The Jamaican roots of Kamala Harris, chosen this week by Democrat Joe Biden to support him in his race for the US presidential election, fill with pride and hope the island that once saw the birth of her father.
The people of Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, openly rejoiced on Wednesday at this historic choice, ignoring the fact that Mr.me Harris was born in California to an Indian mother.
“My heart is delighted for all the children here who recognize themselves in her and will dream bigger thanks to this”, rejoices Felicia Mills, a young executive of 36 years. “It’s very important for every little girl who has ever had an impossible dream,” she adds, qualifying Mme Harris of “Jamaican of Honor”.
At 55, the senator from California accumulates the titles of pioneer. She is the first black female running mate in the United States as well as the first person of Indian descent to run for the Vice President of the United States.
Prior to that, she was twice elected attorney general of California (2011-2017), becoming the first woman, but also the first black person, to head the judiciary in the country’s most populous state.
Then in January 2017, she was sworn in to the Senate in Washington, enrolling as the first woman from South Asia and only the second black senator in American history.
His father, Donald Harris, was a researcher and professor of economics at the prestigious Stanford University in California.
According to his biography, available on the university’s website, he was naturalized American but “remained very engaged in work on the economy of Jamaica, his native country”. He has notably been a consultant for the Jamaican government and for its heads of government, according to Stanford.
M’s motherme Harris, Shyamala Gopalan, was a cancer researcher. It was she who raised Mme Harris and his sister Maya after his separation from their father. She died in 2009.
“Proud of her heritage”
For Jamaican political columnist Kevin O’Brien Chang, Mme Harris is positive for the image of the Caribbean island. “She has spoken well of Jamaica in the past, she is aware of her heritage and she is proud of it,” he says.
“It is a sign of greatness and it resonates well that the daughter of two immigrants, born in the United States, can aspire to the second most powerful office in America,” notes Chang.
Political circles are not left out. Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson Smith also tweeted her “Congratulations to Senator @kamalaharris for this historic selection!” “
With less than three months before the poll, other citizens are congratulating themselves on the skill of this choice.
“From the reactions I’ve seen so far, it’s a stroke of genius,” enthuses Francine James, a political student from the West Indies. “Any attempt by the Republicans to harm him (…) will certainly turn against them,” she said.
The two running mates appeared together for the first time on Wednesday since their “ticket” was formalized in Wilmington, Delaware. “I had a choice, but I have no doubt that I chose the right person,” said Biden.