Social media users have called out Kamala Harris after the incoming vice president claimed to cherish fond memories of celebrating the pan-African holiday of Kwanzaa in her family.
“Our Kwanzaa celebrations are one of my favourite childhood memories. The whole family would gather around across multiple generations and we’d tell stories and light the candles”, she recalled, with a traditional seven-branched Kwanzaa candle holder seen right behind her. Harris, who has Jamaican and Indian origins, said that her own family would be marking the occasion via video-link this year.
However, some incredulous users took note of one tiny discrepancy regarding Harris’ sweet memories: Kwanzaa was first introduced in 1966 as a way for people of African descent to “celebrate themselves and their history”, and Harris, born in 1964, was a two-year-old toddler at the time.
“I highly doubt her family 'across multiple generations' would have celebrated the holiday”, one Twitterian remarked, with another querying along the same lines:
“What generations of your family were celebrating Kwanzaa when you grew up?”
We "Jamaicans" do not celebrate Kwanzaa. Also, being first-generation myself, I'm confused as to how you could celebrate with multiple generations. This is such a fake post, I understand it's intent, but please do not be fake about it. Just say happy Kwanzaa.— Mark 🇯🇲 ⚖ (@markal84) December 26, 2020
Some conservative commentators couldn’t resist the temptation to compare Harris’ throwback to a Saturday Night Live episode, while others opted to share images related to Kamala’s “real” childhood: while one picture shows her and her family members donning traditional Indian outfits, another called “Sisters waiting for Santa Claus” explicitly refers to a 1968 Christmas celebration.
This is funnier than Saturday Night Live in the 90s. 😂— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) December 26, 2020
I found 1, oh wait they are celebrating Christmas! pic.twitter.com/F9pMwJwfEG— Michelle Brodeur (@MichelleBrodeu2) December 26, 2020
Meanwhile, Kamala's actual childhood: pic.twitter.com/bSXfAZkPSy— Hola, amigx (@alt_dont) December 26, 2020
Another person, meanwhile, wondered if the family upheld the African-American tradition when they moved to Canada (Kamala Harris is known to have spent a large part of her childhood in Montreal).
Super interesting that Kamala’s Indian mother adopted a newly invented African American holiday to become a family tradition. I wonder if they continued with the tradition when they moved to Canada...— Melissa Camille (@MelissaCamille) December 26, 2020
“A woman of Jamaican descent celebrated Kwanza?!” another netizen shrugged her shoulders.