Sen. David Perdue Takes Racist Jab At Kamala Harris's Name

Georgia Republican Senator David Perdue resorted to cheap, racist jokes about Senator Kamala Harris's name while warming up the crowd at President Donald Trump's campaign rally Friday night.
"Ka-ma-la, KA-ma-la, Kamala-mala-mala. I don't know at all, ”Perdue, who is in a close race for his Senate seat, said at the rally in Macon, Georgia, according to several reporters.
The campaign for Perdue's opponent, Democrat Jon Ossoff, tweeted a recent video.
As the California Senator wrote in her 2019 memoir, her name is pronounced like the punctuation mark "comma-la". It means "lotus flower" which is a symbol of importance in Indian culture. A lotus grows underwater, its flower rising above the surface, while its roots are firmly planted in the river floor. "
Perdue, who has been Harris' Senate colleague for years, could benefit from listening to these kids pronounce their names, which they did in a video for their 2016 Senate run.
Harris, the first black woman and the first Asian American to be named on a major party ticket, is the daughter of an Indian-born mother and a Jamaican-born father. Jokes about her name - and even the careless mispronunciation - are a lazy way of calling her a political underdog because of her race, her allies say.
Trump has similarly mocked her name.
"Do you know who's further than Crazy Bernie? Kamala. Kamala. Kamala," he said at a rally last month, mispronouncing her name and stretching out every syllable.
A Perdue spokesperson told HuffPost that he wasn't making fun of her name. "Senator Perdue just mispronounced Senator Harris's name and he didn't mean anything," the spokesman said.
Democrats didn't buy it.
"Senator Perdue's intentionally disrespectful mispronunciation of Senator Harris' name is a bigoted and racist tactic straight out of President Trump's handbook," said Nikema Williams, leader of the Georgia Democratic Party, in a statement. "He owes the Georgians an apology for his offensive portrayal."
Trump and Conservative Republicans, as they did with Barack Obama during his presidency, launched racist conspiracy theories about Harris just days after Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was named as his comrade-in-arms. Legal scholars said there was no basis for their claims.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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