FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims Kamala Harris’ Birth Certificate Identifies Her As ‘Caucasian’

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris’ birth certificate identifies her race as “Caucasian.”

Verdict: False

The word “Caucasian” appears in the “color or race of the mother” section of the pictured birth certificate. There does not appear to be a field on the document specifying Harris’ race.

Fact Check:

Social media users have been sharing false rumors targeting Harris since Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden announced her as his running mate on Aug. 11. This particular Facebook post attempts to question Harris’ racial background.

Featured in the post is a screen grab of a tweet that purports to show a copy of Harris’ birth certificate. The pictured document, though blurry, seems to have the word “Caucasian” circled. It appears to closely resemble a copy of her birth certificate obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation from the Alameda County Clerk-Recorder’s Office.

The text in the tweet reads, “Sen K Harris listed as Caucasian on her birth certificate…by her parents.” (RELATED: Kamala Harris Says She Never Jailed Anybody For Truancy)

However, a close look at the pictured document reveals the word “Caucasian” falls under the section “Color or Race of Mother.” A few lines below that, the section “Color or Race of Father” lists “Jamaican.” The fields appear to match those on the copy of the birth certificate obtained by the DCNF.

Harris’ late mother, Shyamala Gopalan, immigrated to the U.S. from India. Gopalan, a Tamil Indian-American, earned a PhD in nutrition and endocrinology from the University of California, Berkeley, according to Reuters. Her father, Donald Harris, relocated from Jamaica and later became a Stanford economics professor, Check Your Fact previously reported.

The document does not appear to specify Harris’ race, contrary to the Facebook post’s claim. Harris identifies as “the second African-American woman and first South Asian-American senator in history” on her Senate website.

Harris’ office did not respond to a request for comment.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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