“My mother understood she was raising two black children to be black women.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-03-29 02:59Z by Steven

“My mother understood she was raising two black children to be black women,” [Kamala] Harris said in the interview, a line she has often used to settle questions on the subject. Shyamala Gopalan Harris encouraged her daughter to go to Howard [University], a school her mother knew well, having guest lectured there and having friends on the faculty.

“There was nothing unnatural or in conflict about it at all,” Harris said. “There were a lot of kids at Howard who had a background where one parent was maybe from the Philippines and the other might be from Nairobi,” she added. “Howard encompasses the [African] diaspora.”

Evan Halper, “A political awakening: How Howard University shaped Kamala Harris’ identity,” The Los Angeles Times, March 19, 2019. https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-kamala-harris-howard-university-20190319-story.html.

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A political awakening: How Howard University shaped Kamala Harris’ identity

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2019-03-29 02:47Z by Steven

A political awakening: How Howard University shaped Kamala Harris’ identity

The Los Angeles Times
2019-03-19

Evan Halper

A political awakening: How Howard University shaped Kamala Harris’ identity
Kamala Harris, right, protests South African apartheid with classmate Gwen Whitfield on the National Mall in November 1982. (Photo courtesy of Kamala Harris)

The war on drugs had erupted, apartheid was raging, Jesse Jackson would soon make the campus a staging ground for his inaugural presidential bid. Running for student office in 1982 at Howard University — the school that nurtured Thurgood Marshall, Toni Morrison and Stokely Carmichael — was no joke.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has been known to break the ice with voters by proclaiming the freshman-year campaign in which she won a seat on the Liberal Arts Student Council her toughest political race. Those who were at the university with her are not so sure she is kidding.

It was at Howard that the senator’s political identity began to take shape. Thirty-three years after she graduated in 1986, the university in the nation’s capital, one of the country’s most prominent historically black institutions, also serves as a touchstone in a campaign in which political opponents have questioned the authenticity of her black identity.

“I reference often my days at Howard to help people understand they should not make assumptions about who black people are,” Harris said in a recent interview…

Read the entire article here.

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It’s 2019, Why Are We Still Policing Blackness?

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-03-07 19:52Z by Steven

It’s 2019, Why Are We Still Policing Blackness?

My American Melting Pot
2019-03-01

Lori L. Tharps, Host, Head Chef and Chief Content Creator; Associate Professor of journalism
Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hello Meltingpot Readers,

As we wind down the Blackest month of the year, I wanted to write something positive and inspirational about Black people in America. Instead, I’m using this penultimate Black History Month blog post to lament the continuous policing of Blackness…

Read the entire article here.

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Yes, Kamala Harris is ‘black enough’

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-02-25 19:11Z by Steven

Yes, Kamala Harris is ‘black enough’

The Boston Globe
2019-02-19

Renée Graham, Globe Columnist

MANCHESTER, NH - February 19, 2019: - Presidential Candidate, United States Senator Kamala Harris powers a question during "Politics & Eggs" at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics St. at Anselm College in Manchester, NH on February 19, 2019. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff) section: Metro reporter:
Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
United States Senator Kamala Harris answers a question during “Politics & Eggs” at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics St. at Anselm College in Manchester, Feb. 19.

The presidential hopeful knew the comment was coming.

“There are African-Americans who don’t think you’re black enough, who don’t think you’ve had the required experience,” said the white journalist, trailing off before he could define “the required experience.” In a voiceover, he’d already mentioned that the politician was “not a descendant of slaves,” as if that fact automatically impugns black authenticity.

The candidate gave a slight, weary smile and responded, “I am rooted in the African-American community, but I’m not defined by it. I am comfortable in my racial identity, but that’s not all I am.”

That exchange is from a 2007 “60 Minutes” segment with Barack Obama, the son of a Kenyan father and a white American mother. Now Senator Kamala Harris, daughter of a Jamaican father and Tamil Indian mother, is being subjected to the same inane racial purity questions…

Read the entire article here.

