“IN PURSUIT OF IDENTITY POLITICS”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 18, 2019) — In a statement published in Jamaica Global Online on Friday, Stanford University Professor Emeritus Donald Harris denounced comments made by his elder daughter, U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris, in an interview on Thursday on “The Breakfast Club.” [Editor’s Note: “The Breakfast Club” uses vulgarities which may be offensive to readers.]
Thursday’s broadcast was Kamala Harris’s second appearance on the show last week, a reported effort to clarify her remarks made Monday about the music she allegedly listened to as she smoked marijuana in college. To some, Harris had said she was listening to “Snoop” (Snoop Dogg) and “Tupac” (Shakur) while “high” on marijuana in college, with which Fox News took issue given that Snoop Dogg’s and Tupac’s first albums were both released years after Harris completed her undergraduate degree.
More recently, Snoop Dogg has been criticized for violent imagery and words in his videos.
Harris was simultaneously asked two questions, one from DJ Envy and the other from Charlamagne (6:00 in the video). While DJ Envy asked, “What does Kamala Harris listen to?” Charlamagne quickly interjected with, “What were you listening to when you was high?” As she responded, she looked at DJ Envy. “You know who I really love is Cardi B,” Harris finished her thought, referring to the relatively new female rapper.
Charlamagne, DJ and fellow co-host Angela Yee, who was not present during the Harris interview, disputed Fox’s interpretation of Harris’s answer to the questions. “The two hosts said it was clear that Harris was answering the question about what music she listens to, not what music she was listening to when she was high,” The Hill reported on Friday as a result of the radio hosts’ interview with MSNBC.
Charlamagne told host Ari Melber that he wants to see “an agenda for black people.” Melber agreed that “people are lying about” Kamala Harris’s response about her musical choices, including Fox News.
Conversely, some in the black community said that Charlamagne “Lied defending Kamala Harris fake weed story.”
When host Charlamagne said to Harris last week, “They say you oppose legalizing weed,” she responded, “That is not true. I joke about it, but half my family is from Jamaica. Are you kidding me?” followed by laughter. “I did inhale. It was a long time ago. I just broke news,” she boisterously laughed.
A former California deputy prosecutor, elected San Francisco district attorney and state attorney general, Kamala Harris declared herself a presidential candidate on January 21. Although not investigated by major media, her office has not responded to questions from this publication about her constitutional eligibility and lack of candor about her youth, which was spent, from age 7 through high-school graduation, in Canada.
In interviews and public appearances, Harris has said or strongly suggested that she is a product of public schools in Berkeley or Oakland despite reportedly acknowledging in her recently-published memoir having left Oakland with her mother during second grade to live in Westmount, Montreal, Canada, where her mother obtained a university position as a cancer researcher.
Kamala’s parents had recently divorced, an issue Donald Harris bitterly recalled in “Reflections of a Jamaican Father” published at Jamaica Global Online on January 13, 2019.
On her U.S. Senate website, Harris states, “Growing up in Oakland, Kamala had a stroller-eye view of the Civil Rights movement. Through the example of courageous leaders like Thurgood Marshall, Constance Baker Motley, and Charles Hamilton Houston, Kamala learned the kind of character it requires to stand up to the powerful, and resolved to spend her life advocating for those who could not defend themselves.”
Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution requires the president to be a “natural born Citizen” which historically meant “born in the country to citizen parents” as recorded in The Congressional Globe and the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Minor v. Happersett. In the opinion, the court said there existed “doubt” as to whether or not a child born in the U.S. to non-citizen parents qualified as a “natural born Citizen.”
During last Monday’s interview, Kamala Harris defended her record as a district attorney and California attorney general, claiming that she personally took to heart her constituents’ “pain” and the problem of recidivism among criminals. She also said critics of her purported connections to the American black community are doing “the same thing they did to Barack.”
When asked about her record in upholding the civil rights of blacks, she responded, “I didn’t do enough.”
Obama, too, in 2007, claimed he was a product of the American civil-rights movement by implying that his parents met in Selma, AL at the now-famous 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery wherein black citizens protested institutionalized racism and denial of voting rights. The protesters were met with violence by members of law enforcement on the Edmund Pettis Bridge on what is now known as “Bloody Sunday.”
However, Obama’s purported birth documents state he was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, HI. In March 2012, his “long-form” birth certificate was declared a “computer-generated forgery” by a criminal investigation ultimately spanning more than five years.
At certain times, Obama has feigned a Southern accent, a technique Harris also arguably employed last week. On February 4, The Post & Email published an article titled, “Is Kamala Harris Another Barack Obama?”
While California Attorney General, Kamala Harris prosecuted more than 1,500 individuals on marijuana-related charges, The Washington Examiner reported on Thursday. Kamala told The Breakfast Club hosts that she believes marijuana should be legalized federally and that it provides “joy” to “a lot of people.” “…and we need more joy in this world,” she then belly-laughed. While a candidate for California attorney general, Harris opposed legalization of marijuana and joked about her opponent’s favoring it.
On January 13, Donald Harris published a narrative in Jamaica Global Online detailing his ancestry, which includes an Irishman who owned slaves; his Jamaican grandmothers and their influence on his two daughters; and his two great-grandchildren, the grandchildren of his younger daughter Maya. The account included his recollections of visits to Jamaica with his daughters, during which he showed them many of the familiar paths and landmarks of his boyhood.
An editor’s note strongly suggested that Kamala Harris would declare her presidential candidacy imminently and boasted of her “Jamaican heritage.”
Maya is an MSNBC commentator and was an adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
A Fox News article published last month reports that Harris is of “African-American” heritage, but no evidence exists that her ancestors came from Africa or were American slaves. Donald Harris’s Jamaican ancestry is meticulously detailed in his January 13 op-ed, while Kamala’s mother was East Indian. Both came to the U.S. in the early 1960s, but neither resided in the country long enough to have been able to apply for U.S. citizenship when Kamala, their elder daughter, was born on October 20, 1964.
Harris also reportedly visited her mother’s family in India frequently while growing up.
In 2014, Kamala married attorney Donald Emhoff, who in 2015 was made “managing director” of the law firm Venable LLP’s Los Angeles office. The company is engaged in “all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory, and government affairs,” its website states.
Donald Harris is reported to having written in response to his daughter’s comments:
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.”
The article, whose byline is “Jamaica Global,” also expressed concerns about the perception that Jamaicans have been unfairly “sterotyped” as “pot smokers.” Another observation is stated as, “An ironic twist in Ms. Harris’ associating marijuana smoking with her Jamaican heritage that seems to have escaped her as well as media watchers is the fact that it is also very much a part of her Indian heritage that she is so proud of claiming. Is she aware that it was India that bequeathed a marijuana culture to Jamaica?”
In 2010, Donald Harris was hired by the Jamaican government as an economic-growth adviser, publishing a 2012 “assessment” for the Planning Institute of Jamaica. His Stanford biography states that he became a U.S. citizen, but not the year in which he took the oath of allegiance.
He has published earlier essays on Jamaica’s economy as well as one in The Jamaica Gleaner in 1965 about Malcolm X.
This article was updated on February 19, 2019 at 7:34 a.m. EST.