Kamala Harris, born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father who both immigrated to the United States to study, made history on Tuesday when U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden picked her as his vice president.
Now both countries are fighting over who have more claim over the future vice president. Indians are claiming that Kamala lived with her mother after her parents divorced so therefore she was more immersed in the Indian culture. While Jamaicans are pointing to the bible where it says that a child is the seed of the father not the mother to make their point that she is more Jamaican. Of course Jamaicans do not use that same logic to point out the race of Bob Marley.
In a speech in 2018, Senator Harris recalled those early visits to her grandparents in the upscale neighborhood of Besant Nagar, along the shores of the Bay of Bengal in southern India.
“I was not conscious of it at the time, but it was those walks on the beach with my grandfather in Besant Nagar that had a profound impact on who I am today,” Harris, now 55, said in New York.
Her grandfather, who was among millions of people who joined India’s independence movement, later became a high-ranking government official.
On Wednesday, reporters and camera crew from local and national news channels crowded into the quiet, tree-lined street where Harris had spent time with her mother’s family.
A post box with her aunt’s name embossed on it was the last remaining link to Harris’s family in Chennai, after the aunt sold her ground-floor apartment.
The aunt, gynaecologist Sarala Gopalan, told 18 Karat Reggae that she had been up since 4 a.m. local time, after hearing that Biden had picked her niece as his vice president.
“She is very caring and kind to people, and that’s what I like about her the most,” Gopalan said. “If I send her a message right now saying Kamala I need you, the next day she will be here.”
“She likes India, she likes Indian music, but she likes jazz music also.”
Harris trended on Twitter in India as business leaders and politicians praised her.
“First Indian and Asian woman to get the nomination as official VP candidate. Thumbs up,” Ram Madhav, a senior official of India’s ruling party, wrote on Twitter.
On social media, users joked about how hyper-competitive Indian parents in the United States will now push their kids to aim even higher.
“The bar for ‘desi’ achievement has suddenly been raised!,” Indian opposition lawmaker Shashi Tharoor said, using a Hindi word to describe Indians.
While Harris might have spent many of her summers in India as a youth, she credits her Jamaican side of family for her love of marijuana.
In an interview with Charlamagne Tha God, Harris was asked whether she’s ever smoked marijuana, to which she responded; “Half my family’s from Jamaica, are you kidding me?”
Well, Jamaica and India will just have to share the future vice president. Let’s not forget, she is also an American citizen which makes her an African American also.