every time a person of color who has the chops to be president runs for the office?
I like Kamala Harris. That’s not a secret. But this is not meant to be a piece to endorse her candidacy. We will have plenty of research, discussion and debate on all the Democrats running for president in 2020. But we will not tolerate disgusting, racist attacks on our candidates’ legitimacy.
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