US Democrats' vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris gave a thoughtful response over mispronunciation of her name and said when “highest selected leaders” do this, it reflects their “values and maturity”.
Harris said that she “applauds and salutes” people who fight for the right for their name to be respected.
In an interview by The Daily Show host and Comedian Trevor Noah, Harris was asked why some people 'the more conservative they are' find it hard to pronounce her name also pointing at people in the Senate she has worked with and how does she feel when people are fighting about her name.
In her response, Harris said, “When I see the people who have had the experience of having been given a name from their family, which is one of the greatest gifts that a family can give you — it is the first gift that a child, when they enter the earth, receives from their family.”
“It is usually informed by tradition and love and the hope and aspiration the family has for that child,” she said.
“It is something precious and sacred and it is a part of their identity. And when I see people fighting for the right for that to be respected and treated in a dignified way, I applaud and salute that.”
Harris further attacked the people on the other side of that fight. “Anybody, who otherwise, on the other side of that, wants to play childish games, the highest selected leaders should conduct themselves like they did when they were children on the playground.”
The controversy over the pronunciation of her name erupted when Republican Senator David Perdue said, "KAH’-mah-lah? Kah-MAH’-lah? Kamala-mala-mala? I don’t know. Whatever," at an election rally for US President Donald Trump in Macon City in Georgia earlier in October.
Ultimately, it “speaks poorly of their appreciation for the responsibility in the role that they have.”
“And I think it’s the reflection of their values and maturity,” Harris added.
Harris, 55, was a presidential aspirant until last year before she dropped out of the race because of lack of popular support. She returned to political limelight after Biden picked her as his running mate in the November 3 election.
Born to a Jamaican father and an Indian mother, Harris is the first Indian-American and first Black woman to be picked by a major American political party for the top post.
Aside from Kamala Harris, another Indian-American has been at the receiving end when it comes to mispronunciation of names - CEO of Google's parent company - Sundar Pichai.
United States Senate members consistently failed to pronounce Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai’s name during a panel hearing earlier this week.
The panel, consisting of Democrat and Republican senators, got the audience's attention after their sustained lack of effort to pronounce Pichai’s name right.
Senators continued to pronounce Pichai (pronounced easily by pea like the vegetable and chai like the drink), as Mr Pick-eye and Mr Pee-chey.
Notably, this was not the first time Pichai appeared before the Senate, having testified twice before – where he was addressed as “Pick-eye”.