Jamaicans at home and abroad are jubilant and enthusiastic that Democrat and former Vice President Joe Biden chose a descendant from their island as his partner to win back the White House from Republican occupation.
That a seed germinated to bloom the California Sen. Kamala Harris sprouted from roots nurtured in the small Browns Town community in the parish of St. Ann adds to the mysticism of the acclaimed Garden parish which spawned Pan-African leader Marcus Mosiah Garvey, the island’s first national hero, Robert Nesta Marley, the revered first Third World superstar, Harry Belafonte, the first Grammy winner, Burning Spear, a Grammy-winning reggae recorder and other world influencers.
Minutes after last week’s anticipated political announcement, a multitude of repatriated expats residing in Ghana, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, Senegal, The Gambia, and Ethiopia expressed “One Love” sentiments with renewed pride in their homeland.
Charles Abakah sent kudos from Accra, Ghana.
Edward Asomaning promoted “African love” from Kumasi, Ghana.
And from the seaport city of Cape Coast, Ghana, an entire village acknowledged the groundbreaking news.
It was as if the Africa Union had ordained a transplanted child of immigrant parents to be named the first Black woman to share a Democratic Party presidential ticket.
Desta Meghoo, a Jamaican who has been living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia since 2005 offered: “We lickle but we tallawah!” a local saying that boasts the might of the people despite the size of the island.
The Rastafarian advocate punctuated her statement adding another local phrase which relates to the relentless presence of citizens — “If ah egg we inna di red!”
From Abu Dhabi, Dubai and temporary and permanent destinations Jamaicans have inhabited other familiar idioms spoke volumes about the united approval of the Democratic Party’s new leading lady and vice presidential designate.
Some residing in China, Brazil and Australia posted memes on Facebook with symbols of blazing fire, red, gold and green hearts, One Love symbols, black gold and green colors of Jamaica’s flag, motion powered GIFs of the senator dancing to a rhythm and without words sent kudos to the candidate already defined in a myriad of hyphenated identifiers – Black-American, African-America, Indian-American, Jamaican-American as the presumptive best candidate for a winning ticket to claim victory on Nov. 3.
A vast majority of immigrants to Canada and England echoed similar sentiments with a few decidedly confident that a Jamaican with roots from the island would be the most sensible fixer to the perceived colossal debacle Americans are facing.
“It had to be either Susan Rice or Kamala,” Paul Smith, a Toronto-based Jamaican said.
From Montreal to Mississaugua, Saskatchewan to Quebec Jamaicans living on North America boasted early assumption of the symbolic decision.
“We run tings, tings nuh run we” registered another braggadoccious comment.
Florida with its dominant Jamaican communities of Dade and Broward counties posted widespread approval.
Leroy “Dreamy” Riley, a resident of Lauderhill reflected on a past controversy surrounding a notion that during a visit to Jamaica, Barack Obama, the first Black president of the United States was schooled on how to talk Jamaica’s patois.
“Noboaddy haffi teach har how fi say ‘wah ah gwaan.”
The reference harkens back to an alleged conversation on Air Force One during his last term of office when he briefly topped in Jamaica.
Widely regarded as an absurdity because during his tenure the first Black president allegedly hired more than 26 Jamaicans to his staff, lived in NYC where he enjoyed many associations with Jamaicans, for those reasons Harris’ patriarchal roots would render her a benefactor to inherit a patois fluency.
Add that to a priceless menu circulated to offer oxtails, rice and peas, curry chicken as a main dish at the White House with ‘Aunt M’s rum cake’ for desert.
Trump’s image emerged alongside that of Sen. Harris’ with a birther request to produce a birth certificate.
Jamaicans responded with expletives too sensitive to publish.
Needless to say, numerous “claats” (cloths) stumped the proposition.
In addition, many humorous yet intimidating messages also provided fodder for jokes Jamaicans focused.
The former attorney general and district attorney initially intended to head her own ticket when she waged a presidential bid last January.
On the anniversary of the birthdate of Dr, Martin Luther King Jr. Sen. Kamala Harris announced a campaign to unseat the incumbent Republican.
In front of a crowd of 20,000 supporters she introduced herself in a manner all prosecutors often declare themselves in front of judges in American courtrooms with:”Kamala Harris for the People.”
The bold slogan resonated with a broad voting block and seemed to launch the California representative into a gender stratosphere sought by Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar, Massachusett’s Elizabeth Warren, New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, and Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard.
Bolstered by the fact the huge audience represented the largest turnout for any announced presidential candidate it seemed as if the handwritten was on the wall of an engagement that surpassed other challenges for the presidency.
Enthusiasm spilled from local to national newspaper accounts, social media platforms and from an optimistic Jamaican populace that bargained on another Olympic champion.
Pride oozed past the 144 square mile border onto a borderless diasporan populous that brandished varieties of anecdotes related to the tiny Caribbean island and its propensity for often making a global impact on the world stage.
Amplified by its “Out of many one people” motto, the nation is again in the spotlight due to a marriage between Donald Harris and a native of India named Shyamala Gopalan,
Jamaicans unearthed photos of young Kamala and her proud parents. They also distributed her father’s storied journey from the halls of the University of the West Indies where he studied mathematics before migrating to seek a higher degree at the University of California-Berkeley.
Reportedly, the ambitious student earned his Ph. D and taught at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Harris became an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin before moving to California in order to secure a teaching position at Stanford University as Professor of Economics.
Ironically, on Aug. 11, the day VP Biden made the historic announcement for a Nov. 3 victory, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that two months earlier his country will decide the next leader.
Holness and his Jamaica Labour Party decided Sept. 3 will be election day in Jamaica.
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