As politicians in the US draw closer to the electoral finish line, Republican Senator David Perdue is facing heat for mispronouncing Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, Kamala Harris' name. But what began as a pointed jibe has since been turned into a campaign of sorts by hundreds of Twitter users.
Speaking at a Trump election rally in Macon City in Georgia, Perdue stumbled over her name, eventually dismissing it. "KAH'-mah-lah? Kah-MAH'-lah? Kamala-mala-mala? I don't know. Whatever," he told thousands of his supporters.
This is not a new topic, and the VP nominee had even posted a video tutorial for the same in 2016 as she ran for Senate. More recently, Fox News' Tucker Carlson had become rather irritable after his pronunciation was corrected by a guest on the show, eventually sparking fresh debate about the topic.
Perhaps, Purdue would have faced a better time of it had he been more cognizant of recent discussions around the focus of his comments. As things stand however, a Spokesperson for Perdue has said that the Senator mispronounced the name and that he did not mean anything by it. This however has failed to appease many, with several well known figures taking to Twitter in solidarity.
Since then, there have been countless tweets as people share their name pronunciations and the unique meanings behind them. The hashtag has garnered a massive response from Indian-Americans or those with Indian ancestry who took to Twitter sharing sharing the meanings behind their names. Not only them, other Democratic politicians and people of varied ethnicity and colour have now taken the trend, turning what had been a rather unpleasant comment into, as on Twitter user noted, "something beautiful".
"#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 businesswoman and author Meena Harris.
"#MyNameIs Rohit, and my friends call me Ro. It means bright light in Sanskrit," tweeted US House candidate Ro Khanna.
"#MyNameIs Ted W. Lieu. The “W” is short for “Win-Ping” which in Mandarin means Cloud of Peace," wrote US House Candidate Ted Lieu.
"#MyNameIs Ilham, I prefer Ilhan. I never liked the M sound. 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," tweeted US Representative Ilhan Omar.
Take a look at some of the posts: