The US rightwing ecosystem is perpetuating the “big lie” that US Vice-President Kamala Harris has said federal Hurricane Ian relief would be based on equity and prioritize people in “communities of color.” According to a Fox News report:
Twitter hammered Vice President Kamala Harris for a recent speech in which she described that federal Hurricane Ian relief would be based on “equity” and prioritize people in “communities of color.” Speaking to actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum on Friday, Harris claimed that people of color and low-income communities are most affected by natural disasters such as Hurricane Ian. Because of this, Harris described how federal relief should be given “based on equity.” The Vice President declared, “It is our lowest income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues that are not of their own making.” Chopra interjected, “And women,” to which Harris replied, “Absolutely.” The Vice President continued: “And so we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity, understanding not everyone starts out at the same place.” She added, “And if we want people to be in an equal palace, sometimes we have to take into account those disparities and do that work.” The audience applauded Harris’ statements. Though critics on Twitter were outraged by her claims, with many accusing her of being racist towards victims of Hurricane Ian in Florida. Some even claimed she was confusing and scaring storm survivors worried they might not get help quickly because they weren’t living in low-income communities.
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A Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) review of Harris’s remarks suggests that Harris’ remarks have been taken out of context. Beginning around time 5:45, Harris begins to discuss the issue, and her widely cited statement that “we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity” (time 7:18) refers to what she had earlier called “climate justice” in general and not federal Hurricane Ian relief specifically. That did not stop a campaign adviser to Florida governor Ron DeSantis who accused Harris of causing “undue panic” with “her suggestion that Hurricane Ian–relief aid should be distributed based on equity.” A myriad of other rightwing outlets repeated the charge.
The GIOR FAQ states:
The US is unique among democratic countries at this point in time because it is the only democratic country that is known to have its own government and/or a major political party conducting influence operations directed at its own citizens. This looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
The GIOR extensively covers these influence operations in the US.