I’m about to go all Brooklyn on some folks on the internet—take off my earrings and throw down. Verbally of course. Y’all wanna play games to score dubious political points, and dare to question who vice presidential candidate and Sen. Kamala Harris is, or isn’t, regarding her identity as a Black woman who is also of South Asian Tamil heritage, and who was born in Oakland, California?
I’m not having it.
There be folks who are now going full birther (Obama redux) about her citizenship. Spare me the b.s. Last time I looked Oakland, California was still a part of the U.S. It ain’t even an island state like Hawaii.
Yeah, her daddy was Black from Jamaica—that island in the Caribbean that was slavery central during the triangle trade. That place that racist Brits are trying to deport Black Brits back to. (See Windrush.) Home to Marcus Garvey. Y’all fixin’ to unBlack Biggie Smalls (The Notorious B.I.G.)? Or are you gonna whitenize the Caribbean that gave us Black power activist Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), and Shirley Chisholm? Oh yeah, lest I forget, you hoteps better stop quoting Malcolm X too while you’re at it. His mama was from Grenada, and he had (gasp) ... freckles.
Let’s talk about those freckles, or skin color, or hair texture. Black folks come in all colors, from ecru to ebony. We have been Negros, and colored, and Afro-African Americans and just plain old Black, as identifiers. The African American label didn’t manage to point to an African continental ethnic group, simply because the enslavement trade and practice managed to erase our specific continental ethnic heritages so most of us just embrace “Africa,” which is not a country.
Many of us are engaged in searches to find those roots—see the popularity of programs like those by Dr. Henry Louis Gates with ancestry DNA testing. When those family trees are unveiled, it’s really interesting what shows up. Heck, I’ve got ancestors from Norway, and I’m still Black.
The latest bit of bullshit being lobbed at Kamala Harris is that she had “slave-owning ancestors.”
This video breaks it down perfectly.
Why having slave masters in the family is a surprise is beyond me. Sally Hemings, anyone? Anyone with even a modicum of knowledge of how things worked out for enslaved Black women knows the history of rape and concubinage that went hand in hand with being some white man’s chattel.
The Black Trump supporter who was just on Fox spewing this crap clearly needs some edumacating.
I went back and looked for some of the video that was posted back when Harris launched her campaign for the presidency. This one was very pertinent.
Take a listen.
Though I didn’t graduate from Howard University, I went to school there. My mom and dad graduated from historically black colleges and universities. Both were members of Black Greek sororities and fraternities. Harris is no different from my folks, or from me.
Going back to the birther crap: Folks really need to take Newsweek to task for printing this garbage.
To reiterate: Kamala Devi Harris is a Black woman. She is also of South Asian ancestry. She is an American citizen.
Most important in all of this: She will be the next vice president of the United States if we push all the diversionary and deflecting crap into the garbage where it belongs and get out the vote.
Let’s get busy.
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