Opinion: Trump’s smears Kamala Harris with another racist “birther” hoax

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By Jonathan Ramirez

President Donald Trump again resorted to xenophobia and reignited the familiar “birther” conspiracy against his political opponent Kamala Harris with no basis in reality. 

After Joe Biden chose Harris to be his running mate on Aug. 11, I was mentally prepared to roll my eyes at the potential racist or sexist remarks coming from Trump, if any. Not only was I half right, but he even went as far as to question her eligibility to serve as a president or vice president. He launched his ignorant attack on Aug. 14 when speaking to reporters.

“I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” President Trump said. “I have no idea if that’s right. I would have thought, I would have assumed, that the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president.”  

The president made the claims about Harris based on a debunked and widely refuted op-ed in Newsweek written by John Eastman. Newsweek has since apologized for the article and claims full accountability with an added editor’s note now at the top of the piece. The article will remain online for the sake of transparency with the editor’s note attached.

When asked about the op-ed in a White House press briefing, Trump showed his cognitive dissonance by praising Eastman, asserting that the article was written by a “very qualified and very talented lawyer.”

“This op-ed is being used by some as a tool to perpetuate racism and xenophobia,” the editor’s note states. “We apologize. The op-ed was never intended to spark or to take part in the racist lie of Birtherism.”

Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California in 1964, years after her parents emigrated to the United States. Her father is Jamaican and her mother was Indian. Yes, she’s allowed to run for vice president. 

We are in a bizarre reality when it is necessary to explain to the President of the United States the difference between naturalization and natural born citizens. With so much knowledge at his disposal, it seems that the president still does not grasp the core concept of the 14th amendment and simply believes whatever headline he reads without really reading the contents.

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside,” the 14th amendment states. 

He continues to double down on the birther conspiracy in his hate fueled presidential campaign by calling Harris “Phony Kamala,” engaging his supporters with deception and falsehoods with ads and Tweets using childish nicknames. 

The president is resorting to the same old tactics that he’s used against former president Barack Obama with baseless reasoning in order to get a rise out of his supporters who will believe whatever he says regardless of the facts.