Cory Booker may be vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination with Kamala Harris, but he showed on Saturday that they’re still on the same team.
Booker stood up for Harris after she faced controversial charges questioning whether she is authentically African-American and questioning her citizenship. BuzzFeed News traced the attacks back to a number of openly racist sources and have been compared to the birther attacks against Barack Obama, right down to the involvement of the Trump family.
Just as Donald Trump was one of the key figures claiming that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, Donald Trump Jr. quickly jumped into the fray regarding the attacks on Kamala Harris. The eldest son of Donald Trump shared a tweet that falsely claimed Harris is not a black American. As Business Insider noted, Trump Jr. later deleted the tweet, which originated from a controversial alt-right activist named Ali Alexander.
“Kamala Harris is implying she is descended from American Black Slaves,” Ali Alexander had tweeted. “She’s not. She comes from Jamaican Slave Owners. That’s fine. She’s not an American Black. Period.”
That tweet has rallied Democratic candidates against Trump Jr., with fellow Senator Cory Booker leading the way. He quoted a New York Times article about about the controversy and added his own views.
“[Kamala Harris] doesn’t have s**t to prove,” Booker tweeted.
Kamala Harris discussed her experiences with race during the first presidential debate, challenging Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden for his past statements about segregationists and his opposition of busing to end school desegregation. Harris said that segregation affected her while she was growing up, even after the federal government had official ended segregation policies.
Donald Trump Jr. Shares, Then Deletes, a Tweet Questioning Kamala Harris's Race. https://t.co/KeNuQK3hrK
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 29, 2019
“Growing up, my sister and I had to deal with the neighbor who told us her parents couldn’t play with us because she — because we were black,” Harris said.
As many pointed out, many of Jamaican heritage have lineage from Africa, the same as African-American descendants of slaves. The attack on Kamala Harris was compared to the racist birtherism attacks on Barack Obama that claimed he was not an American citizen because he had secretly been born outside the United States.
Donald Trump was one of the most vocal in pushing the birtherism movement, even prompting Obama to release his long-form birth certificate. Reports indicated that Trump still believed that Obama was born outside the United States, even after the release of his birth certificate.