Hollywood stars, political figures and more are celebrating the varying meanings and origins of their names after a video of GOP Sen. David Perdue mocking vice president candidate Kamala Harris’ name went viral.
“Kamala or Kamala-mala-mala-mala, I don’t know. Whatever,” Perdue said during a Trump rally in Georgia.
Hours after Twitter users expressed frustration and disappointment with Perdue’s failure and lack of effort to correctly pronounce Harris’ name, #MyNameIs began trending on the social media platform.
“#MyNameIs Daniel Dae Hyun Kim, or in Korean, 김대현. It means “great and powerful one.” My name is not “Macaca” or “Kung Flu.” And @sendavidperdue, her name is not “Kamala Mala Mala I Don’t Know Whatever.” #Respect. One more reason to vote for @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris,” Daniel Dae Kim tweeted on Saturday.
Will & Grace star Debra Messing joined the conversation, celebrating her roots. She said that her name has Polish and Russian origins and that she’s proud of its roots. Messing also took her 140 character to chastise the Georgia senator.
Kal Penn responded to Perdue’s comments by revealing that Kalpen is actually his real first name and that the stage name was necessary to succeed.
“#MyNameIs Kalpen. I started going by Kal Penn to help me get a job & am more than happy to give @SenDavidPerdue some tips on finding a new one of his own,” he said.
Perdue’s failure to correctly pronounce Harris’ first name isn’t the first time someone has received backlash. In August, Fox News host Tucker Carlson received criticism for stressing the incorrect syllables of the vice presidential nominee’s first name.
Additional figures tweeting the hashtag and sharing sharing the deeper meanings of their first names were Michelle Kwan, Ilhan Omar, Ted Lieu and more. See the tweets below.
My opponent, GOP Sen. David Perdue of anti-Semitic attack ad infamy, just mocked Sen. Harris' name as "Kamala-mala-mala-whatever" at a Trump rally.
We are so much better than this. pic.twitter.com/9AvoQK4RdN
— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) October 16, 2020
#MyNameIs Daniel Dae Hyun Kim, or in Korean, 김대현. It means “great and powerful one.” My name is not “Macaca” or “Kung Flu.”
And @sendavidperdue, her name is not “Kamala Mala Mala I Don’t Know Whatever.” #Respect. One more reason to vote for @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris.
— Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) October 18, 2020
— Debra Messing✍🏻 (@DebraMessing) October 17, 2020
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) October 18, 2020
— Aditya Sood (@adityasood) October 18, 2020
#MyNameIs Talayeh. It means “pioneer” in Persian & comes from the Shahnameh. I have felt my share of Othering & racism by people like @sendavidperdue. I will be voting for @JoeBiden & @KamalaHarris because I know we are a nation of immigrants & I am proud to be one. https://t.co/c06p2uQpLS
— Tala Ashe (@talaashe) October 18, 2020
#MyNameIs Ted W. Lieu. The “W” is short for “Win-Ping” which in Mandarin means Cloud of Peace.
Also, make sure you vote. And if you are voting by mail, don’t forget the stupid secrecy envelope if your state requires it.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) October 17, 2020
#MyNameIs Ilham, I prefer Ilhan. I never liked the M sound 😜. It means “Inspiration” in Arabic. My father named me Ilham and inspired me to lead a life of service to others.
In his honor I am voting for an inspirational ticket over desperate and maddening one. https://t.co/jSiatHsj2X
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 17, 2020
#MyNameIs Michelle Wing Kwan & in Chinese pinyin it's pronounced Guan Ying Shan. It means beautiful, strong and smart. What's not beautiful, strong or smart is mocking ppl for their 'foreign sounding' names. Join me in voting for @JoeBiden @KamalaHarris instead #Iwillvote
— Michelle Kwan (@MichelleWKwan) October 17, 2020
My great grandmother’s name was Kamala. Not “Kamala-mala-mala, I don’t know, whatever.”#MyNameIs Gautam. It means bright light. The kind of bright light a Biden-Harris Administration will represent. And that is why #IWillVote.
— Gautam Raghavan (@gauragDC) October 17, 2020
#MyNameIs Nikema. I’ve been on the receiving end of bigotry and racism because of my name—like David Perdue’s mockery of @KamalaHarris’ name. Come November, he can call me #Congresswoman and #iwillvote so he’ll have to call #Kamala Madam Vice President! #OutLoudOnPurpose
— Senator Nikema Williams (@NikemaWilliams) October 18, 2020