President Trump promoted a racist, birther lie about Democratic vice presidential nominee, Kamala Harris.
What We Know
- The attacks on Harris began Thursday (Aug. 13) with a retweet by a Trump campaign senior legal adviser of an essay questioning Harris’ citizenship called: “Is Kamala Harris Ineligible to be Vice President under the U.S. constitution’s Citizenship Clause”?
- Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California to two immigrant parents. Her father, Donald Harris, was born in Jamaica and her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was born in India.
- The now taken down Newsweek Op-Ed by John C. Eastman questioned the legitimacy of Harris’ citizenship arguing that Harris was not a “natural born citizen” because her parents were immigrants and not natural-born citizens.
- This racist lie of Birtherism is insubstantial because pursuant to the 14th amendment “a person born within and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States automatically acquires US citizenship, known as jus soli”.
- President Donald Trump did not denounce the rumors. At a recent press conference he said, “The lawyer who wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer. I have no idea if that is right. I would’ve assumed the Democrats would’ve checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president.” His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has also not condemned the rumors. In a recent interview with CBS, he avoided the subject.
- These racist attacks come as no surprise to anyone; only a few years ago, Trump was attacking the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. In 2011, Trump questioned Obama’s citizenship with no real evidence to back up his claims. Trump only recently acknowledged that Obama was a citizen and put an end to the birther conspiracies in 2016.
- Joe Biden commented on Twitter saying “The same forces of hatred rooted in ‘birtherism’ that questioned @BarackObama‘s American citizenship, and even his racial identity, are now being used against Senator@KamalaHarris. It’s disgusting and we have to call it out when we see it.”
Racial identity politics have no place in the 2020 election or any election; although, the Trump campaign will most likely continue using unethical falsehoods to win over voters.