(Headline USA) In a cringeworthy segment during the final night of the Democratic National Convention, actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang awkwardly mispronounced the last name of Vice President Mike Pence.
Was it “Mika Pints?” or “Paints?” Or maybe “Ponce,” Yang said.
“Oh, some kind of weird foreign name?” Louis-Dreyfus asked.
“Yeah, not very American sounding,” Yang replied.
Kamala Harris’ first name is pronounced “KAH’-mah-lah” — or, as she explains in her biography, “‘comma-la,’ like the punctuation mark.”
But mispronunciations have been rampant in the days since the California senator became the first black woman and the first Asian American woman named to a major party’s ticket.
Pence referred to her as “kah-MAH’-lah,” putting his emphasis on the second syllable, at events last week.
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel did the same on Wednesday, as did Trump at a rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday, the day after Harris delivered a prime-time speech accepting the Democratic nomination — a speech he indicated he watched.
Harris’ supporters say the pattern amounts to racism.
“It is an effort to diminish her,” said Fatima Goss Graves, president of the National Women’s Law Center Action Fund. “It’s designed to signal difference.”
Even Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden slipped up and mispronounced the first “a” in Kamala during his speech introducing her as his running mate, but he quickly repeated her name with the correct pronunciation.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.