Donald Trump Jr. was bashed on Twitter Saturday for boosting a new kind of “birtherism” campaign against Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) that’s surging now in the wake of her breakout performance in the Democratic primary debate.
A right-wing operative attacked Harris on Twitter after the debate, claiming she had no right to represent American blacks because her father grew up in Jamaica. Harris is of Indian and Jamaican heritage and was born in Oakland.
The attack went viral thanks in part to Donald Jr.’s retweet and an assist from Twitter accounts identified as bots. The onslaught echoes the “birther” campaign against Barack Obama falsely claiming he was born in Africa and couldn’t therefore legally be president. Donald Trump (with wife Melania ) was a leading voice among a group of conspiracy theorists that promulgated the Obama birther lie. Now the attack moves down a generation.
The irony is that those challenging Harris’ “bonafides” as a minority are battling to undermine equality from within a right-wing perspective.
Screen shot/Donald Trump Jr. tweet
Several other candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination quickly came to Harris’ defense — and lashed Donald Jr. He deleted the birtherism tweet after boosting its readership.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ripped the Tump family’s birther legacy.
The coordinated smear campaign on Senator @KamalaHarris is racist and vile. The Trump family is peddling birtherism again and it’s incumbent on all of us to speak out against it.
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) June 29, 2019
Donald Trump Jr. is a racist too. Shocker. https://t.co/cy0N6fUseX
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 29, 2019
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) June 29, 2019
Joe Biden — who Harris clashed with over desegregation busing in the debate— slammed the “same forces of hatred” behind the birtherism attacks on Obama and Harris.
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.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 29, 2019
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was the first of the rival candidates to attack the “racist” attack in a tweet.
The attacks against @KamalaHarris are racist and ugly. 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.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 29, 2019
The presidential competitive field is stronger because Kamala Harris has been powerfully voicing her Black American experience. Her first-generation story embodies the American dream. It’s long past time to end these racist, birther-style attacks. https://t.co/x5Wdx8DKr8
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) June 29, 2019
There's a long history of black Americans being told they don't belong—and millions are kept down and shut out to this day. @KamalaHarris is an American. Period. And all of us must call out attempts to question her identity for what they are: racist. https://t.co/g3n7lmoU2h
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 29, 2019
Harris’ husband, Douglas Emhoff, thanked his wife’s defenders on Twitter for “calling out this crap for what it is.”