Outrage over mispronunciation of Kamala Harris’ name, supporters launch online campaign

PTI, Oct 18, 2020, 8:53 AM IST

Washington: Outraged over the mispronunciation of 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 battle ground state, Republican 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 Harris” 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”.”

BuzzFeed on Saturday reported that Senator Perdue, who is seeking his reelection from Georgia, is facing backlash for mockingly mispronouncing the name of Kamala Harris.

Spokesperson of Perdue said that 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 vice-presidential candidate”s name.

Preet Bharara, the 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.

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 honor I am voting for an inspirational ticket over desperate and maddening one,” .

“MyNameIs Erin. My name has Irish origin and I am the youngest with three amazing sisters. All of our names deserve respect. I stand with @KamalaHarris,” tweeted Erin Wilson.

“#MyNameIs Shekar Narasimhan which means a Hindu god who represents a half man-half lion. Exhibits courage and humanity. My son’s name was Sidarth to symbolize Gautama Buddha, the enlightened One. We are proud Americans and can pronounce others names correctly,” tweeted Indian American Democratic fund raiser Shekar Narasimhan.

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. This election, #IWillVote for an inclusive America by voting for @joebiden & @kamalaharris.”

“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. And that is why #IWillVote,” tweeted Gautam Raghavan, who is heading the transition team of the Biden Campaign.

“#MyNameIs 趙美心 or Zhao-Mei-Shin. It means ”beautiful heart” in Mandarin. My grandparents risked it all & came here to offer their kids a better life. Now, their grandchild is the 1st Chinese American Congresswoman. #IWillVote bc Joe & Kamala know our diversity is our strength,” tweeted Congresswoman Judy Chu.

Perdue”s spokesperson John Burke in a tweet said that he was making an argument against the radical socialist agenda.

“Senator Perdue simply mispronounced Senator Harris” name, and he didn”t mean anything by it. He was making an argument against the radical socialist agenda that she and her endorsed candidate Jon Ossoff are pushing, which includes the Green New Deal… (1/2) #GASen #gapol,” Burke tweeted.

Versha Sharma, a Twitter user, posted, “Imagine if your coworker of nearly 4 years did this to you. Perdue and Kamala Harris have served in the Senate together for that long. The disrespect is intentional.”

“#MyNameIs Hiral. It means diamond, bright, full of luster. Sparkles My mom used to say that they picked it because she saw a bright light reflecting from me & a toughness that made me unbreakable. Glowing star It’s that strength my mom saw in me that gave me the courage to run for Congress,” tweeted Indian American Congressional candidate from Arizona, Dr Hiral Tipirneni.

Democratic fund raiser from California Ajay Jain Bhutoria said that Harris was attacked by Senator Perdue for her Indian name. “Please help us push back against this bigotry, will you join thousands of celebrities, elected officials and friends in all communities by tweeting or sharing #MyNameIs…,” he said in an appeal.

“#mynameis Ajay. Ajay, is an Indian given name originating in Sanskrit ajaya , which means “unconquered”, “unsurpassed”, “invincible”. I”ll keep it simple: If you can pronounce “former Senator David Perdue” you can pronounce “future Vice President Kamala Harris” All of our names deserve respect. I stand with @KamalaHarris,” Bhutoria said.

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