Harris’ father says shut contact with daughters got here to ‘abrupt halt’ after custody battle: Report

New York, August 21

Donald Harris, the daddy of Indian-origin Senator and  Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, has mentioned that shut contact together with his daughters “came to an abrupt halt” after a contentious custody battle, in keeping with a media report.

The New York Times report mentioned that the Jamaican-born economics professor expressed remorse that the custody battle introduced an finish to the contact together with his daughters.

Harris’ mom Shyamala Gopalan, a most cancers biologist got here from India to the US on the age of 19 to pursue her dream of curing most cancers.

In her speech on the Democratic National Convention, Harris spoke fondly and profusely about her mom however had restricted phrases for her father.

She mentioned her mom met her father, who had come from Jamaica to check economics, on the University of California Berkeley, and “the two fell in love in that most American way—while marching together for justice in the civil rights movement of the 1960s”.

“My mother instilled in my sister, Maya, and me the values that would chart the course of our lives. She raised us to be proud, strong Black women. And she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage,” Harris, 55, mentioned in her acceptance speech on Wednesday.

“When I was 5, my parents split and my mother raised us mostly on her own. Like so many mothers, she worked around the clock to make it work—packing lunches before we woke up— and paying bills after we went to bed. Helping us with homework at the kitchen table—and shuttling us to church for choir practice,” mentioned the Indian-American Senator from California.

“She made it look straightforward, although I do know it by no means was. She taught us to place household first—the household you are born into and the household you select,” Harris mentioned.

The New York Times article mentioned that her father Donald,81, is lengthy retired from instructing and has remained largely silent at the same time as his daughter “has stepped into the nationwide highlight.”

The report cited a 2018 essay by Donald, through which he says his early, shut contact together with his daughters “came to an abrupt halt” after a contentious custody battle.

“This early phase of interaction with my children came to an abrupt halt in 1972 when, after a hard-fought custody battle in the family court of Oakland, California, the context of the relationship was placed within arbitrary limits imposed by a court-ordered divorce settlement based on the false assumption by the State of California that fathers cannot handle parenting…Nevertheless, I persisted, never giving up on my love for my children or reneging on my responsibilities as their father,” he wrote.

The report mentioned that his solely current feedback about her, printed on a Jamaican web site run by an acquaintance, “express a combination of pride in his daughter and bitterness over their estrangement”.

“He scolded her in a letter, which has since been faraway from the location, for joking in an interview that, rising up in a Jamaican household, it was pure that she had smoked marijuana,” the report mentioned.

“Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty,” Harris’ father wrote within the letter, in keeping with the report.

The report added that the divorce between Harris’ mother and father was bitter. Harris recollects inviting each her mother and father to her highschool commencement, “even though I knew they wouldn’t speak to each other,” and initially fearing that her mom wouldn’t present up, it mentioned. PTI

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