When White House hopeful Kamala D. Harris acknowledged using marijuana in her youth during a radio interview last week, she jokingly said, “Half my family is from Jamaica, are you kidding me?”
Among those who weren’t amused: her Jamaican father.
Donald J. Harris sent a statement to Jamaica Global Online seeking to “categorically dissociate” himself from the remarks of his daughter, a Democratic senator from California who announced her presidential bid last month.
“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,” added Donald Harris, who is now an emeritus professor of economics at Stanford University.
Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
During the senator’s appearance on the New York radio show, “The Breakfast Club,” she defended the recreational use of marijuana, saying, “It gives a lot of people joy.”
“And we need more joy in the world,” she added.