Editor's Note: This transcript was automatically transcribed, so mistakes are inevitable. You can contribute by proofreading the transcript or highlighting the mistakes. Sign up to be amongst the first contributors.
You're listening to Comedy Central now. Kamala Harris, the first ever black woman to be nominated for VP, although according to conservative media, she might not be black enough.
Some have challenged her racial identity and criticized her for identifying as black when her parents are Jamaican and Indian.
We talk about called African-American, her followers from Jamaica and from Africa. He's from Jamaica. So she's not really an American black. Kamala Harris is not an African-American. If you dare raise that, you're attacked. But the truth is, she's not she's not African-American.
She doesn't have slave blood. She's not down for the struggle.
She's constantly talking how she went to an historically black college. She is adopting Oakland as her hometown, even though she grew up from the age of seven to the age of 18.
In Canada, Kamala Harris descended from the largest slave owner, slave owner in Jamaica. Kamala Harris seems to be descended less from the legacy of, let's say, Frederick Douglass than she is from the legacy of the plantation itself.
Wow, that is fascinating. And I know a lot of people haven't heard that before, Dinesh.
OK, first of all, being partly descended from a slave owner is one of the blackest things that can happen to you. In fact, you know who was also the descendant of a slave owner, Frederick Douglass? Yeah. So the guy you just tried to use the example of someone who is super black is also, by your metric, not black enough.
Look, man, you can dissect Kamala Harris heritage however you want, but to say she's not black. Ask yourself this question. Is she black enough to get kicked out of a restaurant back in the day in the Jim Crow South? Huh? Would she have been black enough to get red redlined? Is she black enough to be kept out of a whites only school as a little girl? Then she's black. People want to be like, oh, you're not black, you're not black.
There's no simple test yet. You know how you know you're black if you're dating a white person. And before you meet their parents for the first time, they start a sentence with, hey, listen.
So before we head inside, you're black.
And what's especially ironic about these people trying to exclude Comilla from blackness is that it's the reverse of what white America did for centuries, defining as many people as black as possible, whether they wanted it or not, color and who qualifies as black, who qualifies as white has historically been policed not by those who were the targets of oppression, but by those who set up the system of oppression in America.
Blackness was defined by that auction block. You were black. If you could be put on that auction block and sold as property.
Following the abolition of slavery, some Americans feared a rise in interracial relationships. So states began passing laws to make sure that any child with even one drop of Negro blood would be classified as Negro and denied the rights of white people. This became known as the one drop rule.
The one drop rule was an attempt to save the so-called purity of the white race. By nineteen twenty five, nearly every state had a form of the one drop rule on their books.
All you need is one person, five generations back who is black, and that is enough to make you black.
Seriously, one black person in your family has the power to make you black, but all the white people in your family can't make you white. If anything, I feel like this was also racist to white people. I mean, imagine that they were basically saying ten white sperm is not as powerful as one black sperm. That is an insult to white sperm. And I'm offended on behalf of all my white brothers and sisters.
Basically, these people were so afraid of black people that if you had so much as one drop of black blood, they wanted nothing to do with you. The same way if you find one tiny bug in your salad, then the whole thing is ruined.
I'd have to throw it away. I'll give it to Stephen Miller.
And here's the thing. This definition of blackness was never meant to accurately portray the black experience or many shades of blackness itself. It was made with the singular intention of finding the most efficient way to exclude as many people as possible from whiteness. So, yes, it is disgusting. But these people are now trying to disqualify Kamala Harris from being black. But I will say this, Kamala, don't worry. This might also be a rite of passage on the road to greatness, because, you see, it turns out there's another black person who also wasn't black enough.
Rupert Murdoch suggested President Obama isn't a real black president.
He hasn't actually had the African-American experience. In fact, he's not descended from slaves on either side of his family. Obama did not grow up in poverty. His grandmother, the typical white woman, worked in a bank. He wasn't done with the struggle. He doesn't have slave blood.
This guy grows up in Hawaii with a Kansas mother. His life is different. He doesn't suffer in many of the ways that blacks growing up in this country have suffered.
He is not the descendant of blacks who suffered these Jim Crow laws who suffered through. Slavery, he is not the son, the grandson, the great grandson of American blacks who went through the American experience. OK, wait, hold hold on, hold on, hold on. So these people agree that the American black experience is about struggle, suffering and oppression. But when black people are protesting that oppression in the streets, suddenly they're like, why are you guys protesting?
You people got your Marvel movie. You guys remember Wakanda forever? I don't know why you guys are complaining.
And that's one of the things I've always found particularly interesting. Your blackness as a person is never questioned in failure, but in success. It gets put under the microscope, like when a black person steals something or when they sell crack or when they shoot another black person. I've never heard anybody on Fox News going. Hold on, hold on, hold on. This might not be black on black crime. Maybe it's half Indian on black crime. Or maybe his great grandfather was a white man.
Crime on crime.
But as soon as blackness is being considered for excellence and perfection, what is often being considered the domain of whiteness. That's when white people start questioning someone's black credentials. I mean, look at Obama. He spent his entire life as a black man, even had the afro. But as soon as there was a chance that he was going to become the first black president, all of a sudden it was, well, he's not like black, black.
I mean, if anything, he was more shaped by his white mother from Kansas. So if anything, America is getting its first term presidents. But then a funny thing happened. Once Obama got into the White House and conservatives didn't like his policies, he magically transformed into that black ass homeboy who's destroying the country. Didn't hear a lot about his white mom in Kansas then. So I guess that's the silver lining for you, Comilla. Fox News may be questioning your blackness now, but I believe the second you step foot into that White House with Joe Biden and you make a few decisions they don't like, trust me, you'll be black as can be.
The Daily Show with Criminal Lawyers edition watch The Daily Show weeknights at 11:00, 10:00 Central on Comedy Central and the Comedy Central. Watch full episodes and videos at The Daily Show Dotcom. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to The Daily Show on YouTube for exclusive content and more. This has been a Comedy Central podcast now.