There’s already a full-fledged Birther campaign against Sen. Kamala Harris
Last Thursday was the second Democratic Party debate, and it featured Kamala Harris challenging Joe Biden directly about his history on race issues. The clips were amazing and I’m obviously pro-Harris. I desperately want all of the old men (Bernie, Biden) to drop the f–k out of the primary. But neither will. Anyway, the Russian bots were particularly triggered by Kamala Harris’s general awesomeness on issues of segregation, busing and whether Democrats should be willing to cozy up to white supremacists. A movement is starting to take shape, and it’s a movement being elevated by people like Don Trump Jr. and his coherts. That movement? To delegitimize Kamala Harris as an African-American woman because… she’s mixed race and her parents were immigrants. She’s the daughter of an East Indian mother and a Jamaican father. She was born in Oakland, California. So, of course, Russians and MAGA Deplorables gotta do this all over again:
Not long after Sen. Kamala Harris challenged Joe Biden’s record on race during part two of the first Democratic debate last night, a barrage of tweets questioned her race and US citizenship. While these claims erupted into national prominence last night, in part due to a quote-tweet from Donald Trump Jr., falsehoods about her have long been simmering in fringe conspiracy and neo-Nazi circles.
Just as Barack Obama’s US citizenship and background became a full-fledged conspiracy theory — promoted at the time by Donald Trump — Harris has also been targeted with disinformation questioning her race and legitimacy as a US citizen. Obama birther conspiracy theorists and prominent neo-Nazis, including Andrew Anglin, have questioned her eligibility to run for president, and she’s been labeled an “anchor baby.”
In fact, Harris was born in Oakland to an Indian mother and Jamaican father, and is eligible to run for president.
Last night’s tweets, some of which were amplified by bots and in one case by Trump Jr., gave a new level of exposure to earlier claims propagated by fringe websites and discredited figures such as Jacob Wohl and the virulent neo-Nazi Anglin. As documented by social media researcher Caroline Orr, Harris’s presence in the debate led to an onslaught of tweets that claimed she isn’t black, was not born in the United States, and was raised in Canada. (Harris went to high school in Canada, but otherwise lived in the US.)
Buzzfeed did analysis of how the bot accounts repeated and amplified the “Kamala isn’t black enough or African-American or really an American” message. We’ve seen this before because it was done to Barack Obama. Donald Trump was the head birther that time and all of those white dudes in Congress loved Trump for all of his birther antics. So, just FYI – if you’re a Kamala fan/supporter or you just want to see her in the race, speaking truth to white dudes, you’re going to have to contend with a lot of bulls–t from the Deplorables, racists and bots who are all terrified of her.
Sidenote: I was doing this job for years and already into my 30s before I realized I was an “anchor baby” too – my Indian dad was not a naturalized citizen when I was born, and I think he was still living in America on a work visa at the time. That doesn’t make me any less of a citizen though, because citizenship is conferred on any baby born in the US. It really is that simple. Kamala was born in Oakland. I was born in Boston. We’re both half-Indian. And we’re both done with this bullsh-t.
— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) June 28, 2019
Also, something nice did happen – many of the other Dem candidates defended Kamala from the coordinated attack (I’m just including a few defenses but if you click on the tweet, you can see the thread).
— Zohreen (@Zohreen) June 29, 2019
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Photos courtesy of Getty, Avalon Red.
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