In file photo Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listens to Christine Blasey Ford testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP/PTI
In file photo Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listens to Christine Blasey Ford testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP/PTI

New York: US Senator Kamala Harris, who is of Indian and Jamaican descent, has directly confronted critics who questioned her Afro-American heritage, her record of incarcerating minorities as a prosecutor and her decision to marry a white man. In an interview on Monday with New York-based The Breakfast Club radio, the show’s hosts asked the California Democrat to address a series of derogatory memes that have circulated on social media, CNN reported.

One of the hosts cited a meme that said Harris is “not African-American” because her parents were immigrants born in India and Jamaica and she spent her high school years in Canada. “So I was born in Oakland, and raised in the US except for the years that I was in high school in Montreal, Canada,” Harris responded.

“And look, this is the same thing they did to Barack (Obama). This is not new to us and so I think that we know what they are trying to do. “They are trying to do what has been happening over the last two years, which is powerful voices trying to sow hate and division, and so we need to recognise when we’re being played,” Harris said. One of the hosts followed up by asking Harris how she responds to people who question “the legitimacy of your blackness”.

“I think they don’t understand who black people are,” Harris replied. “I’m not going to spend my time trying to educate people about who black people are… I’m black, and I’m proud of being black… I was born black. I will die black, and I’m not going to make excuses for anybody because they don’t understand,” she said.