Kamala Harris becomes US Vice-President-elect: A look at oft-repeated misconceptions about the Democrat leader

Kamala Harris, the United States' Vice-President-elect, has had to deal with a large amount of misinformation after she was nominated by the Democrats to vie for the post

FP Staff November 08, 2020 13:27:46 IST
Kamala Harris becomes US Vice-President-elect: A look at oft-repeated misconceptions about the Democrat leader

Kamala Harris during a speech after becoming the US Vice-President-elect. AP

Kamala Harris, the United States' Vice-President-elect, has had to deal with a large amount of misinformation after she was nominated by the Democrats to vie for the post. These range from issues of her citizenship and heritage, to far-right conspiracy theories.

Here are some of the points on which there is often misinformation surrounding the Democrat leader.

Citizenship

After Harris became the Vice-President-elect in the US, search terms such as 'Kamala Harris is Indian' began trending in India. While the intent of these searches in some cases may be to find out more about her family heritage rather than citizenship, it is important to point out that Harris was born in the US, and is a citizen of that country.

She was born in Oakland, California to a Jamaican father and an Indian mother.

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Outgoing US president Donald Trump had also earlier stoked questions about Harris' citizenship and her eligibility to run for public office. As noted by Hindustan Times, some fringe conservatives had argued that while she was born in the US, her parents were not naturalised citizens of America at the time.

Responding to the controversy, Trump was reported to have said, "I heard it today that she (Harris) doesn’t meet the requirements, and by the way, the lawyer who wrote the piece is highly qualified, very talented."

However, the fact that Harris was born in the United States makes her a natural citizen of the country.

Heritage

Misleading claims on social media have also suggested that until accepting the vice-presidential nomination, Harris had not identified as a black American woman.

However, she has always been clear about her dual heritage.

As mentioned by the BBC, she wrote in her autobiography: "My mother understood very well that she was raising two black daughters...She knew that her adopted homeland would see Maya [her sister] and me as black girls, and she was determined to make sure we would grow into confident, proud black women."

'Pizzagate' conspiracy theory

'Pizzagate' is a conspiracy theory which suggests that Hillary Clinton and Democratic elites ran a child sex-trafficking ring through a Washington pizza restaurant. This theory claims that Harris is involved in the alleged racket as her sister was invited by Clinton's presidential campaign manager to a 'Hillary pizza party' in 2016.

However, the claim about such a theory is baseless and there is no evidence to back it up, as noted by The New York Times.

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