Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh on Monday described Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former President Barack Obama as not being truly black, reports Media Matters.
The controversial radio host used a mocking tone to describe Harris, Obama and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich), as people who want to be “victims” so they depict Trump as “this big man bully.”
“And by the way, can somebody explain to me how Kamala Harris is an African-American?” Limbaugh asks.
“Her father is Jamaican and her mother is Indian. How does that equal African-American? Same thing with Barack Obama. Obama’s not African-American, he doesn’t have any history here [inaudible] any of that stuff. And Rashida Tlaib is Palestinian, for crying out — that’d be like calling a Jewish person, a person of color,” he continued.
“How is Rashida Tlaib a person of color? She’s not! This is all about making them victims,” he added. “It’s all about making them appear to be ‘Just little people trying to save themselves and save their country and this big man bully, this guy Trump comes along and squashes on them and steps on them and it’s all because he doesn’t like…’ It’s absurd!”
However, in 2011, Limbaugh claimed that if “Obama had not been African-American, he would never have been elected.”
“[For] the media, the Democrat adults, and the establishment, the Clinton years were their Nirvana. And, if Obama had not been African-American, he would never have been elected. It would have been Hillary and we’d still have had the love affair with the Clintons going on. This is the injection of race into the Democrat primary and overall presidential contest did what the insertion of race does to most subjects; it totally distorts it.”
In September 2008, Limbaugh baselessly claimed that then-Sen. Obama is “not black,” and went on to ask: “Do you know he has not one shred of African-American blood?” Limbaugh continued: “He’s Arab. You know, he’s from Africa. He’s from Arab parts of Africa. … [H]e’s not African-American. The last thing that he is is African-American.”
Limbaugh’s latest attack comes less than a month after Donald Trump Jr. bolstered a racist Twitter campaign questioning Harris’s ability to address issues of importance to black Americans because she is the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant.
The president’s eldest son, in a tweet he’s since deleted, shared a tweet that read: “Kamala Harris is *not* an American Black. She is half Indian and half Jamaican. I’m so sick of people robbing American Blacks (like myself) of our history. It’s disgusting. Now using it for debate time at #DemDebate2? These are my people not her people. Freaking disgusting.”
This isn’t the first time that Limbaugh has claimed that someone isn’t really “African American” unless their ancestors of African descent came directly to this country (Harris’ father immigrated to the United States from Jamaica to pursue his academic career while Obama’s father was a Kenyan citizen who met Obama’s mother while attending college at the University of Hawaii). In 2007, Limbaugh referred to Obama as a “Halfrican American” because his mother is white and his father was Kenyan.
“Hey, Barack Obama has picked up another endorsement: Halfrican American actress Halle Berry. ‘As a Halfrican American, I am honored to have Ms. Berry’s support, as well as the support of other Halfrican Americans,’ Obama said,” Limbaugh told his audience. He later clarified that he was ridiculing Obama and not reporting on a serious news story: “He didn’t say it, but — anyway, there are those out there — greetings.”
Addressing the controversy surrounding Harris, Salon’s D. Watkins wrote, “Black people are not monolithic. Some of us want weed to be legalized and some of us don’t. Many of us marry white people and live happily ever after. Some don’t want or need reparations. Just like Harris and Booker, some black people will never be cool. Expecting her to mark off every item on the Black Candidate Checklist is the reason why these goofy claims like “Is she black enough?” have the space to exist, and they shouldn’t.”