Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)
Sen. Cory Booker would like to remind you that he, on occasion, cusses. Saturday marked such an occasion. In fact—he even put it in writing.
The New Jersey senator and presidential hopeful hopped on Twitter to defend fellow senator (and fellow Democratic presidential candidate) Kamala Harris, who has been weathering criticism about not being “black enough” since officially setting her sights on the White House for 2020.
“Kamala Harris doesn’t have shit to prove,” Booker wrote, quote-tweeting an article from The New York Times about the most recent debacle, which comes—perhaps not coincidentally—on the heels of the California Democrat’s strong showing at this week’s presidential debates.
The most recent attacks on Harris’ blackness were amplified Thursday, after the second night of the Democratic debates, when one of Donald Trump’s idiot sons (the one with the dark hair) quote tweeted a claim that Harris was “not an American black” because her father originally hails from Jamaica.
“Is this true? Wow,” Don Jr. wrote. While he later deleted the tweet, it was enough of a boost for the claim to go viral. According to the Huffington Post, an onslaught of bots also helped magnify the racist tweet.
Harris, of course, was born in Oakland, Calif., to Jamaican and Indian parents; she has always identified as black.
As the Huffington Post reports, the person who tweeted the claim under the name “Ali Alexander” appears to be a right-wing operative and conspiracy theorist, Ali Akbar, or Ali Abdul Razaq Akbar.
There are many legitimate issues to have with Harris as a candidate—her about-turns on immigration and deportation, for example, as well as her dubious record as a prosecutor—issues that will continue to pop up as the long presidential campaign season progresses. What’s noteworthy—and telling—is how Trump’s spawn and right-wing conspiracy theorists have seized on the claim that Harris isn’t black enough because her father is a black immigrant, a myopic and reductionist view of how racial identity actually functions in this country (and frankly, throughout the Americas, where many of the same hierarchies and caste systems existed).
At any rate, many other Democratic presidential candidates jumped in to defend Harris on Twitter over the weekend—the first of whom was Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Interestingly, she also faulted tech companies for not doing more to prevent such attacks.
Former vice president Joe Biden, who had a memorable clash with Harris on Thursday (okay, “clash” is a bit generous, Harris crushed him), compared the attacks on her to the ones Barack Obama faced. “Racism has no place in American,” Biden tweeted (but even if it does, the Department of Education shouldn’t be allowed to bus you out of it, sorry!).
Meanwhile, senator Bernie Sanders was very Bernie about the whole thing, taking aim right at li’l Donnie.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro also rose to Harris’ defense, characterizing the attacks as part of a “right-wing effort to delegitimize an accomplished and powerful black woman.” Which, yes.
But kudos to Cory—he was the only presidential motherfucker to cuss about it.