It’s pronounced Cameala, with emphasis on the first syllable.
Georgia Senator David Perdue kept things really noble when he introduced Mr. Class himself, Donald Trump, at a rally in Macon on Friday. When Perdue turned his attention to Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his counterpart, Kamala Harris, he mispronounced their names.
Indeed, this description does not capture the extent of Perdue’s antics. He didn’t just misread Harris’s name. He did this repeatedly and mockingly. Here̵
Later on Friday, Perdue’s campaign issued a statement defending the senator’s comments on the rally. “Senator Perdue just mispronounced Senator Harris’s name, and he didn’t mean anything.”
Let’s pause a brief moment and label a malicious argument for what it is. You can see this clip above. Any reasonable person watching it would conclude that Perdue was relying on the mispronunciation and that he meant a lot by it. A campaign statement that states otherwise does not change the basic facts.
Whatever. Lots of people outside of the Perdue campaign did See the Senator’s words and tone of voice for what they were: overtly disrespectful and vaguely racist. Some of these people replied and filled the hashtag #MyNameIs on Twitter with information about the etymology of their own names.
(Kamala means “lotus” or “pale red” in Sanskrit, according to BehindTheName. It is also another name for the Hindu goddess Lakshmi.)
. @ sendavidperdue, my name is Pritesh Gandhi. Phonetically, it is pre-thesh.
Your racism has no place in our nation. I’ve been ridiculed by people like you before – it hasn’t stopped me from being a doctor for the poor and it won’t stop @SenKamalaHarris from being vice president.
– Dr. Pritesh Gandhi (@priteshgandhimd) October 17, 2020
#MyNameIs Meenakshi. I am named after the Hindu goddess and my great-great-grandmother. I come from a long line of strong women who have taught me to be proud of my heritage and to demand respect – especially from racist white men like @sendavidperdue who are threatened by us. https://t.co/Bonzz5n3Xu
– Meena Harris (@meenaharris) October 17, 2020
#MyNameIs Sikanyiselwe. Its Xhosa meaning is “we were lit up” or “the light at the end of the tunnel”.
My parents chose it because they believed they were going to have better times – just like so many of us now. Go vote and make it happen. # BidenHarris2020 https://t.co/RYB2KfASHI
– Kanyi Maqubela (@km), October 17, 2020
#MyNameIs Parag. It means nectar. My mother named me after the hero in a Bengali romance novel she read as a child. She wanted her son to have a great love story. And I did. Our names are important. They have meaning and beauty. pic.twitter.com/CgsYj5Xwwx
– Parag Mehta (@paragie) October 17, 2020