• Jacob Borsting

America: Stop The Racist Birtherism Nonsense

VP nominee Kamala Harris who is currently at the center of a racist birtherism theory ; Photo by Gage Skidmore

An op-ed in Newsweek this week has once again sparked a “birtherism” debate in the United States - this time regarding Vice-Presidential nominee Kamala Harris. The piece, written by lawyer John C. Freeman alleges Kamala Harris is ineligible for office as she is not a “natural born citizen” arguing that because her parents were not naturalized citizens at the time of her birth she is disqualified from running on the Democratic ticket. Despite the op-ed being widely criticized by top constitutional lawyers across the country, it continues to be a topic of discussion - even by the President of the United States.

It doesn’t take a constitutional lawyer to understand that Kamala Harris is a natural-born citizen. You're born here - you're an American, period. The birtherism argument regarding Harris, who was born and raised in Oakland, is not only flat out wrong - it’s racist. It is far from coincidental when a woman of color - in which there is zero controversy surrounding her place of birth - has her credentials questioned based on the citizenship of her parents.

Unsurprisingly when President Trump was asked about the Newsweek op-ed he offered no opposition to the racist talking point. When asked Thursday by a reporter to definitely say whether Vice-Presidential nominee Harris was eligible to run as Vice-President, POTUS offered no pushback. Trump responded saying “the lawyer who wrote that piece is a very qualified, very talented lawyer”. Going on to say he has “no idea if that's right” but it is “very serious”.

Trump just can’t help himself. Even when thrown a softball question from a reporter, in which all Trump had to do was shut down the racist theory, he decides to provide the unfounded claims even more of a stage. Given Trump’s 2011 attacks on President Obama, claiming he was not born in the United States, the response from the President is not surprising. But it is certainly disheartening. In a time in which the country is in so much pain - the President decides to provide a platform for a flat-out racist birtherism theory.

Let's get something straight - you can like Kamala Harris, or you can hate her - but you can’t claim she isn’t an American. Her parents came to this country for a better life, just as many of our parents and grandparents had. She was born in America. She is American. It doesn’t require constitutional lawyers and gibberish from the President of the United States to figure that out. America needs to do better - we need to come together as a country and reject these racist birther sentiments that continue to occur during elections. It is sickening.

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