Letters to the Editor: Call the ‘birther’ attacks on Kamala Harris racist and false, then ignore them

Harris and Biden
Joe Biden gets his face mask from the podium as Kamala Harris approaches to speak during a campaign event Thursday in Wilmington, Del.
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

To the editor: In the print edition, the headline “Trump and GOP allies struggle to define Harris” for an article on racist “birther” attacks on Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Joe Biden’s running mate, implied we were about to read an article on campaign strategy. The subheadline continued along these lines: “Scattershot attacks have focused on her race, gender — and now her citizenship.”

Before we even get to the news, this one-two punch has diminished the importance of what happened by framing it as one of many campaign tactics.

Please report important news — especially election news — simply and clearly without immediately spinning it into the context of a larger political analysis. The article should have been headlined, “False, racist attack launched on Kamala Harris.”

Use the word “false” for a claim that is known to be false. Use the word “racist” when an attack is racist. Resist the impulse to offer an analysis before reporting the news.


Mary Byrd, Santa Barbara


To the editor: Come on folks, give Trump a break. The reason that our lie-prone president believes Harris was not born in the United States is no doubt a result of his belief that California is not part of his America.

Michael Schneider, Laguna Beach


To the editor: Why are you giving space to the birther lie on the front page of your paper? Have you learned nothing over the last four years about the power of lies to destroy democracy?

Diane Soini, Santa Barbara