West Indians are invisible to the American political media….
THAT maybe changing with Kamala Harris running to be the next American Vice President in the Joe Biden admin…Her father is from Jamaica …her mother was from India….
This would be about Florida, but also other places across the country…
Almost as soon as Kamala Harris became the first woman of Jamaican-Indian descent to be nominated for vice president, a mock White House menu of oxtail and jerk chicken cropped up on a West Indian diaspora Facebook group called Soca de Vote.
Calls from Caribbean radio show hosts flooded the Biden campaign from South Florida. And a jolt of excitement shot through the crowd of early vote poll workers at the Lauderdhill Mall, in the midst of Broward County’s growing Jamaican community.
“There was just this sense of energy,” state Rep. Anika Omphroy, a daughter of two Jamaican immigrants, said in describing the moment the announcement was received.
“It was all Black women out there working under the tents,” she said. “It was 98 degrees in August in South Florida, so it was too hot to cheer. But you could feel it, this sense.”
That feeling stretches beyond the Jamaican-American community and the more traditional African American community, shared by those in South Florida with roots in Haiti, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago or Guyana. They comprise a growing and varied Black West Indian diaspora community, a little-discussed but increasingly influential slice of the electorate of the nation’s biggest swing state.
While exact numbers are hard to come by, census estimates and political studies peg the diverse Black community — nicknamed the Caribbean Massive by some — at more than 2.5 million, including hundreds of thousands of Florida voters. That’s crucial in a battleground state where elections are often decided by less than a percentage point.
For a campaign that’s been dogged by questions of lackluster enthusiasm since Biden declared his candidacy 16 months ago, the electricity sparked by the Harris pick has produced tangible results. The campaign reported raising a record $48 million in 48 hours. Pollsters logged an uptick of support for Biden, who was already leading Donald Trump — including in the president’s must-win state.
“It’s the pick that’s going to energize us. It’s the pick that’s getting us motivated,” said Karen Andre, one of Biden’s top advisers in Florida who’s of Haitian-American descent. She said the campaign plans “a full 360 degree effort” to engage Caribbean-American voters, including with paid radio ads in Creole and English and possible interviews with Harris with local hosts who have audiences with roots in the West Indies….
Kamala Harris India part Update….
Although Ms. Harris has been more understated about her Indian heritage than her experience as a Black woman, her path to U.S. vice-presidential pick has also been guided by the values of her Indian-born mother, her Indian grandfather and her wider Indian family who have provided a lifelong support network that endures even from 8,000 miles away.
Her grandfather, wearing Coke-bottle glasses and often a necktie during strolls, may have looked like many other upper-crust Indian gentlemen. But he defied the conservative stereotypes of his era, embodying a progressive outlook on public service and unswerving support for women, especially in terms of their education, that was years ahead of his time.
He instilled great confidence in Ms. Harris’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan, who came to America in the late 1950s young and alone and made a career as a breast cancer researcher before dying of cancer in 2009.
Ms. Harris remains close to her mother’s side of the family — her aunts and uncle can talk for hours from their homes in India about the bruising battles she has fought in San Francisco, Sacramento or Washington, giving the impression that they had ringside seats….