Kamala Harris’s Blackness Isn’t Up for Debate

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-02-17 00:41Z by Steven

Kamala Harris’s Blackness Isn’t Up for Debate

The Atlantic
2019-02-16

Jemele Hill, Staff Writer

Kamala Harris
Leah Millis / Reuters

Her identity and motives are being unfairly challenged on all sides.

I would never have put Snoop and Tupac Shakur on the list of things that could potentially harm Senator Kamala Harris’s presidential bid. But this week, two of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time unwillingly played a part in the latest attack on Harris’s blackness, which came after the California Democrat’s appearance on the popular morning-radio show The Breakfast Club.

Harris engaged in a 40-minute-plus, wide-ranging conversation with the hosts Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy, detailing an agenda focused on issues disproportionately affecting African Americans: the staggering rate at which black women are dying in childbirth, mass incarceration, and poverty.

Unfortunately for Harris, her stances on these matters were drowned out by a dumb headline. Call it #AllEyezOnMeGate. Charlamagne asked Harris whether she’d ever smoked marijuana. She admitted that she’d smoked in college—and did indeed inhale. At some point, Envy asked Harris about her favorite music. But before she could respond, Charlamagne jokingly asked Harris about what she liked to listen to when she imbibed. Harris laughed off Charlamagne’s question and instead told Envy that some of her favorite artists were Snoop and ’Pac. She also mentioned her affinity for Cardi B.

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Harris takes on questions about her ‘blackness’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-02-16 23:10Z by Steven

Harris takes on questions about her ‘blackness’

Cable News Network (CNN)
2019-02-11

Maeve Reston, CNN National Political Reporter

Harris' answer to critics who say she's not 'black enough'

(CNN)—Sen. Kamala Harris directly confronted critics Monday who have questioned her black heritage, her record incarcerating minorities as a prosecutor and her decision to marry a white man.

In an interview with The Breakfast Club hosts DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God that aired Monday, the show’s hosts asked the California Democrat to address a series of derogatory memes that have circulated on social media. One of the hosts cited a meme that said Harris is “not African-American” because her parents were immigrants born in India and Jamaica and she spent her high school years in Canada.

“So I was born in Oakland, and raised in the United States except for the years that I was in high school in Montreal, Canada,” Harris responded with a laugh. “And look, this is the same thing they did to Barack (Obama). This is not new to us and so I think that we know what they are trying to do.”

“They are trying to do what has been happening over the last two years, which is powerful voices trying to sow hate and division, and so we need to recognize when we’re being played,” Harris said.

One of the hosts followed up by asking Harris how she responds to people who question “the legitimacy of your blackness.”

“I think they don’t understand who black people are,” Harris replied. “I’m not going to spend my time trying to educate people about who black people are. Because right now, frankly, I’m focused on, for example, an initiative that I have that is called the ‘LIFT Act’ that is about lifting folks out of poverty,” she said, detailing her plan for a $6,000 tax credit for middle class Americans.

“I’m black, and I’m proud of being black,” she said at a later point in the interview. “I was born black. I will die black, and I’m not going to make excuses for anybody because they don’t understand.”…

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‘I am who I am’: Kamala Harris, daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, defines herself simply as ‘American’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2019-02-03 04:47Z by Steven

‘I am who I am’: Kamala Harris, daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, defines herself simply as ‘American’

The Washington Post
2019-02-02

Kevin Sullivan, Senior Correspondent


Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), center, sings the Alpha Kappa Alpha hymn at the sorority’s annual “Pink Ice Gala” on Jan. 25 in Columbia, S.C. (Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg News)

SAN FRANCISCO — In early 2010, an Indian American couple hosted a fundraiser in their elegant Pacific Heights home for Kamala Harris, then a Democratic candidate for California attorney general.

Harris had been San Francisco’s high-profile district attorney for more than six years, but Deepak Puri and Shareen Punian had only recently learned that Harris was, as Punian said, “one of our peeps,” a woman whose mother was an Indian immigrant.

They had always assumed Harris was African American, and so did most of the 60 or 70 Indian American community leaders at the event, many of whom asked Puri and Punian why they had been invited.

“At least half of them didn’t know she was Indian,” said Punian, a business executive and political activist.

Harris, 54, now a U.S. senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, would be several firsts in the White House: the first woman, the first African American woman, the first Indian American and the first Asian American. The daughter of two immigrants — her father came from Jamaica — she would also be the second biracial president, after Barack Obama.

Obama’s soul-searching quest to explore his identity, as the son of a white mother from Kansas and a Kenyan father who was largely absent from his life, was well-documented in his autobiography.

But when asked, in an interview, if she had wrestled with similar introspection about race, ethnicity and identity, Harris didn’t hesitate:

“No,” she said flatly…

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Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General, Leaps to Forefront of Senate Race

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-03-30 17:52Z by Steven

Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General, Leaps to Forefront of Senate Race

The New York Times
2015-03-27

Adam Nagourney, Los Angeles Bureau Chief

CASTAIC, Calif. — When Kamala D. Harris, a Democrat, was the newly elected district attorney of San Francisco in 2004, she walked into a firestorm after deciding not to pursue the death penalty for a man accused in the killing of a police officer — drawing attacks from law enforcement leaders and even Senator Dianne Feinstein, one of the most respected Democrats in the state.

Six years later, when Ms. Harris ran for state attorney general, national Republicans poured more than $1 million into the race, trying to defeat her with charged advertisements invoking the death penalty case. Ms. Harris barely defeated her Republican opponent, the district attorney of Los Angeles.

But now, at age 50 and after winning a second term, Ms. Harris has suddenly established herself as the dominant candidate in the race to replace Senator Barbara Boxer, a Democrat who announced in January that she would retire next year. With a speed and efficiency that startled many in her party, Ms. Harris has appeared, at least for now, to dispatch what most people had expected would be a sprawling generational battle with powerful ethnic overtones, given that Latinos now make up nearly 40 percent of California’s population…

She herself would be a pioneering figure, if elected — simultaneously the first black and the first South Asian senator from California

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California Attorney General Announces Run for Senate

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-01-13 18:53Z by Steven

California Attorney General Announces Run for Senate

The New York Times
2015-01-13

Adam Nagourney, Los Angeles Bureau Chief

Kamala Harris Makes Bid for Barbara Boxer’s Old Seat

LOS ANGELES — No exploratory committees here: Kamala D. Harris, the California attorney general, announced on Tuesday she was running for the Senate seat that is opening up with Barbara Boxer’s retirement at the end of the year.

Ms. Harris’ announcement, posted on a new campaign website, came a day after the California lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, who was widely viewed here as the other major contender for the seat, announced that he was not going to run. Friends say that Mr. Newsom is more interested in running for governor when Jerry Brown retires in four years.

Democrats here have long suggested that Ms. Harris and Mr. Newsom would avoid running against each other, because they are both such strong candidates, with their own fund-raising bases and they both come from Northern California.

Ms. Harris, who is 50, is the daughter of a Jamaican-American father and an Indian-American mother.

She was re-elected to a second term as attorney general last year…

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