Republican George Sen. David Perdue deliberately mispronounced the name of Democratic vice-presidential candidate and fellow Sen. Kamala Harris at a Donald Trump campaign rally on Friday (October 16), and now, it’s costing him bigtime.
“The most insidious thing that Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden and are trying to perpetrate and Bernie (Sanders) and Elizabeth (Warren) and Kamala…or what KAH-mah-lah? Kah-MAH-lah? Kamala-mala-mala?! I don’t know, whatever,” Purdue said to the crowd in Macon, Ga., on Friday (Oct. 15) about Harris, who identifies as both Black through her father Donald Harris and South Asian through her Indian-born late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, by Sunday evening, Perdue’s Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff reportedly raised more than $1.8 million from at least 42,000 donors following Perdue’s mean-spirited mocking. The #MyNameIs hashtag also trended on Saturday as social media users shared their own stories of being bullied for ethnic-sounding names, and slamming Perdue in the process.
The Indian-American community was particularly upset at the ridiculing of her name, and pushed back against Perdue’s mocking.
Perdue, who is running for re-election, also angered Harris’ press secretary Sabrina Singh, who is Indian-American herself.
In response to his racist joke, Singh had a zinger for Perdue. “I’ll keep it simple: If you can pronounce ‘former’ Senator David Perdue, you can pronounce ‘future’ Vice President Kamala Harris,” she told the India-based newspaper The Hindu.