Professor Smith Discusses Factor of Kamala Harris' Ethnic Background in Her Campaign

Monday, February 04, 2019

WASHINGTON POST -- Harris hasn’t tried to shape perceptions of her identity as much as she has simply accepted that most people see her as black, said Robert C. Smith, a recently retired professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University who specializes in African American politics.

“She has not used it politically,” Smith said. “She has not avoided it, she has just kind of said it and moved on: ‘I’m this, I’m this, I’m that, now let’s move on’ to talk about the death penalty or whatever is the issue of the day.”

Smith said Harris’s “blackness was never ambiguous” and she didn’t feel the need to trumpet it.