Republican Senator David Perdue, who is seeking re-election from Georgia, has sparked a storm after mispronouncing Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris’s first name during a speech at a rally for US President Donald Trump.
“Kamala? Kamala? Kamala-mala-mala? I don’t know. Whatever,” Perdue said in Macon, Georgia, in a comment that’s being seen as a racist ploy.
It is unlikely that Perdue would have made the remark out of ignorance or by accident because he has served with Harris, a senator from California, for at least three years.
Mispronouncing Harris’s name has become standard practice for Republicans in recent times in what is seen by many as an effort to belittle her by highlighting her heritage – she’s the daughter of an Indian-origin mother and Jamaica-origin father.
After the remark, Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff tweeted, “Senator Perdue never would have done this to a male colleague. Or a white colleague. And everyone knows it.”