Senator David Perdue of Georgia faced backlash several times for misapplying Sen. Kamala Harris’s name at a Trump campaign rally on Friday, with many describing his remarks as racist.
Perdue said as the crowd cheered and burst in Mequon, Georgia, “Ka-mal-a, kam-malala or kamala, ka-mala, -mala, -mala, I don’t know, whatever He introduced President Trump before laughter.
The moment of his speech immediately went viral and was widely criticized on social media.
Purdue’s Director of Communications, John Burke, Tweeted That the senator “mispronounced Harris’s name” and that he meant nothing by it.
But many doubted that Perdew would misrepresent the name of the aide who sits on the Senate Budget Committee with him and has served with a Republican lawmaker in the US Senate for years.
Purdue’s office statement dismissing the incident also attracted more anger. Many people of color shared their stories of others being ridiculous and misinterpreting their names.
As of Saturday, many people were using the hashtag #MyNameIs in response to Perdue.
Traditionalists have also rejected the pronunciation of Harris’s name in the past. In July, when a guest on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show told the host that he was mispronouncing Harris’s name, Carlson replied, “OK so what?”
Perdue, however, faces a struggle between the fight against Democrat John Ossoff, who criticized him on Friday and later fundraised Away from your opponent’s comments.
Ossoff said on MSNBC that night, “There is this kind of dishonest, race-biting garbage discussion that President Trump has sitting Republican members of the Senate.”
This is not the first time a Republican senator has come under fire over racial issues. In July, his campaign ran an ad on Facebook showing Ossoff, who is Jewish, with an enlarged nose.
“This is the oldest, most obvious, least original anti-Semitic trope in history,” Ossoff Tweeted At that time.
Perdue’s campaign said it was an “unintentional error that distorted the image.”
His campaign stated, “Any person who knows this was anything other than an inadvertent error that is deliberately misrepresenting Senator Purdue’s strong and consistent record.”