In an interview with The Breakfast Club that aired Monday, Kamala Harris addressed a batch of derogatory memes that have been circulating social media which question the legitimacy of her Blackness. The memes criticize her mixed-race and immigrant heritage; her mother being born in India and her father in Jamaica. They also brought up the fact that she did not complete her high school years in the U.S., but instead in Canada.
She drew similarities between criticism of President Barack Obama's Blackness during his 2008 presidential election.
"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 laughed. "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."
She further mentioned that these memes are a way to divide, instead of uniting people.
"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.
The Breakfast Club asked Harris how she deals with people questioning her on the authenticity of her 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.
Harris also responded to criticism about her interracial marriage to her husband, Douglas Emhoff. "Look, I love my husband, and he happened to be the one that I chose to marry, because I love him—and that was that moment in time, and that's it," Harris said. "And he loves me.”
"I'm Black, and I'm proud of being Black," she said later during 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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