California Sen. Kamala Harris is one of the leading contenders for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination.
She has been one of the main proponents of giving reparations to the descendants of slaves with taxpayer funds.
But now a deep, dark secret from her family’s past could come back to haunt her platform and her campaign.
And it comes at the hands of Harris’ father who has again become a thorn in the side of his own daughter’s ambitions.
“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),” her dad, David J. Harris said in an op ed in Jamaica Global Online.
“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),” he said.
“Looking back now I can say, with certainty and all due credit to Miss Iris, that it was this early intimate exposure to operation of the sugar industry at the local level of small-scale production with family labour and free wage-labour, coupled with my growing curiosity about how these things came to be, that led me, once I started reading about the history of Jamaica, to a closer study of the sugar industry,” Harris said.
“I came then to understand its origin as a system of global production and commerce, based on slave labour, with Jamaica as a key component of that system from its very start,” he said.
PJ Media reported more on the story including excerpts that detailed the slavery Harris’ family was overseeing.
Hamilton Brown was born in 1776 in Ireland. He became a sugar plantation owner and founder of Brown’s Town in Jamaica, according to university papers, textbooks, and historical documents. Henry Whiteley wrote a pamphlet entitled “Three months in Jamaica in 1832, Comprising a Residence on a Sugar Plantation,” where he describes Brown’s views on his slaves:
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.
But later that day, after he witnessed slaves being punished by Brown’s overseer, Whiteley wrote:
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.
Whiteley’s account goes on, describing one victim after the next, including women and young boys. It is truly sickening to read. Brown didn’t stop after the Jamaican slaves were freed. He attempted to make the Irish work on his plantation but failed when he was accused of trying to enslave more people. The historical accounts are so detailed that should Kamala Harris want to search out the families of the people her relative reportedly tortured, she would probably be able to find them.
If Harris’ wants to pay reparation to the descendants of slaves she has a prime opportunity to put her own cash where her mouth is.
She can start by writing checks to the descendants of the Jamaican slaves that her family owned and worked on their own plantations.