Senator Kamala Harris tried to pander to pro-crime voters by papering over her record on drug legalization with a Jamaican pot joke. Harris was raised in Canada by her Brahmin Indian mother. Her Jamaican father and her mother divorced when Kamala was young.
Her mother was an internationally famous cancer researcher and the daughter of P.V. Gopalan, a high-ranking Indian diplomat from the Brahmin caste. Her father was a professor of economics at Stanford who served as an adviser to multiple Jamaican prime ministers.
As a Los Angeles Times article described her, she was the “privileged child of foreign grad students”.
Senator Harris, who had previously opposed drug legalization, denied that she opposed marijuana legalization. “Half my family’s from Jamaica, are you kidding me,” she retorted.
Her family is from Jamaica. But Senator Harris is cynically playing on stereotypes about drug use.
Donald Harris’ Stanford bio describes him as an “economic consultant to the Government of Jamaica and as economic adviser to successive Prime Ministers”. He had been a Fellow at Cambridge and a Fulbright Scholar in South America. He had even done consulting work for the UN and the World Bank.
The Harris family is descended from slave-owner Hamilton Brown. His grandfather, Joseph Alexander Harris, was a landowner.
And the Harris family does not find Kamala's pot joke amusing.
Professor Donald Harris Kamala Harris’ Jamaican father, has vigorously dissociated himself from statements made on the New York Breakfast Club radio show earlier this week attributing her support for smoking marijuana to her Jamaican heritage. Professor Harris has issued a statement to jamaicaglobalonline.com in which he declares:
“My dear departed grandmothers(whose extraordinary legacy I described in a recent essay on this website), as well as my deceased parents , must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics. Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty.”
When you've lost dear old dad, you've lost everyone except the Washington Post.
I called Kamala's routine political blackface and it seems as if her dad agrees.
"The new political blackface routines, like the old minstrel shows, depend on insulting condescending stereotypes, like Warren’s Pow Wow Chow and Harris’ imaginary Jamaican pot smoking family. Minstrel shows dehumanized their targets and their participants. Political blackface does the same thing," I wrote.