Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Kamala Harris’s Ancestors Were Slave Owners


By Frances Rice

 (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Pool via AP)

Rogan O’Handley noted in a tweet “Democrats will tear down statues of slave owners, but nominate the descendant of one of Jamaica’s biggest slave owners for Vice President.”

Dinesh D'Souza stated “Kamala Harris is directly descended from one of the largest slaveowners in Jamaica, Hamilton Brown—there is a even a town named after him, Brown Town. So doesn’t it follow she’s a beneficiary, not a victim, of slavery?”

In this undated photo provided by the Kamala Harris campaign in April 2019, Iris Finegan holds her great granddaughter, Kamala Harris, in Jamaica. (Kamala Harris campaign via AP) / AP

As is revealed in the below article “Kamala Harris has a troublesome family history” she is descended from the 19th-century Irish slave owner Hamilton Brown, the namesake of Brown’s Town in Jamaica, who recruited massive numbers of Irish migrants to Jamaica to work on his sugar plantations after the British Empire abolished slavery. 

The article that was written during the primaries includes information about how the Harris family's slave-holding history is confirmed by her father, Donald J. Harris an economics professor at Stanford University who is the son of an English white man, Joseph Alexander Harris.

Kamala Harris has a troublesome family history

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

 Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) 2020 Democratic presidential campaign has, among other things, pushed for reparations for descendants of slaves, but according to a February report by PJ Media, her family used to own slaves on their plantation in Jamaica.

The story: Donald Harris, Kamala’s father, wrote the following in a lengthy essay for Jamaica Global Online in January of his family’s history:

“My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town) and to my maternal grandmother Miss Iris (née Iris Finegan, farmer and educator, from Aenon Town and Inverness, ancestry unknown to me).  The Harris name comes from my paternal grandfather Joseph Alexander Harris, land-owner and agricultural “produce” exporter (mostly pimento or all-spice), who died in 1939 one year after I was born and is buried in the church yard of the magnificent Anglican Church which Hamilton Brown built in Brown’s Town (and where, as a child, I learned the catechism, was baptized and confirmed, and served as an acolyte).”

The California Senator has also advocated for the legalization of marijuana, and in February she suggested that she and Jamaicans were generally known as big pot smokers. Her father voiced his distress over her remarks.

“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.”