Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris is responding to critics of hers who think the 2020 candidate isn’t “black enough”.
While speaking with journalist Jemele Hill on Monday, the California Senator spoke of how offensive and “challenging” she finds it when questioned about whether she is “black enough” to represent the black community.
“It is challenging … and to be honest with you, it is also hurtful,” the California senator told Jemele Hill on an episode of her podcast “Jemele Hill Is Unbothered.”
Harris was born in Oakland, California to parents of Jamaican and Indian descent.
“It just feels like your blackness is always being put on trial,” Hill said.
“I have said to my team, I’m like, ’Look, I am not running for black history professor. I am running for president of the United States,” Harris responded. “These people need to know black history. And it cannot be, as it always ends up being, that the couple of chocolate chips on the stage have to be the ones teaching everybody else about America’s history. It’s America’s history.”
Harris told Hill that she’s focused on her presidential campaign and doesn’t feel the need to legitimize her blackness during the presidential race.
“For other people who can’t figure out am I ‘black enough,’ I kinda feel like that’s their problem, not mine,” she said. “Maybe they need to go back to school to figure it out. And maybe they need to learn about the African diaspora and maybe they need to learn about a number of other things.”
Earlier this year, Harris responded to criticism she received after media began pointing out her past as a prosecutor ― which contributed to high rates of incarceration in California.
“Look, this is the same thing they did to Barack. This is not new to us,” Harris responded at the time. “They’re trying to … sow hate and division among us. So we need to recognize when we’re being played.”
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