Earlier this year when Kamala Harris spoke about ties between her “pot smoking” and her Jamaican heritage, her father Donald lashed out.
Watch the video:
What if you know Jamaicans who don’t smoke? Way to use a stereotype to pander. RT @Phil_Lewis_: Kamala Harris talks legalizing marijuana: “Half my family is from Jamaica, are you kidding me?” pic.twitter.com/p24AdDqVlV
— Lennox (@VNNetsraK) February 12, 2019
Politico reported that the elder Harris sent an unsolicited statement to Kingston-based Jamaica Global Online, for which the emeritus professor of economics at Stanford University wrote a recent essay on his family’s history.
“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,” he wrote.
“Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty,” he added.
Watch the video:
Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris’s father is not a fan of the way in which his daughter frequently tries to use identity politics to boost her image and score political points.
In a statement made this week to Jamaica Global Online, the senator’s Jamaican father, Donald Harris, an economics professor at Stanford University, slammed her for having recently used identity politics to push back against false rumors that she opposes marijuana legalization.
She essentially suggested that a person such as her who possesses Jamaican heritage would never be against marijuana legalization because every Jamaican is a pot-smoking hipster doofus.
Her father did not take kindly to this identity politics-laced suggestion.
“My dear departed grandmothers … 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,” the senator’s father said.
“Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty.”
The stern public rebuke by Harris’s father happened days after she spoke about her prior marijuana use during an interview on “The Breakfast Club,” a nationally syndicated urban radio show.
When host Charlamagne Tha God asked her to address the rumors, she replied, “That’s not true. Look, I joke about it, I have joked about it. Half my family is from Jamaica — are you kidding me?”
When the host then asked her whether she herself has ever smoked marijuana, she replied, “I have. And I inhaled. I did inhale. It was a long time ago, but yes. I just broke news.”
That she supports the legalization of marijuana is not a big deal, given as polls show a majority of Americans feel similarly. Nor is it that newsworthy that she once smoked pot. Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton have all directly or tacitly made the same admission.
What is concerning, or at least has been to her father, is that she tried to defend her mainstream views on marijuana by linking them to her Jamaican ancestry. Jamaica Global Online, the news purveyor that obtained his statement, noted that her father is not wrong to feel troubled.
“[T]he perception created by Ms. Harris’ statement is real and has caused some unease amongst Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora and now, it seems, her father and his Jamaican family,” the outlet noted, pointing to how the stereotype of pot-smoking Jamaicans is too ubiquitous for comfort.
“For some, it is more than mere unease; one Jamaican commenting on social media expressed the concern that ‘soon my job will be singling me out to drug test me since I am from Jamaica. What a stereotype’. Her concern is not unfounded given the experience of Jamaicans travelling to US ports having sniffer dogs around them in customs halls.”
The outlet also noted the odd discrepancy between how often the congresswoman cites her Jamaican heritage (her father is Jamaican) and how often she cites her Indian heritage (her mother is Indian).
It pointed out that some Jamaicans feel as if Harris “tends to downplay her Jamaican heritage when it suits her, crediting her Tamil Indian mother with the most significant influence on her life and outlook,” but rarely ever speaking about her father’s influence.
Except of course when it comes to marijuana. Then her Jamaican heritage comes to the forefront.
“Her father Donald, hardly ever gets credit except when mentioned alongside her mother, but rarely as an individual,” Jamaica Global Online reported. “Even when asked by her host in the now famous ‘marijuana interview’ about her motivation to enter the presidential race, Ms. Harris referenced ONLY her mother whom she said, raised her and her sister Maya with many beliefs and rules — one being never to sit and complain about something, but to do something about it.”
This sort of apparent disregard for the gentlemen in her life may explain why she’s been so virulently opposed to due process for men such as former Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
What’s unclear is whether she’s distanced herself from her Jamaican roots because of her father, or whether she’s distanced herself from her father because of her Jamaican roots.
What’s ironic, as noted by social media, is that the chickens have come home to roost, and now it appears that it’s her father distancing himself from her: