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Who’s Black? Kamala Harris Flooded with Support from Cory Booker, Others As Her Blackness Is Questioned

Presidential hopeful Cory Booker is standing up for U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris against critics who are questioning her blackness because of her Jamaican and Indian ethnicity.

“@KamalaHarris doesn’t have s— to prove,” Booker (D-NJ) tweeted Saturday about his competitor. 

Kamala Harris Cory Booker
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris posts this behind-the-scenes photo with fellow U.S. Sen. Cory Booker during a video to end federal marijuana prohibition May 10, 2018. (Photo by Kamala Haris’ Facebook)

Booker wasn’t the first to vocalize support for Harris when President Donald Trump’s eldest son asked on Thursday if a tweet arguing that Harris (D-CA) should not be considered an American black woman is true.

Democratic presidential hopefuls Jay Inslee, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren all defended Harris on social media.

Warren’s comments follow a rousing performance for Harris last Thursday in the democratic presidential debate.

During the square-off between 10 of the 20 politicians seeking the democratic nomination, Harris outshone front-runner and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

She drew attention to Biden’s past work with segregationists to oppose federal school desegregation efforts and highlighted her own contributions to desegregate California public schools.

“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day,” Harris said. “And that little girl was me.”

Ali Alexander, a right-wing provocateur, responded to Harris with this tweet:

“Kamala Harris is *not* an American Black. She is half Indian and half Jamaican. I’m so sick of people robbing American Blacks [like myself] of our history. It’s disgusting.”

After receiving a flood of criticism for the statement, Alexander posted a video on Twitter explaining that he doesn’t care about the political strategy of Harris’ opposition or her support. 

“This is about my ancestors, the people who created me and me defending my history and the sum of my DNA,” he said.

Ali then referenced Harris’ parents’ backgrounds in a video he posted on Twitter.

“It’s actually racist to think that all black people are the same,” Ali said.

Harris’ mother is an Indian immigrant, and her father is a Jamaican immigrant whose family owned slaves, Ali said, and Jamaican Global News confirmed.

“So while Kamala Harris’ family was owning slaves. My family were slaves,” Ali said.

When asked in media interviews, Harris has focused less on her ethnic background and more on the Trump administration’s focus on her background. 

In a March interview with The Breakfast Club, hosts DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God asked her to address a social media comment that she is “not African-American” because her parents are immigrants and she spent her high school years in Canada.

Harris admitted to spending her high school years in Montreal, Canada, but said she was otherwise born in Oakland and raised in the United States. She said questions about her blackness are not new.

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

Lily Adams, the campaign communications director for Harris, told CNN more recently that the question Trump Jr. was raising is similar to one Trump raised about President Barack Obama. 

“It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now,” she said.

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