Vice President Kamala Harris came under fire online this past weekend after she posted a tweet in which an unmasked Harris posed for a photo with a young masked Black girl.
The photograph was posted by Harris on her personal account with an inspiring message about Black women and girls leading without needing to request anyone’s permission. However, many on Twitter attacked Harris for her quote and image combination.
My message to Black women and girls everywhere: Never ask for permission to lead. pic.twitter.com/vimjDeItFG
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 19, 2023
Defense attorney Marina Medvin pointed out that the girl did need “to ask permission to breathe freely.”
Similarly, WalkUp Foundation founder Ryan Petty, whose daughter was a victim in the Parkland, Florida, shooting, altered the text Harris wrote to ask if she meant “never mask for permission” instead of ask.
Civil liberties attorney Jenin Younes also called out the photo, saying that the child was muffled, and yet Harris was promoting the message that she could lead.
This irony between the photo and the message was also pointed out by many including DeSantis Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw
The photo that Harris used was from an event that had taken place in July 2021, during which the vice president had spoken about the American Rescue Plan which would provide families with Child Tax Credit relief payments.
This is not the only time that Harris has been attacked online for choosing to appear maskless around masked children. In April she had attended an event in Washington, D.C., where all the children featured wore a mask, while she did not.
Harris’s office however has countered that at the time the city guidance had made masking optional for all children and staff.