Prepare For Birtherism 2.0: The Kamala Harris Edition

The racist birthers are at it again.

Yes, that is the same Jacob Wohl who made a fool of himself trying to promote a conspiracy theory about Robert Mueller. But apparently this birther nonsense about Kamala Harris has been traveling among the bottom-feeders of right-wing media for a while now. The guy who took the Obama birther nonsense to court, Charles Kerchner, is at it again.

“Senator Harris is not being transparent on this issue and her office staff has refused to answer any questions on this subject,” Kerchner wrote. “Given Kamala Harris’s year of birth, and her parents emigration years, she was born in the USA to two foreign nationals and thus inherited their respective birth nation’s citizenship when she was born, in addition to being a basic Citizen by being born in the USA to aliens legally domiciled here. Thus Senator Kamala Harris was born with citizenship and required allegiance at birth to three countries. This is hardly what the founders and framers intended when they selected the “natural born Citizen” requirement for the person who would in the future be permitted to be the President and Commander in Chief of our military, once the founding generation was gone.”

In other words, rather than question where Harris was born, these folks want to completely redefine what it means to be a “natural born citizen” in a way that excludes Harris. As Wohl demonstrated, if that doesn’t fly, they’ll simply claim that she wasn’t raised in the United States, even though Harris has lived here for 44 of her 55 years (she lived in Canada from the age of 7 until she graduated from high school).

We’ll have to see what kind of traction this gets. Should Kamala Harris become the 2020 Democratic nominee, I expect we’ll hear a lot more of this kind of thing. Keep in mind that it was a revival of birtherism about Obama that gave Donald Trump a platform on the national political stage.

But having experienced this particular brand of racism before means that fuses will be extremely short. As a reminder of how deeply this affected people the last time around, take a look at this video Baratunde Thurston made on the day that President Obama released his long form birth certificate.

Here’s what Thurston said about the man who would go on to be the 45th president almost five years later.

A man who was given every advantage, who inherited millions and lost it all twice, but had that opportunity because no one’s ever had to ask him to prove anything…a man who lacks intelligence, compassion, common sense, respect, decency, or any understanding of what the f*ck it means to be an American…I find it hard to summarize in mere words the amount of pain and rage this incident has caused. It’s humiliating, not just to Barack Obama, not just to the office of president, not just to black Americans who died and supported our quest for freedom. It’s embarrassing to the entire nation that we would sit and let this happen. We have all been debased by this incident, by a charlatan, by a con man, by a mere promoter of himself.

Given his history, I have no trouble imagining that charlatan once again spewing this particular brand of racism against a candidate like Kamala Harris in 2020. We’ll see something similar aimed at Native Americans if his opponent is Elizabeth Warren. As I’ve said repeatedly in the past, that’s all Republicans have these days, so it will be unleashed in one form or another against whoever the Democrats nominate. The only remaining question is how the media will react this time: will they once again give the racism a platform?

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.