How Sexist, Racist Attacks On Kamala Harris Have Spread Online — a Case Study

In Misleading Information, Violence and Hate On
- Updated

Former vice president Joe Biden’s history-making pick of a woman of color to share the Democratic ticket has been a popular decision. A Post-ABC News poll taken in the days after his selection of his former rival Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) found that a solid 54 percent of Americans approved, while only 29 percent had a negative opinion.

But in the fetid corners of the Internet, a different set of plotlines took hold. A racist trope questioned whether Harris, a daughter of immigrants who was born in the United States, is constitutionally eligible to be vice president. Another suggested her heritage, which is Jamaican and Indian, disqualifies her from claiming she is Black.

One pernicious line of attack on Harris is as old as misogyny itself. It claims that a woman who has served as San Francisco district attorney, California attorney general and U.S. senator slept her way into those positions.

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