Georgia Senator David Perdue Too Dumb, Racist To Say ‘Kamala’ Without Tongue Falling Out
“Kamala" isn't that hard to pronounce. It's not like Mr. Spock's first name. But Republicans relish in ignorance during the dying days of America. They think it's somehow clever that they can't correctly say the Democratic vice presidential nominee's “foreign-sounding" name, as if they were a villain from a 1980s comic book.
BATMAN 429, DC Comics
Georgia Senator David Perdue, who voters actually elected, was the hype man for Donald Trump's Macon hate rally Friday. He referred to the Senator Harris as "Ka-MAL-a (sic), Ka-MAL-a or Kamala, Kamala, Ka-mala, -mala, -mala, I don't know, whatever." This was hardly a Feinstein-style embrace of his colleague, but Republicans consider the Senate an exclusive club for white men only.
Well that is incredibly racist. Vote him out and vote for @ossoff https://t.co/XTLRXSJNem— Sabrina Singh (@Sabrina Singh)1602888178.0
There was a lot of racism going on here. Before he mangled Harris's name, Perdue warned of a liberal takeover of government, which is apparently bad even if a majority of voters elect liberals. Scat, damn democracy! He doesn't mention Joe Biden, who might flip Georgia, but lumps Harris in with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Harris isn't a scary socialist nor has she advocated for “big, systemic change." She was a former prosecutor and the attorney general for California. She is closer to Biden than she is to Sanders and Warren. I personally like radical liberals and think we need to get to work on the GOP with a pair of pliers and a blow torch, but that's not Harris. She's as much a threat as Barack Obama never was.
Republicans like Perdue and Trump, who's called Harris a communist, assume she'll spook suburban voters for no logical reason other than her race. But their bigotry gets in the way of this plan. See, you don't bully someone you think is actually dangerous. There's a reason that the kids in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies didn't make fun of Freddy Kreuger's name: “KreUGHer" or “Kreuger-rugger-ding-dong ... I don't know, whatever." It would've lessened the stakes. Bullies make fun of people from a position of power. This is why the MAGA crowd laughed when Perdue refused to show Harris, no matter her historic achievements, the most basic level of respect. They've served in the Senate together for three years.
Perdue also demonstrated contempt for his own constituency. Indian-Americans are a growing demographic in Georgia. One of my best friends is of Indian descent and grew up in Atlanta. She also deserves the courtesy of assholes not mocking her name, Senator Per-doo-doo.
I agonized over the name to give my kid. Settled on a mouthful - Sulayman. I loved the meaning - “man of peace.” I… https://t.co/qJcA8Mnrqi— Asma Khalid (@Asma Khalid)1602903517.0
Bullies are cowards, so of course, Perdue lacked the courage to own up to his buffoonish racism, even when he willingly attended a campaign rally for a buffoonish racist. His spokesperson, Casey Black, claimed that Perdue was just standing in the kitchen, carving up a chicken for dinner, minding his own business when he mispronounced “Kamala" ten times.
BLACK: Senator Perdue simply mispronounced Senator Harris' name, and he didn't mean anything by it. He was making an argument against the radical socialist agenda that she and her endorsed candidate Jon Ossoff are pushing.
It's interesting that Perdue's best argument against a “radical socialist agenda" is juvenile, schoolyard taunts. It's almost like you can't beat affordable health care access and a living wage on their own merits. You have to get all racist.
If all goes well, next year, the next vice president will have a similar background to millions of Indian-Americans. Perdue's less-than-subtle message is that even if Harris makes history, America's racist history will endure.
This is the modern Republican Party, with or without Trump. They have no good ideas and can only appeal to the cruelty of their supporters, who they're trying to kill off with coronavirus. It's an intellectually and morally bankrupt philosophy with limited growth potential.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."