Outrage over mispronunciation of Kamala Harris’ name, supporters launch online campaign
Outraged over the mispronunciation of Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris’ name by a Republican Senator from Georgia, her supporters launched an online campaign with the hashtags ‘MyNameIs’ and ‘IstandwithKamala’.
During an election rally of US President Donald Trump on Saturday in Macon City in Georgia, a battleground state, Senator David Perdue mispronounced 55-year-old Harris’ name.
“KAH’-mah-lah? Kah-MAH’-lah? Kamala-mala-mala? I don’t know. Whatever,” he told thousands of his supporters.
The mispronunciation outraged a large number of Harris’ supporters and her spokesperson Sabrina Singh said, “I’ll keep it simple: If you can pronounce ‘former’ Senator David Perdue, you can pronounce ‘future’ Vice President Kamala Harris.”
Condemning Perdue, Amit Jani—the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Outreach Coordinator of the Biden campaign—launched the ‘My name is’ campaign to “push back against the bigotry”.
BuzzFeed on Saturday reported that Perdue, who is seeking his reelection from Georgia, is facing backlash for mockingly mispronouncing Harris’ name.
Spokesperson of Perdue said the Senator mispronounced the name and he did not mean anything by it.
Several people gave the origin and meaning of their names as they expressed outrage at the mispronunciation of the democratic vice-presidential candidate’s name.
Preet Bharara, former attorney general for the powerful southern district of New York tweeted, “#MyName is Preet, which means love.”
“#MyNameIs Meenakshi. I’m named after the Hindu goddess, as well as my great great grandmother. I come from a long line of strong women who taught me to be proud of my heritage and to demand respect – especially from racist white men like @sendavidperdue who are threatened by us,” tweeted Meena Harris, a lawyer and author.
Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from Minnesota tweeted, “#MyNameIs Ilham, I prefer Ilhan. I never liked the M sound Winking face with tongue. It means “Inspiration” in Arabic. My father named me Ilham and inspired me to lead a life of service to others. In his honour I am voting for an inspirational ticket over desperate and maddening one.”
According to Erin Wilson, National Political Director at Biden for President, his name has Irish origin. “All of our names deserve respect,” she said.
Indian-American Democratic fund raiser Shekar Narasimhan said his name means a Hindu God who represents a half man-half lion and exhibits courage and humanity.
“My son’s name was Sidarth to symbolise Gautama Buddha, the enlightened One. We are proud Americans and can pronounce others names correctly,” he tweeted.
Expressing support for presidential nominee Joe Biden and Harris, Indian- American Congressman Ro Khanna tweeted, “#MyNameIs Rohit, and my friends call me Ro. It means bright light in Sanskrit.” Khanna said in the upcoming election, he will vote for an “inclusive” America by voting for Biden and Harris.
“My great grandmother’s name was Kamala. Not ‘Kamala-mala-mala, I don’t know, whatever’. #MyNameIs Gautam. It means bright light. The kind of bright light a Biden-Harris administration will represent,” tweeted Gautam Raghavan, who is heading the transition team of the Biden campaign.