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Dad blasts Harris for stereotyping J’cans - Presidential aspirant criticised by own father after linking heritage to culture of pot smoking

Published:Sunday | February 17, 2019 | 12:00 AM

United States (US) presidential hopeful Kamala Harris is facing scathing criticisms from her father for attributing her support for the legalisation of marijuana to her Jamaican heritage.

“Half my family is from Jamaica, are you kidding me?” Harris had responded when asked if she smoked marijuana during an interview on the Breakfast Club in New York last week.

The 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful acknowledged, too, that she has smoked marijuana and inhaled, a subtle jab at former US President Bill Clinton, who said he smoked the drug but did not inhale.

She suggested that her Jamaican father’s side of the family would be disappointed in her if she did not support the legalisation of marijuana.

But, according to the news website Jamaica Global Online, Donald Harris has “categorically” dissociated himself and his family from “this travesty” and slammed his daughter for stereotyping her heritage for political gain.

“My dear departed grandmothers, 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,” the website quoted the elder Harris as saying in a statement.

“Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty,” he said.