Kamala Harris takes heat from Twitter users over Kwanzaa message

Senator and vice-presidential hopeful Kamala Harris (D-CA) desperately wants to be taken seriously but commits gaffes at nearly the same rate as running mate Joe Biden.

Her most recent episode involves Harris’s Kwanzaa video message posted on Twitter on Saturday, in which Harris said she “grew up” celebrating the holiday. The problem is — as many Twitter users pointed out — the holiday didn’t even exist when she was born, nor is her family African, making it an unlikely family tradition. 

Unlikely scenario

Kwanzaa is a cultural celebration invented in 1966 and meant to honor African “family and social values,” and is celebrated in the US from December 26 to January 1.

Harris declared in the message: “You know, my sister and I, we grew up celebrating Kwanzaa. Every year, our family would – and our extended family, we would gather around, across multiple generations, and we’d tell stories.”

“The kids would sit on the carpet and the elders would sit in chairs, and we would light the candles, and of course, afterwards have a beautiful meal,” Harris reminisced. “And, of course, there was always the discussion of the seven principles. And my favorite, I have to tell you, was always the one about self-determination, kujichagulia.”

“And, you know, essentially it’s about be and do. Be the person you want to be, and do the things you want to do, and do the things that need to be done,” she continued. “It’s about not letting anyone write our future for us, but instead going out and writing it for ourselves. And that principle motivates me today, as we seek to confront the challenges facing our country and to build a brighter future for all Americans. So, to everyone who is celebrating, Happy Kwanzaa from our family to yours.”

Twitter backlash

Despite the altruistic tone of Harris’s address, Twitter users ruthlessly ridiculed the message and Harris’s claims of childhood memories connected to the African holiday.

“Somehow I find it hard to believe that she has a deep childhood attachment to a holiday that didn’t exist when she was born,” commented the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh.

“This is such an obvious lie,” wrote another Twitter user. “She was born in 1964. Kwanzaa was created in 1966. It didn’t really take hold until the late 70s and early 80s. For her whole family to be devoted to it in her childhood is incredibly unlikely… she’s a liar.”

Harris’s family hails from Jamaica on her Father’s side, and India on her Mother’s side, making it even less likely that her family fervently celebrated the newly-minted African holiday in their household.

The Daily Wire pointed out:

Invented in 1966, the actual number of people who celebrate Kwanzaa has been hotly contested for several years. The founder has claimed that as many as 28 million people celebrate it; the African American Cultural Center once claimed 30 million. However, in 2004, a survey for the National Retail Foundation discovered that only 1.6% of those surveyed in the United States celebrated the holiday. Even one of Kwanzaa’s most prominent public proponents, researcher and professor Keith Mayes, has admitted that the holiday’s popularity has seriously waned since the 1960s and 1970s.

Harris has a history of pandering to ethnic and religious groups, taking heat just a few weeks ago for issuing a similar “watered-down, ridiculous, ‘Miss Congeniality’ version of Hanukkah” message — as conservative Jewish commentator Ben Shapiro put it.

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