During October, in the throes of the general election, Senator David Perdue deliberately mispronounced and mocked Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ name. This raised many eyebrows. Including members of the Asian community — particularly the South Asian community.
In response to Perdue’s disrespectful behavior, South Asians and allies rallied to launch the #MyNameIs campaign, which featured actors, media figures and politicians like Hari Kondabolu, Daniel Dae Kim, Ilhan Omar, Ken Jeong, Lea Thompson, Maya Harris and others sharing the origins of their names. As Georgia’s US. Senate runoff nears, Meena Harris and Brad Jenkins’ Phenomenal Productions and the Indian American Impact Fund (IMPACT) released a new video that is part of series of Georgia voting videos that bolster the #MyNameIs message, mobilize AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) voters and bolster the power of representation. The video features Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Kal Penn (Kal Penn Approves this Message), Sendhil Ramamurthy (Never Have I Ever), Nik Dodani (Atypical), Punam Patel (Special), Aparna Nancherla (Corporate), and AAPI organizers in Georgia.
The video highlights the importance of mobilizing the 100k+ eligible South Asian American voters in Georgia — who have emerged as a powerful and crucial voting bloc — ahead of the highly consequential US Senate runoff elections in the state.
This isn’t the first time Penn, Dodani, Patel, Ramamurthyappeared alongside Manish Dayal as well as Meena Harris in the most recent video Brown and Down: The Sequel.
According to a report by United Nations officials, hate crimes against Asian Americans have reached an “alarming level” across the United States since 2016 due to the weaponizing of words by the Trump administration and his supporters like Perdue. These words negatively impact the AAPI community and were emboldened during the pandemic when the former host of The Celebrity Apprentice referred to the coronavirus as the “Kung Flu” and the “China Virus”.
Asian Americans did not stand idly by. The responded by showing up to the polls with the largest percentage increase of new AAPI voters in history. November 2020’s record Asian American voter participation delivered Georgia’s 16 electoral votes–and the US presidency–to Joe Biden. The IMPACT campaign is focused on motivating the South Asian community to make history again.
Phenomenal Productions’s Meena Harris and Brad Jenkins produced the video along with Neil Makhija, Elle Kurata, Michael Moffo, Elizabeth Baquet, and Jason Chappelle.
Watch the video above.
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