US Presidential Elections: What is the controversy surrounding ‘Birtherism’?


Team Udayavani, Aug 17, 2020, 10:31 AM IST

Amid US presidential campaign, controversies surrounding birtherism have been on a rise. It first surfaced in 2008, during former US President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Obama’s citizenship and birthplace were questioned in what is known as the ‘birther movement’.

Mr Obama produced a copy of his birth certificate in April that year showing he was born in Hawaii, but Trump continued to claim it was a “fraud”.

Now, it is said that Trump has once again give fuel to the racist conspiracy theory about Kamala Harris, to portray her as “Other” because of her mixed-race heritage.

According to BBC, a conservative law professor questioned Ms Harris’ eligibility based on her parents’ immigration status at the time of her birth, Mr Trump was asked about the argument at a press conference for which he said “I just heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements and by the way the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer.”

However, Kamala Harris was born in the US to a Jamaican father and Indian mother in Oakland, California, on 20 October 1964. She is eligible to serve as president or vice-president.

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