Talk:Kamala Harris

Active discussions
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
This section is here to provide answers to some questions that have been previously discussed on this talk page.
Note: This FAQ is only here to let people know that these points have previously been addressed, not to prevent any further discussion of these issues.
Q1: Why does Wikipedia say that Kamala Harris is African American or South Asian American?
A1: As an encyclopedia, Wikipedia content is based on reliable sources (see Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:Reliable sources). Many reliable sources over a long period of time refer to Harris as African American and South Asian American, so we reflect that in this article. Moreover, Harris's Senate and campaign websites state that she is African American and South Asian American. In addition to describing Harris's African American and South Asian American background, this article also recounts the origins of Harris' mother (Indian) and father (Jamaican).

As PolitiFact notes (see A look at Kamala Harris' multi-ethnic background and racial identity in the US, PolitiFact (August 14, 2020)), social media posts have inaccurately suggested that Harris cannot be African American because she has an Indian mother and Jamaican father, but "this is a poor understanding of history, and ... the implication that Jamaicans aren't African or connected to Africa is wrong on its face." While not all Jamaican-Americans identify as "African-American," Harris and many others do.
Improvement efforts

Notice of request to reduce protection level from Extended confirmed to Semi-protectionEdit

I would just like everyone interested to know that I have requested that the protection level of the article be lowered to Semi-protection. Many active editors before the VP nomination got locked out when we went to Extended confirmed. And to focus on me for a moment, I was one of them.

The bad actors seem to have gone away, the talk page is healthy, and edit wars are a thing of the past. Simply put, its time. Rklahn (talk) 07:18, 11 September 2020 (UTC)

Nice try, but the request was declined at WP:RFPP with multiple administrators agreeing it should stay at ECP. -- MelanieN (talk) 16:22, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
Fair enough. But there does seem to be a little inconsistency here. Mike Pence is only Semi-protected. Im accepting the decision for now, but Im pretty likely to bring this up again after the election, and potential inauguration. Rklahn (talk) 03:13, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
IMO the entirety of Wikipedia should be Extended-confirmed. ValarianB (talk) 16:34, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
If that was the case, how would anyone ever get enough edits to BECOME extended-confirmed? -- MelanieN (talk) 16:43, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
You and your logic. EEng 17:19, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
Sandboxes, draft-space, article talk pages. Prove that they're here for valid reasons with measurable contributions to discussions and non-live articles. If that's too severe, then at least default every BLP to this status. But I didn't mean to get this far afield from this the topic of Kamala Harris, apologies. ValarianB (talk) 17:23, 12 September 2020 (UTC)
I hereby propose "overextended-confirmed protection" under which you can only edit after proving that you have other things to do and really should be spending your time somewhere other than Wikipedia. Would cut down on a lot of nonsense, I think. Cheers! Dumuzid (talk) 03:44, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
Hey, that's pretty good. I'm gonna steal it. EEng 06:00, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
+1. Motion carried. Vici Vidi (talk) 06:28, 17 September 2020 (UTC)
You clearly have no notion of the procrastinator's psychology: for some people the time spent on Wikipedia (or other distractions) is directly proportional to the amount of "other things to do" and necessity of "spending your time somewhere other than Wikipedia". On the substance of the matter: I too would like to contribute to the article - see my edit request - but frankly cannot be bothered to open an edit request every time. More so since such requests are from what I have seen much more easily dismissed out of hand. I am a frequent Wikipedia reader and currently only a disinterested opportunistic editor: I fix things that appear obviously broken to me when I see them but I generally do not care enough to engage in extended discussions. I usually ask nicely before making a change and will generally not put up a lot of resistance to being reverted. However, being treated as a supplicant simply takes the fun out of it for me. Think of that what you will, but I believe that editors like me offer a real benefit to Wikipedia - and if only bringing a fresh set of eyes and some fresh thoughts to an article. The "local" editors can then do with them what they want. The dangers of bad faith actors and sabotage should be balanced with the inherent opportunity cost of turning away casual editors like me. Rappatoni (talk) 15:54, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
I am fine with the level of protection. I don't want to spend time arguing with crackpots which I am sure this article will attract. TFD (talk) 05:02, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

No need to change the protection level; support continued ECP. --K.e.coffman (talk) 14:39, 20 September 2020 (UTC)

Here I was thinking semi-protection is higher than extended confirmed protection. Trillfendi (talk) 15:54, 20 September 2020 (UTC)
This simple table, which only has three footnotes, makes it all clear at a glance. EEng 14:53, 22 September 2020 (UTC)