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Kamala Harris’s record and character matter — not the race of her father and husband

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-02-23 21:38Z by Steven

Kamala Harris’s record and character matter — not the race of her father and husband

The Washington Post
2019-02-22

Colbert I. King


Sen. Kamala D. Harris arrives at a Harlem restaurant in New York for lunch with the Rev. Al Sharpton on Thursday. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

California Democratic Sen. Kamala D. Harris hardly had time to finish basking in the glow of her presidential bid’s five-star rollout before 20,000 adoring Oakland hometown fans, when two black-media-inspired questions hit her in the face: Why did she marry a white man? And: Is she black enough?

Harris has answers to both questions. They will appear in this column. But let’s take a look at why these questions turn up in a presidential contest.

Questions about race, sex and interracial coupling aren’t new. Warring over them is older than the Republic…

Read the entire article here.

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In Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, Indian Americans want more opportunities to connect

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-02-19 20:38Z by Steven

In Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, Indian Americans want more opportunities to connect

NBC News
2019-02-12

Chris Fuchs

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks during a rally launching her presidential campaign
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., at a rally launching her presidential campaign on Jan. 27 in Oakland, California. Noah Berger / AFP – Getty Images

While the California Democrat has caught the eyes of South Asian voters, some say her ethnic background isn’t enough for them to identify with her.

Shiv Dass, 82, recalls fondly the time he met Hillary Clinton when she visited Jackson Heights, in the Queens borough of New York City, while campaigning in the 2016 presidential election.

Dass, the owner of Lavanya, an Indian apparel store on 74th Street for almost a quarter century, described the Clintons as having a close relationship with the Indian-American community, owing in part to what he said was Bill Clinton’s support of India when he was president.

Now that a woman with Indian roots, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is running in the 2020 presidential race, Dass, a Democrat, will have some decisions to make.

“I am proud that she is Indian, but I will not support her because she is Indian,” Dass, who immigrated to the United States in 1966, said. “I will support her if she is good for us, good for the country.”

Harris, who kicked off her campaign in her hometown of Oakland in late January, was born to a Jamaican father and an Indian mother. She supports policies such as Medicare for all, debt-free college, and a tax cut that will benefit working families…

Read the entire article here.

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“But I’m black and I’m proud of being black. And I was born black and I will die black. And I’m proud of it. And I’m not going to make any excuses; [be]cause they don’t understand.”

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2019-02-18 21:46Z by Steven

“But Im black and I’m proud of being black. And I was born black and I will die black. And Im proud of it. And Im not going to make any excuses; [be]cause they dont understand.” —United States Senator Kamala D. Harris

Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy “Kamala Harris Talks 2020 Presidential Run, Legalizing Marijuana, Criminal Justice Reform + More,” The Breakfast Club Power, 105.1 FM, WWPR-FM, New York, New York, February 11, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh_wQUjeaTk. (00:40:11-00:40:21).

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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.

Read the entire article here.

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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.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Inside Kamala Harris’s relationship with an Indian-American community eager to claim her

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2019-01-21 18:21Z by Steven

Inside Kamala Harris’s relationship with an Indian-American community eager to claim her

McClatchy: DC Bureau
2018-12-18

Katie Glueck, Senior Political Correspondent

Indian-American publications write about her regularly. Her first name means “lotus” in Sanskrit. She takes pride in grinding her own Indian spices. And she has been known to reference slogans that were used by Indian independence fighters like her grandfather.

If Kamala Devi Harris runs for president, the Democratic senator is poised to be championed by Indian-Americans, a constituency with significant representation in the donor community, growing numbers of political activists and candidates—and a sizable presence in states that will play key roles in the Democratic primary, from California to Texas.

“She will change the game if she runs for president,” said Anurag Varma, a Democratic donor who frequently supports Indian-American candidates and “absolutely” would back Harris. “She will create a new game if she becomes president.”…

Harris, of California, is the daughter of Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who was born in India, and Donald Harris, born in Jamaica. The senator identifies as both African-American and South Asian-American, according to her Senate website, which notes that she is the country’s first South Asian-American senator— a background that opens doors with a diverse set of voters….

Read the entire article here.

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