Read time: 3 minutes

Kamala Harris Blasts Tropes About Homophobia In The Black Community

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Sen. Harris refused to buy into the notion that Pete Buttigieg's poor polling among African-Americans was because the Black community was more homophobic than any other.

The media is doing all it can to elevate the white candidates in this race. Just in the October debate, the six candidates with the most speaking time were all white, Beto O'Rourke got more speaking time than Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren got nearly 3 times as much speaking time as Julián Castro. And for people who keep track of such things, as recently as a month ago, Harris was receiving only 3% of media coverage compared to other candidates, while in the same week, enduring 68% more attacks on Twitter than five of the other top candidates combined.

And don't forget this weekend, when CSPAN covered Iowa's huge Democratic event, the Liberty and Justice Dinner, where Sen. Harris had an absolutely outstanding performance by all media accounts. Somehow, for hours after the speeches were posted on the site, the filter list included everyone's name but Kamala Harris'.

After lots of hell-raising on Twitter from her supporters and fair-minded journalists, CSPAN corrected the error, but could the erasure be any more obvious? You could pull up John Delaney's speech with no problem, but not Kamala Harris'? Come on, now.

For all the Democratic party's talk about valuing diversity in its field, it seems to be doing the most to elevate the palest of its choices. And for all the media's initial talk about the impact Black voters will have in choosing the Democratic nominee, they sure do seem anxious to generalize about them, now that they're not showing up in droves at the white candidates' rallies or in their poll numbers (except, perhaps, for Biden.)

Witness the rush to explain away why Pete Buttigieg is polling near 0% with Black voters. Buttigieg, many in the media, and even some Black people are blaming his unpopularity on homophobia in the Black community. Last night, Wolf Blitzer asked Kamala Harris for her take on this analysis.

BLITZER: I want you to react to something that Congressman Jim Clyburn, the House majority whip told our Dana Bash yesterday on The State of the Union, he said that for some older African-American voters it IS an issue that Mayor Pete Buttigieg is gay. What do you make of that?

HARRIS: Here's what I make of it. Bias occurs in every community, but I have to tell you, to be very honest with you, that I'm never gonna buy into that trope — and I think it's a trope that has evolved among some Democrats — to suggest that African-Americans are homophobic, or that there's transphobia in the Black community as a community. That's just nonsense. I'm not saying that about Representative Clyburn, who I respect a lot. I'm talking about a trope that has developed among some. And, the reality is that sadly, and unfortunately, in ALL communities, bias occurs and in particular homophobia and transphobia. I spent my entire career fighting against it. So I know it is a fact. But to label one community in particular as being burdened by this bias as compared to others is misinformed, it's misdirected, and it's just simply wrong.

BLITZER: Let me get to --

HARRIS: Not to mention the fact, when you talk about the African-American community, it's not a monolith. It INCLUDES gay, transgender, LGBQT people within that community who are loved by their community, loved by their family.

BLITZER: Like every community.

HARRIS: Like EVERY community.

Consider, then, that perhaps Buttigieg is polling at 2% (if that) with Black voters not because of a problem with the VOTERS, but because of a problem with HIM. And so far, Kamala Harris is the only candidate who has gone so far as to reject that trope being slung around about her own community.

This is part of our continuing coverage of the 2020 elections.

View more

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $20 for 2020? Please consider a one time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.