I agree with the request to reduce this article to "Semi-Protection." I'm among the editors who are now "locked out." I strongly disagree with the complete deletion of all mention of the Larry Wallace sexual harassment lawsuit/scandal from the Kamala Harris Wikipedia article. This deletion occurred on 2020 Sept. 21 based on very flimsy logic. In December 2017, Sen. Harris issued a very strong statement about sexual harassment in her call for Sen. Franken to resign (then she took over his Judiciary committee seat). In 2018, the "Sacramento Bee" exposed that Harris' longtime senior advisor Larry Wallace had sexually harassed a female subordinate in Harris' own California Attorney General headquarters. The State of California paid $400,000 to settle the lawsuit with the sexual harassment victim. That material should have been moved to the "2018" section of the article, not entirely removed. However, I and other editors cannot restore it. I'm increasingly losing faith in the ability of Wikipedia to be an objective source of information. This article is a prime example of Wikipedia's problems -- where a cabal of fanatics "lock up" editing on an article and start "scrubbing" it to conform to their agenda, while disparaging anyone who disagrees as "bad actors" and attempting to impose "sanctions" on them. It's time for a sort of "antitrust" policy to imposed against Wikipedia as an institution due to its dominance in web engine search results. This Kamala Harris Wikipedia article is "Exhibit A" of the need for major reform to Wikipedia policies and governance. Jab73 (talk) 08:23, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

Editorial commentary in comments in articleEdit

My message here: Don't put editorial commentary in the comments in the article. It's counterproductive, and is leading to some minor edit wars. If you must debate, use the talk page. If you have an editorial comment or direction with consensus, put it in the FAQ. Rklahn (talk) 20:17, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

Extended-confirmed-protected edit request on 20 September 2020Edit

Under violent crimes "She took 49 violent crime cases to trial and secured 36 convictions, for an 84 percent conviction rate". Math is incorrect, true rate is 73%.

This makes suspect all calculations in this article. If intentional, makes motive of author suspect.

William Maliha, MD (talk) 22:02, 20 September 2020 (UTC)

This came up here before but was never looked into. I cannot seem to access the source (no subscription), but someone who can should check it out. There could be some nuance that explains the math; I would not be so quick to cast aspersions. Either way, these sentences should be clarified. RedHotPear (talk) 23:44, 20 September 2020 (UTC)'s math appears right, but I think we should go back to the source and find out exactly what is going on here. I don't agree with the conclusion that this makes the article or author suspect. There could be a reasonable explanation. What I do find suspect is signing, with an MD title, anonymous edits. If Dr. Maliha does want to be taken with the weight his education implies, he should set up an account. Either be anonymous, or don't, but you cant have your cake and eat it too. Rklahn (talk) 04:06, 21 September 2020 (UTC)
As for expertise regarding politics, someone with a MD degree has no more credibility than a restaurant dishwasher, a hospital janitor, or the operator of an industrial sheet steel punch press in an automotive factory. I selected three occupations I held in my late teens and early 20s. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:28, 21 September 2020 (UTC)
One more comment. If I was able to edit the article (I cant, not extended-protected eligible) I would have marked this answered without an edit. And I would suggest that consensus is lacking for such an edit. Rklahn (talk) 05:03, 21 September 2020 (UTC)
I also can't see the source but I thought this had been discussed previously (maybe it wasn't on this page) and the rationale was that "cases going to trial" and "number of convictions" are different metrics, something akin to the possibility that a single case can result in multiple convictions. I have to assume that whoever added this to the article was being true to the source they referenced, but maybe WP:RSN can help. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 13:04, 21 September 2020 (UTC)
I was able to tease out a badly-formatted, text-only Google cache of the newspaper article in question, but it doesn't shed much more light than what we have now. ValarianB (talk) 14:25, 21 September 2020 (UTC)
The data were self-reported by Harris.JTRH (talk) 15:10, 21 September 2020 (UTC)
You want statistics, copper? I'll give you some statistics!
  • This might be a good time to raise the point that there is (IMHO) way too much superhero minutiae in the article. It's a bit like a Norse saga of villains vanquished and benevolent deeds done. A discussion of accomplishments does belong, but I think it should be more overview/summary and less in-the-weeds detail with salvos of percentages shot at the reader like bullets. EEng 16:31, 21 September 2020 (UTC)

Al Franken & aide's sexual harassment settlementEdit

The final paragraph in §2017 of the current page reads:

In December, Harris called for the resignation of Senator Al Franken, asserting on Twitter, "Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere."[1] Twelve months later, longtime aide Larry Wallace resigned from Harris's Senate staff after The Sacramento Bee uncovered a $400,000 settlement paid by the State of California for Wallace's sexual harassment of his executive assistant while both worked in Harris's Attorney General office.[2]

This feels to me very WP:SYNTHy. It implies some kind of direct connection between Harris' position on Franken, vs. when an aide sexually harrassed someone and was fired for it. I think the Wallace part should absolutely not be the second sentence in a two-sentence paragraph if the first is about Harris condeming Al Franken for sexual harrassment. For that matter, absent BLP-suitable sources alleging that Harris knew about the harassment or overall reporting about her fostering a hostile workplace, I don't think the Wallace part belongs in the article at all. And for that matter, starting a sentence with "Twelve months later" in a subsection called "2017" feels wrong too, given that things that are 12 months apart are generally not in the same year. Edit: I found the diff. It's been in the article since 3 July.-Ich (talk) 21:08, 21 September 2020 (UTC)

