On July 26 2022, the Republican National Committee’s @RNCResearch mockingly tweeted a clip of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris stating her pronouns (“she/her”) and adding that she was a woman wearing a blue suit:
Other opponents of the Biden administration followed suit, including Lauren Boebert (R) of Colorado. Boebert added that the footage represented “what happens when your speechwriter quits and you hang around with Geriatric Joe [Biden] too long”:
In a July 26 2022 post to his own domain, right-wing blogger and frequent disinformation purveyor Todd Starnes complained that Harris’ introduction was a “woke declaration.” Starnes added that Harris was not the only attendee to introduce herself “in a cringeworthy woke fashion,” embedding additional video of the event — but leaving out entirely the nature of the gathering, which offers crucial context.
A popular July 26 2022 Imgur post featured a screenshot of a tweet by Brian Tyler Cohen about the @RNCResearch tweet. In it, Cohen added context about Harris’ remarks being “descriptive language for visually-impaired people”:
As Cohen noted (and as the RNC and Starnes failed to do), Harris was addressing disability rights leaders on the subject of reproductive rights, describing herself and her outfit out of respect to those with visual impairments. A page on WhiteHouse.gov (“Readout of Vice President Kamala Harris’s Meeting with Disability Rights Leaders on Reproductive Rights”) explained:
Today [July 26 2022], on the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a roundtable conversation with disability rights leaders to discuss access to reproductive health care. The meeting built on the Vice President’s engagements on reproductive rights with health care providers; faith leaders; constitutional law, privacy, and technology experts; advocates; and state attorneys general, and it followed recent meetings that the Vice President has convened with state legislators and local leaders … Vice President Harris emphasized the Administration’s commitment to protecting reproductive rights and shared how the Administration will continue to fight for the bodily autonomy and self-determination of all individuals with disabilities. The participants discussed how there is significant work to be done to fulfill the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Vice President Harris thanked them for their leadership in shining a spotlight on the need for equity and access. She spoke about the importance of coalition-building in the movement to protect reproductive care for all people.
On July 27 2022, the UK-based outlet Independent.co.uk published “Kamala Harris describes herself aloud for benefit of people with disabilities – to mockery of Republicans,” reporting:
According to several experts in the field, it is considered “good practice” and a part of a person’s professional responsibilities to describe themselves for the benefit of visually impaired people.
But the video of Ms Harris was shared by Republican National Committee and several other Republicans who then went on to mock her.
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted: “I am Marjorie Taylor Greene. I am a woman. I am a mother. And I am sick of this.”
Disability rights advocates condemned partisan tweets mocking Harris’ efforts to include descriptions for visually impaired attendees at the event. Long Island’s News12 reported that a New York lawmaker tweeted and later deleted critical commentary about Harris; the lawmaker admitted he was ignorant of the important context for the clip, which, again, was context missing from the @RNCResearch tweet and Todd Starnes’ complaints:
A disability advocate says he is upset about a now-deleted tweet from state Rep. Mike Lawler.
Lawler wrote “It has to stop. This is just ridiculous.”
Some disability advocates think he was criticizing the Vice President Kamala Harris for saying her pronouns.
“It’s kind of like this flippant attitude towards the disabled and people who have these special needs accommodating them should never be a laughing matter,” says Zach Disador, a disability advocate.
Lawler says it’s just a misunderstanding, and that he and many others online thought the video showed the vice president making a gaffe.
She describes what she’s wearing and where she’s sitting.
Harris was at a roundtable for disability advocates, but Lawler says he didn’t know that.
On July 26 2022, a viral @RNCResearch Twitter video showed United States Vice President Kamala Harris stating, ” ….My pronouns are she and her, and I am a woman sitting at the table wearing a blue suit.” Republican lawmakers and pundits mocked the clip, frequently redacting the context of the remarks. Harris was addressing a group of disability rights leaders, and her descriptive commentary was out of respect for visually impaired attendees.