September 2020 \ Diaspora News \ USA:DIASPORA AND POLITICS
Kamala’s Indian and Jamaican heritage creates new American dream

Kamala Devi Harris has deftly melded her dominant ...

By Arul Louis

Shyamala Gopalan moved to Canada to teach at McGill University in Montreal when Harris was about 12. Harris rounded off her international exposure going to high school in Quebec. But returned to the US to study at Howard University, an African American institution in Washington. But she does not appear to have close ties to her father. When she was asked about 1,900 convictions her office obtained for offences relating to marijuana when she was the San Francisco prosecutor, she admitted smoking it and reportedly joked, “Half my family’s from Jamaica. Are you kidding me?”

Her father rebuked her saying, according to Jamaica Global, “Myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty.” He accused her of bringing up “the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics.” The publication said that according to some Jamaicans, “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 and rarely talks about her father’s influence. Her father Donald, hardly ever gets credit except when mentioned alongside her mother, but rarely as an individual.”