Sen. Kamala Harris, Democratic 2020 frontrunner, has recently stated that she believes that there should be reparations paid to the descendants of slaves. Looks like she’s going to have to cut a check…
In the Democratic race to see who can run the campaign to the left of ‘Democratic’ Socialist Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris(D-CA) has taken to embracing every ridiculous leftist idea out there. She’s voted against protecting babies that survive abortions, is one of the many original co-sponsors of the Green New Deal, and apparently angered her father when pandering to the legalization of marijuana crowd when she inadvertently pushed the idea that Jamaicans are lazy pot-smokers. It must have been some sort of time-traveling ganja because Harris also said that she was listening to music that hadn’t been created yet while inhaling.
‘Heels-Up’ Harris‘s latest thing is that she believes because there is such a vast income inequality between black and white Americans, it’s time to talk about ‘some sort of reparations’ for descendants of slaves. Yes, kiddies, she’s talking government money for slavery which was abolished over 150 years ago.
It’s interesting since Harris isn’t exactly African-American in the strictest definition of the term — her father is Jamaican, and her mother was born in Tamil Nadu, India.
Unfortunately for Harris, the words of her father are again dumping cold water on her campaign. In an article on Jamaica Global Online, Kamala’s father, Donald J. Harris, wrote an essay on his reflections as a Jamaican father and includes information on his heritage. The spicy news is that Donald’s many-greats-grandfather was a slave owner, and he vividly remembers spending time with his grandmother, Christiana Brown, known as ‘Miss Chrishy’, who was the descendant of Hamilton Brown, a plantation and slave owner.
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).
Well, that’s awkward.
Megan Fox in an article for PJ Media cited a pamphlet written by Henry Whiteley titled, ‘Three months in Jamaica in 1832, Comprising a Residence on a Sugar Plantation‘ which describes a visit to Hamilton Brown’s plantation.
The same day I dined at St. Ann’s Bay, on board the vessel I arrived in, in the company with several colonists, among whom was Mr. Hamilton Brown, representative for the parish of St. Ann in the Colonial Assembly… I was rather startled to hear that gentleman swear by his Maker that that Order should never be adopted in Jamaica; nor would the planters of Jamaica, he said, permit the interference of the Home Government with their slaves in any shape. A great deal was said by him and others present about the happiness and comfort enjoyed by the slaves, and the many advantages possessed by them of which the poor in England were destitute. Among other circumstances mentioned in proof of this, Mr. Robinson, a wharfinger, stated that a slave in that town had sent out printed cards to invite a part of his negro acquaintance to a supper party. One of these cards was handed to Mr. Hamilton Brown, who said he would present it to the Governor, as a proof of the comfortable condition of the slave population.
Later, Whiteley sees several slaves reprimanded on the Brown plantation. He says that the slaves would be stripped and lay on their bellies on the ground as the overseer flogged them with a 10-foot long cart whip. The overseer was careful to not go more than 39 lashes, but also never meted out fewer than 39 lashes.
Here is just one account of many:
The first was a man of about thirty-five years of age. He was what is called a pen-keeper or cattle herd; and his offence was having suffered a mule to go astray. At the command of the overseer he proceeded to strip off part of his clothes, and laid himself flat on his belly, his back and buttocks being uncovered. One of the drivers then commenced flogging him with the cart whip. This whip is about ten feet long, with a short stout handle, and is an instrument of terrible power. It is whirled by the operator round his head, and then brought down with a rapid motion of the arm upon the recumbent victim, causing the blood to spring at every stroke. When I saw this spectacle now for the first time exhibited before my own eyes, with all its revolting accompaniments, and saw the degraded and mangled victim writhing and groaning under the infliction, I felt horror-struck. I trembled and turned sick; but being determined to see the whole to an end, I kept my station at the window. The sufferer, writhing like a wounded worm, every time the lash cut across his body, cried out, “Lord! Lord! Lord!” When he had received about twenty lashes, the driver stopped to pull up the poor man’s shirt (or rather smock frock), which had worked down upon his galled posteriors. The sufferer then cried, “Think me no man? Think me no man?” By that exclamation I understood him to say, “Think you I have not the feelings of a man?” The flogging was instantly recommenced and continued; the negro continuing to cry “Lord! Lord! Lord!” till thirty-nine lashes had been inflicted. When the man rose up from the ground, I perceived the blood oozing out from the lacerated and [illegible] parts where he had been flogged; and he appeared greatly exhausted. But he was instantly ordered off to his usual occupation.
Source: Three Months In Jamaica In 1832
Yikes. That’s pretty horrific.
Perhaps it’s the guilt from Harris’s slave-owner roots and not simple pandering that is causing her to suggest reparations. Will she be calling on the Jamaican government to be making reparations to the descendants of Jamaican slaves?
Harris is Indian-Jamaican, very much like your illustrious ClashDaily Associate Editor, writing this article, but with one twist. To my knowledge, I am not descended from slave owners, but from indentured servants. Yes, my Indian ancestors had their identity stripped from them and were baptized as Catholic and given a European name as occurred frequently on plantations. My inability to track my own ancestry lies in the Indian subculture in Jamaica being kept apart from the mainstream with very few records kept. My own family attempted to maintain their language and religious identities within a tight-knit Indian community in Jamaica, which is still present and active today.
This could have been the same situation with Kamala’s great-grandmother, but, according to Donald J. Harris, Miss Chrishy was the descendant of Hamilton Brown. She also owned a store in town and worked farmland at Orange Hill. If the Brown family did indeed descend from slaves, then they fared much better than most after abolition. They managed to have family land, open a store, and seemingly benefit from the Brown name.
Despite my own history, I don’t think that reparations are a good idea. It’s a complicated and confusing prospect that opens up a whole can of worms.
Here are just a few questions that reparations raises:
- How does it work?
- Do new immigrants pay into the pot?
- Do we penalize people that came here 100 years after the abolition of slavery?
- Do we penalize those that are descended from people that fought for abolition?
- Do we only penalize the descendants of slave owners?
- What if a line of plantation owners has ended?
- What about Barack Obama? Does his white half pay his black half?
- Do we hand over reparations money to Oprah and other successful African Americans?
- What about black immigrants like Donald J. Harris who came here and was not descended from slaves? Does he still get a cut?
- What about Liberia? This was a previous attempt at freedom and a form of reparations to freed slaves.
But Sen. Harris thinks it’s a good idea to start the discussion.
So, Kamala, since you’re descended from a Jamaican plantation owner and I’m descended from plantation workers, when should I expect a check?
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