'A Tool to Perpetuate Racism and Xenophobia': Newsweek Apologizes for Kamala Harris Birther Op-Ed

Illustration for article titled A Tool to Perpetuate Racism and Xenophobia: Newsweek Apologizes for Kamala Harris Birther Op-Ed
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

Make no mistake: White people know birtherism is racism.

They knew it when Trump and conservatives all over the country were demanding to see multiple forms of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate to prove his eligibility to be commander-in-chief, and they know it now that they’re using the birther narrative to suggest that Kamala Harris isn’t eligible to be presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate.

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After defending its white nonsense for a week, Newsweek is apologizing for letting some right-wing Trump-humper the publication recently hired to publish an op-ed piece questioning Harris’ citizenship and eligibility to serve as vice president.

From the Daily Beast:

Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Nancy Cooper and the magazine’s recently hired opinion editor, Trump-backing conservative activist and attorney Josh Hammer, apologized on Friday after nearly a week of defending a right-wing law professor’s op-ed questioning Sen. Kamala Harris’ U.S. citizenship and her eligibility to be Joe Biden’s running mate.

“This op-ed is being used by some as a tool to perpetuate racism and xenophobia. We apologize,” read the editor’s note that replaced their earlier detailed defense of the op-ed. “[T]o many readers, the essay inevitably conveyed the ugly message that Senator Kamala Harris, a woman of color and the child of immigrants, was somehow not truly American.”

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Even Newsweek’s own staffers are pissed off knowing that they work for a media outlet that would treat this ghetto ass birther argument like it’s respectable journalism.

“To see this piece run on Newsweek’s website was beyond devastating,” London-based Newsweek correspondent Chantal Da Silva tweeted on Thursday, as members of the magazine’s London bureau sent an anguished and angry letter to top editor Cooper demanding that the essay be taken down. “It is inaccurate and it is dangerous. Journalism should be about informing, not inflaming and certainly not about spreading baseless claims that can only fuel the flames of racism and hatred.”

Christina Zhao, a New York-based senior breaking news editor, tweeted: “This is an inflammatory and racist op-ed that should never have been published. That is my opinion.”

Here’s the thing: Conservatives either have to believe that their beloved nation—supposedly number 0ne in any and all things—is so incompetent that our political process would allow a person to reach the highest governing office in the country without even checking to make sure they can legally hold said office, or they need to admit that they run with the birther argument because they don’t want Black people with foreign-sounding names anywhere near the Oval Office.

Just say you want to make America White-run again and stop with this desperate ass birther nonsense.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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DISCUSSION

thirdamendmentman
ThirdAmendmentMan

Oh yes the Conservative apology. Do something obviously racist, defend it, then drop a weak as hell apology.

This op-ed is being used by some as a tool to perpetuate racism and xenophobia.

No, the op-ed IS perpetuating racism and xenophobia.