Why Are Black People Making Kamala Harris Choose Only Part of Her Identity?

I realize this post may be divisive, especially in our current political climate, but I feel the need to explain this.

Earlier today, I saw a post that was a deliberate slight against Kamala Harris, and I have to admit I was taken aback by it.

This is the image.

Kamala Harris identity

The person who shared that image added the caption, “Bol girl stop playing which is it?“.

My gut wrenched a little bit, because it wasn’t just a black person that shared it and asked that question.

It was a black pastor.

And if you look at his timeline, he was talking about how black people should stop voting for color and look at their policies, and then he goes on in great detail about her color, circulating a lie that her father is Indian too and the just immigrated to Jamaica, and she isn’t really black.

As a black person with a mixed background, it was hurtful because I remember being told by bullies that, “I’m not really black” because I wasn’t like them.

I didn’t walk, talk, dress or act like them, and I wasn’t like any other black person they knew, so I must not be black.

Well, I quickly set them straight, and I’m going to set the record straight about Kamala Harris too, (not that she needs me to, but because apparently some people in my sphere of influence needs to hear it from a peer in their own circles).

For the record, (addressing the claim that her father was Indian too and they just immigrated to Jamaica), Kamala Harris’ mother was born in Painganadu, India, (almost a couple hundred miles south of Chennai), and her father was born in Saint Ann’s Bay, Jamaica.

The claim is a blatant and mean-spirited lie — whatever the reason or purpose for it, I don’t know, but it is a lie.

I’d also point out that it’s also the same kind of ill-spirited and hateful political nonsense that fed Obama’s birther conspiracy.

It’s interesting to see how the same black people who were upset about the birther conspiracy, do the exact same thing to a black woman. It’s hypocritical at the very least.

Regarding how she identifies, you all know that she can be BOTH right?

First of all, “Black” isn’t a nationality or country of origin, and second, Kamala Harris’ parents, as was made clear, were Indian and Jamaican. And she is an American.

What that means is:

  1. She can identify as black.
  2. She can identify as Indian.
  3. She can identify as Asian (because India is on the Asian continent).
  4. She can identify as Asian-American.
  5. She can identify as Indian-American.
  6. She can identify as Jamaican-American.

And this one will flip you…

Jamaica has African roots, so she can even identify as African-American and claim her African roots just as much as any other black American person can.

NONE of that means she isn’t a black woman.

She is a black woman with a diverse heritage, and she doesn’t have to choose which part of her heritage she has to identify by, and it’s wrong and small-minded for anyone to expect or demand that she does – especially of black people.

She can be all of it and honor all of her heritage.

Stop trying to make people of mixed heritage choose part of their identity and ignore the rest.


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