Yes, obvious SYNTH, a clear error in our article. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 20:51, 21 September 2020 (UTC)
Agreed, as it is SYNTH, does not fit in 2017, and is dubiously notable enough for inclusion anyway. I went ahead and removed the second sentence. RedHotPear (talk) 22:08, 21 September 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ Casey Tolan, "Harris, Feinstein call on Al Franken to resign after sexual harassment allegations" Archived 2020-08-16 at the Wayback Machine, San Jose Mercury News, December 6, 2017.
  2. ^ Alexei Koseff, "Kamala Harris aide resigns after harassment, retaliation settlement surfaces", Sacramento Bee, December 5, 2018.

I strongly disagree with the complete removal of the Larry Wallace sexual harassment lawsuit and resignation from the Kamala Harris Wikipedia article. I request that the content be restored to the article. Perhaps 2018 is a more appropriate place. The removal of the Larry Wallace material entirely strongly suggests that Wikipedia editors are "scrubbing" the Kamala Harris article to remove "negative" material about her. Larry Wallace was a longtime Harris senior aide in the California Attorney General's office who followed her to a senior position on her official U.S. Senate staff. Harris called for Sen. Franken's resignation with the statement: ""Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere," yet her own longtime adviser Larry Wallace engaged in sexual harassment of a subordinate in Attorney General Harris' own office. I don't have the "Extended Protection" credentials to restore the text to the article, so I'm requesting a discussion about it here. It's biased edits like this one that cause the general public to lose faith in the objectivity of Wikipedia. This Wikipedia article should be re-titled "Kamala Harris Fan Club Page." Jab73 (talk) 07:18, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

Jab73 Im don't think whats you believe is going on here is going on here. You seem to be saying there is some hypocrisy between Sen. Harris' comments on Sen. Frnaken's and her employment of Larry Wallace, and that Wikipedia editors are engaged in some sort of whitewash. I just don't see it. Most of the secondary sources Im finding on this subject are around Larry Wallace's hiring elsewhere, despite his resigning from Sen. Harris' staff and his costing the taxpayers of California $400K. This is about Larry Wallace, not Sen. Harris. That being said, Im happy discuss any potential edits. Rklahn (talk) 08:08, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

This article has been written by the Democratic partyEdit

Nothing about "Kamala Harris' father said she disgraced her Jamaican family by using a 'fraudulent stereotype' to joke about smoking weed" or her radical views.

So, this article is just a panegyric. -- (talk) 22:14, 23 September 2020 (UTC)

  • What are you suggesting be added, removed, or changed in the article? EEng 01:46, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
    EEng, I admire your patience in dealing with these kinds of comments. WTF are her "radical views" anyway? Drmies (talk) 01:49, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
    Perhaps the IP editor believes that members of the Democratic Party should be forbidden from editing this article, leaving it to the tender mercies of Trump supporters. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:51, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
    Twain: Always do right; this will gratify some people and astonish the rest. EEng 01:53, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Birth certificateEdit

The Mercury News published an image of a copy of her birth certificate. See [1]. Would it be appropriate to upload the birth certificate as PD and add it to this page or are there any potential issues that could arise? William S. Saturn (talk) 19:47, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

It might be undue weight to give to a fringe topic. The birtherism around Harris seemed to die out as quickly as it began. – Muboshgu (talk) 20:05, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
Agree with Muboshgu. A distant memory it is, of "far-off things, And battles long ago." Fowler&fowler«Talk» 20:31, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
The birth certificate itself is relevant for more than birtherism. What I'm wondering is whether it is, in fact, PD and can be uploaded to commons without any problems. It could have use on other projects and other uses could arise in the future.William S. Saturn (talk) 20:52, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
It should be no problem it’s the “informational, not a valid document to establish identity” (it will literally say that as a stamp; i.e. not an official copy one would use to get a passport or such) version, which in California is a public record. Trillfendi (talk) 21:08, 25 September 2020 (UTC)
Really? Agree with Muboshgu and Fowler&fowler. William S. Saturn if you think it has some use on Commons or some other project, you know, take it to Commons or one of those other projects. Here, its not encyclopedic and reeks of original research. Rklahn (talk) 00:30, 26 September 2020 (UTC)
What are those other potential uses? I'm not sure what benefit uploading the birth certificate would serve. To the PD issues, it probably is. File:President Barack Obama's long form birth certificate.jpg is tagged as PD. There's no reason I can think of that Harris' wouldn't be. – Muboshgu (talk) 00:40, 26 September 2020 (UTC)
@William S. Saturn: If it is a question about whether it can be uploaded to Commons then you should be posting on a relevant talk page there. That is where the expertise would lie. This is the wrong forum. As things stand, there is little chance that it would ever be used here. Best, Fowler&fowler«Talk» 00:59, 26 September 2020 (UTC)
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