Sen. Kamala Harris is pushing back against the rising “birtherism” commentary surrounding her race and citizenship, following her stellar performance on Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate.
The biggest culprit thus far has been Donald Trump Jr., who retweeted a critic of Harris that questioned her identity during the debate.
“Kamala Harris is not an American Black. She is half Indian and half Jamaican,” the tweet said. “I’m so sick of people robbing American Blacks (like myself) of our history. It’s disgusting. Now using it for debate time at #DemDebate2? These are my people not her people. Freaking disgusting.”
Trump Jr. has since deleted the tweet after sharing it with his millions of followers with the comment, “Is this true? Wow.”
But Harris isn’t here for it. Her campaign communications director, Lily Adams, dismissed the attack. She likened the comment to the rhetoric President Donald Trump used to question former President Barack Obama’s birthplace in the lead up to the 2012 election.
“This is the same type of racist attack his father used to attack Barack Obama,” Adams told CNN. “It didn’t work then and it won’t work now.”
Harris was born in the US to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father who were both immigrants.
Other candidates have also come out in support of the attack against Harris, including former Vice President Joe Biden.
“The same forces of hatred rooted in ‘birtherism’ that questioned [Barack Obama’s] American citizenship, and even his racial identity, are now being used against Senator [Kamala Harris],” he tweeted. “It’s disgusting and we have to call it out when we see it. Racism has no place in America.”
In a March interview with The Breakfast Club, Harris spoke openly about those questioning her Blackness.
“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.