The Daily Beast

The Kamala Harris Birtherism Charge Is Straight-Up Racism and Xenophobia

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call

Just when we thought MAGA-istas couldn’t go any lower, they grab shovels and dig a basement. Even by recent standards, many political observers expected the home stretch of this year’s presidential campaign to be quite ugly. But already, we’re witnessing a campaign of a different sort that—because it’s based on racism and nativism—will likely be even uglier. 

Welcome to the campaign to “other” Kamala Harris.

The verb—formerly known as an adjective—describes the action of attempting to depict someone as not being from around here, being different or foreign or unrelatable. That last one is key. The objective of othering isn’t just to create fear and anxiety. It’s also to create a gap, a chasm, between the “other” and the kind of ordinary, red-blooded, flag-waving folks that make America great (again). The goal is to make sure folks can’t relate to the other.

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