Rush Limbaugh Falsely Claims Kamala Harris and Barack Obama Are Not African American, Rashida Tlaib Is Not a Woman of Color

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh on Monday falsely claimed that 2020 candidate Kamala Harris and former President Barack Obama are not African Americans and that freshman Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is not a woman of color.

"Can somebody explain to me how Kamala Harris is an African American? Her father's Jamaican and her mother is Indian. How does that equal African American?" Limbaugh said, during a segment on The Rush Limbaugh Show on Monday. "Same with Barack Obama. Obama's not African American. He doesn't have any history here... any of that stuff."

Limbaugh then turned to Tlaib, one of the four progressive lawmakers that President Donald Trump has repeatedly launched racist attacks at over the past week.

"Rashida Tlaib is Palestinian, for crying out ⁠— that'd be like calling a Jewish person a person of color," he continued. "How is Rashida Tlaib a person of color? She's not. This is all about making them victims. It's all about making them appear to be."

Limbaugh added: "Just little people trying to save themselves and save their country and this big man bully, this guy Trump comes along and squashes on them and steps on them and it's all because he doesn't like... It's absurd!"

It is not the first time Obama, the son of a white mother from Kansas and a Kenyan father, or Harris, whose parents were born in Jamaica and India, have been accused of not being "American black."

The comments were also not the first time Limbaugh has espoused racially-charged remarks. In 2007, the conservative host referred to Obama as a "Halfrican American."

Last month, Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, retweeted a message by conservative provocateur Ali Alexander. "Kamala D. Harris is *not* an American Black. She is half Indian and half Jamaican," Alexander wrote. "I'm so sick of people robbing American Blacks (like myself) of our history."

Following widespread condemnation, Trump Jr. deleted the retweet, before clarifying through his spokesperson, Andy Surabian, that he had only shared the post to express his surprise at learning about Harris' lineage. "Don's tweet was simply him asking if it was true that Kamala Harris was half-Indian because it's not something he had ever heard before, and once he saw that folks were misconstruing the intent of his tweet, he quickly deleted it," the spokesperson said.

While Harris simply calls herself "an American," the 2020 candidate's Hindu immigrant mother adopted black culture in the U.S. and "immersed her daughters in it," according to the Washington Post. Although Harris embraced her Indian heritage, she grew up living a proud African American life.

"My mother understood very well that she was raising two black daughters," Harris explained in her autobiography, The Truths We Hold. "She knew that her adopted homeland would see Maya and me as black girls, and she was determined to make sure we would grow into confident, proud black women."

Tlaib, a Palestinian Muslim, was one of the four progressive congresswomen that President Donald Trump repeatedly made racist remarks about earlier this month. Trump's attacks first came in a series of tweets last weekend, when he urged members of the so-called "Squad," all first term lawmakers and all women of color, to "go back and help fix the totally broke and crime infested places from which they came."

Rush Limbaugh
US radio talk show host and conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh looks on before introducing US President Donald Trump to deliver remarks at a Make America Great Again rally in Cape Girardeau, MO, on November 5, 2018. Limbaugh on Monday falsely claimed that Kamala Harris and Barack Obama are not African American and Rashida Tlaib is not a woman of color. Jim Watson/Getty