Things That Matter

Don. Jr. Said Kamala Harris Wasn’t Black Enough And Democratic Presidential Candidates Are Not Having It

The Internet has been interrogating Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-Calif.) blackness since she announced her bid for presidency. The Oakland-born daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants has been told she’s not Black enough because of her South Asian ancestry. Now, expert on all things blackness Donald Trump Jr. is questioning her race, suggesting she’s not “Black American” because her family hails from outside of the US.

In a now-deleted tweet, Don. Jr. wrote “Is this true? Wow,” to a tweet claiming that Harris isn’t really Black.

Twitter

“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,” wrote Twitter user Ali Alexander, who appears to be a right-wing operative and conspiracy theorist named Ali Akbar, or Ali Abdul Razaq Akbar.  

With Don. Jr.’s retweet, the original racist message went viral, with numerous people coming for the candidate and her blackness on the Internet. According to the Huffington Post, even bots helped magnify the tweet.

But Harris has also witnessed a lot of defense from people who, despite their politics or support of the contender, are calling out the ignorance and anti-blackness in the debate around her race. Many of her sympathizers are also her challengers in the Democratic Primary.

On Instagram, fellow presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was the first to come to Harris’ defense, even criticizing tech companies for not doing more to prevent social media attacks.

“The attacks against @KamalaHarris are racist and ugly,” Warren tweeted.” We all have an obligation to speak out and say so. And it’s within the power and obligation of tech companies to stop these vile lies dead in their tracks.

Former Vice President Joe Biden compared the assault to those made against his BFF Barack Obama. 

“The same forces of hatred rooted in ‘birtherism’ that questioned @BarackObama’s American citizenship, and even his racial identity, are now being used against Senator @KamalaHarris. It’s disgusting and we have to call it out when we see it. Racism has no place in America,” he tweeted.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro kept it 100 by calling the onslaught a racist attempt to delegitimize a powerful woman of color. 

“These disgusting and racist attacks are part of a right-wing effort to delegitimize an accomplished and powerful black woman. Senator Harris has lived an American dream story, and we shouldn’t give voice to those attempting to undermine it,” the Mexican-American politco tweeted.

Still, no candidate’s response has garnered as much attention and praise than that of Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who used an expletive to fire back at everyone disputing Harris’ blackness.

“.@KamalaHarris doesn’t have shit to prove,” the presidential candidate said in the now-viral tweet.

Cory Booker also came to her defense as well.

He’s right.

As many of us in the Latinx community know — though we, too, have our own undeniable anti-blackness that must be confronted and challenged regularly — Black isn’t synonymous to African American. Black folk are present all over the world, including the Caribbean, where Harris’ father is from, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the US and more. Harris, a Black woman born and raised in the US, is a Black American woman who is just as much a member of the African diaspora as she is the Indian and Caribbean diasporas. All of these identities can co-exist, and they do, not just for her but for numerous Black folk living in the country.

To repeat, Harris and others whose blackness is denied because it doesn’t fit neatly into the US’ simplistic and unworldly racial dichotomy doesn’t have to prove — here’s another curse word — fuckin’ shit.

Read: Presidential Candidates At The Second Democratic Debate Stand Up For Undocumented Health Rights

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Removes Name From Biden’s VP List

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Senator Catherine Cortez Masto Removes Name From Biden’s VP List

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

There is a lot of buzz about who Vice President Joe Biden will pick to be his running mate. One thing everyone agrees on is that the running mate should be a woman of color. Senator Amy Klobuchar was reportedly asked to going through the vetting process. Meanwhile, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto came forward to say she has no interest in being a running mate.

Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is officially withdrawing her name from Jo Biden’s list of potential running mates.

Sen. Cortez Masto is the first Latina ever elected to the Senate and her career has been a highlight for the state. However, the serious impact of COVID-19 on Nevada, one of the hardest-hit economies in the U.S., convinced her not to try to earn the position of running mate for Biden.

Sen. Cortez Masto has been engaged in the ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19 in the Silver State.

“I support Joe Biden 100% and will work tirelessly to help get him elected this November,” reads a statement from her campaign. “Nevada’s economy is one of the hardest hit by the current crisis and I will continue to focus on getting Nevadans the support they need to get on back on their feet.”

