By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Aug. 12, 2020: Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden’s historic pick of a daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants as his running mate for the Nov. 2020 elections, was last night welcomed by Jamaican immigrant voters in the United States even as some African Americans questioned her identity.
Honorary Consul General of Jamaica in Philadelphia, Christopher H. Chaplin, was beaming with Jamaican pride at the selection of Senator Kamala Devi Harris, the daughter of Jamaican national Donald Harris and Indian national Shyamala Gopalan Harris, as the first woman of color for the slot.
“Her selection represents a significant step for all immigrants in the United States and especially for Indian and Jamaican immigrants,” Chaplin told NANN last night.
“As a Jamaican immigrant and American citizen, I view her as a shining example of what is possible in America,” he added. “The notion that if you get educated and if you work hard, that you will do well still holds true. In these challenging times, with the twin specters of Covid-19 and racial injustice facing us, it is important to fight for justice and still believe. I salute her selection.”
Caribbean Diaspora community activist and Jamaican national, Irwine G. Clare, Sr., O.D., also welcomed the selection of Harris, noting that it has “monumental historical implications.”
“This demonstrates the continuation of the contribution of women on the political landscape (and is a) great day for the immigrant community,” the Team Jamaica Bickle founder added.
Jamaican-born, New York radio host, Ras Clem, was also full of praise for the selection of Harris, noting it is “an historic day in a country that is divided.”
“Harris is well prepared to take over on day one and she is the future of the Democratic Party, great choice,” he added.
Another Jamaican New Yorker, Denton Lloyd, said he was “ecstatic and proud that a woman, a Black and Indian woman, a woman of Jamaican/Caribbean heritage has been chosen to be Democratic VP candidate.”
“I’m feeling goooooood, for so many reasons!” he added.
While Minna Lafortune, another Jamaican and President of the Society For The Advancement Of The Caribbean Diaspora (SACD), said she is very “pleased” at Biden’s historic decision.”
“Kamala Harris was my choice for President from the beginning,” said Lafortune, noting that she knew her attributes and ambitions would be recognized and she would be chosen as the vice presidential candidate by Biden.
“Her Indian, Jamaican-American heritage will inspire her leadership and as vice president she will represent and work Joe Biden for all Americans, including all immigrants,” the SADC president added. “She is intelligent, smart, talented and ready for the job and she understands the critical issues we face as a country and knows how to fight for what is right for our country. As a Caribbean- American I am very proud of her, her intelligence, abilities and ambitions! And I am confident all Caribbean Americans will vote for the Joe Biden Kamala Harris ticket.”
But while Jamaicans and Caribbean Americans were beaming with pride, some African Americans on Twitter, particularly those who identify as American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS), were busy pointing out that Harris is not African-American, even though she was born in the US.
“She is Jamaican/Indian,” tweeted PainfullyMomming.
Krisjiannis Vittato also said Harris is not African American. “In 2020, we will see if African Americans are as stupid as The DLC/@DNCbelieves they are,” he added.
Another Black Twitter user, with the screen name The 1st Lady of Love, tweeted harshly: “She must stop willingly participating in our identity theft. @KamalaHarris come out of the closet, you are not African American or ADOS;” while @ali added: “Kamala Harris Isn’t African-American. She’s Ethnically Indian and Jamaican. That’s Not The Same Thing.”
Senator Harris for her part has slammed those questioning her identify as sowing hate and division even as Jean Alexander, executive director of the Caribbean American Center of New York, Inc., (CACNY), pointed out that the VP pick is simply a “great role model to young girls and women, especially minorities and Black and Brown immigrants.”
Wise words at a time in history when the Black Lives Matter movement has gained momentum and all Black Lives should matter, whether immigrant black, US born or those like Harris, with roots in both.