Nevada’s unemployment rate sits are 28 percent, which is the highest in the country right now. The number is also the highest unemployment number recorded by a state since 1976. Latinos make up 30 percent of the state’s population meaning that Latinos in the state are feeling the crunch.

Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic nominee, praised Sen. Cortez Masto for her work with Nevada.

“I’ve admired Senator Cortez-Masto as long as I have known her because she’s a leader with integrity,” Biden said in a statement. “Nevadans are fortunate to have her fighting for them in Washington and I look forward to seeing her continue to lead in the Senate.”

There is still time for Biden to pick his running mate and women seem to be at the top of the list.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar came under fire recently after it was discovered that she refused to bring charges against fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. In 2006, Chauvin was involved in the deadly shooting of a Black man and Sen. Klobuchar, who was the Hennepin County attorney at the time, declined to bring up charges in the death.

Sen. Klobuchar sent the case to a grand jury and the grand jury found no reason to prosecute. It is a decision that Sen. Klobuchar claims to realize was a lapse of judgment.

“I think that was wrong now,” Klobuchar said in an interview on MSNBC. “I think it would have been much better if I took the responsibility and looked at the cases and made the decision myself.”

READ: We Didn’t Elect The First Woman President, But We Elected The First Latina Senator

During A Livestream Event, It Definitely Sounds (And Looks) Like Joe Biden Let Out A Giant Fart

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During A Livestream Event, It Definitely Sounds (And Looks) Like Joe Biden Let Out A Giant Fart

Joe Biden / YouTube

Even with the global Coronavirus pandemic affecting pretty much everyone in so many different ways – we’re still in the middle of an election year. And that means that politics must go on. This is especially true when we’re being governed by an administration with no national plan to combat the virus – not to mention a long history of policies directly harming communities of color.

Before the pandemic hit, Trump was traveling around the U.S. hosting huge rallies and the Democratic primary season was in full swing. Now that the presumptive Democratic nominee is VP Joe Biden, he too has been trying to campaign. But with the pandemic shutting down large gatherings, the campaigns have had to go digital.

During an online campaign event, Vice President Joe Biden seems to have launched #FartGate.

Credit: Joe Biden / YouTube

Political campaigns can be a lot of hard work, placing a lot of strain on the body and mind, leaving almost no time for respite or self-care. And with the U.S. election on the horizon, Joe Biden has been out in full force, even with the small case of a pandemic going on.

The Vice President was on a live vide chat with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf discussing the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the state when the now infamous moment took place. In the video, you can very clearly hear ‘the noise’ – a noice many are convinced was a fart.

Yes, you read that correctly – a fart and possibly a very wet one. Those watching noticed this and were more than happy to splash it all over social media. In fact, the sound was so clear that Governor Wolf ended up blinking and shaking his head upon realizing what had just happened. The clip of the awkward episode was even shared on Biden’s official YouTube channel.

To add to people’s suspicions, Biden also appears to lean back into his chair during #fartgate.

Credit: Joe Biden / YouTube

He appeared to lean back in his chair at the same time as the noise, while Wolf appeared to blink and shake his head shortly after.

Although there is more than likely a reasonable explanation behind this, Wolf’s expression does noticeably change when he hears the noise. Either he dealt it or was completely shocked that Biden would be so brazen as to let one rip during a campaign video.

Right-wing figures on Twitter soon clipped the moment, and it was shared by the conservative outlet the Daily Caller, as well as Donald Trump Jr.

The president’s son likened it to the interview Rep. Eric Swalwell did on MSNBC in November with Chris Matthews in which a loud fart was heard. Though to be totally transparent, Rep. Swalwell vehemently denied that he had farted or that he had even heard a fart-like noise at all.

Surprisingly, this isn’t even the first incident like this just this month. At the beginning of May, during Supreme Court arguments, it sounded like a toilet was flushed in the background.

Apparently, moments usually reserved for private are just something we have to adjust to as we continue to be under stay-at-home orders and working from home – or in the case of Joe Biden: campaigning from home.