PEOPLE Asks Kamala About Jerks Who ‘Mockingly Mispronounce’ Her First Name

People magazine has fiercely avoided reporting on the Trumps at all, but back at the end of August, they devoted two gushy pages to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Now, as Election Day is almost here, People published another gushy interview with Harris, and her husband Douglas Emhoff (who mostly sits quietly).

The headline was “RACING TO MAKE HISTORY: The vice presidential candidate and her husband open up about campaigning mid-pandemic and aiming to break the glass ceiling three times over: Electing America’s first black, Indian-American woman as veep.” 

There’s also a video on YouTube, so it’s fascinating to see how People edits the questions, and the answers. There’s no disclosure to the reader that it’s been, well, “cleaned up.” But it should be presumed. What’s odd is when Fox News names are tossed in. Take this question from the magazine’s political reporter Sandra Sobieraj Westfall: 

Senator Harris, what does it say to you when someone like Georgia’s Sen. David Perdue or Tucker Carlson mockingly mispronounces your name? 

Except the video shows Westfall never actually mentioned Tucker Carlson: 

WESTFALL: One of the things that I’ve heard going on out there, and a number of my BIPOC colleagues have noticed and picked up on, that I want to ask you about, is the stubborn and perhaps willful inability to pronounce your first name. [Kamala bursts out laughing] That we hear, most recently, from Governor Perdue. How important is it to you that people know how to say it right, and what does it say to you when they so dismissively, you know, oh, and mockingly mispronounce it, saying ‘oh, whatever’? What does that say to you as a woman, and as a woman of color?

HARRIS: I mean, listen, I think that the name your parents give you, whoever you are – meaning your gender or race or background or language your grandmother speaks – it’s a very special thing. I mean, we’ve been watching, we know many cultures have naming ceremonies. It is a gift, it is an incredible familial gift, the family gives the child a name. And so I come at it from that, not about myself, but for everyone, right? Which is, if you understand the bestowing of a name, one should respect the names that people are given, and use those names with respect in the way we speak it.

We don’t know who threw Tucker Carlson in there, but they would NOT like all the mockery Tucker dished out on Wednesday night. He played video of Harris recently calling herself “Camel-a,” and then feigned outrage: “That was racism and sexism combined in a repulsive little Reese’s peanut butter cup of hate!” Classic. 

Then there’s this question in the magazine: 

Your father was from Jamaica and your mother was from India. What was your experience growing up with racism in Berkeley, Calif?

Harris didn’t bring up any racist incidents in her own experience, but talked about her Indian mother being treated “like a second-class citizen…I saw that all the time.” 

And… there was this scary question: 

Doug, when you hear about a militia plot to kidnap Michigan’s female governor, do you worry about your wife’s safety? 

This was fascinating because Westfall actually mentioned Trump in her video question, and that was excised. Trump’s name is like Voldemort inside the bubble of People magazine.

She asked: “Doug, when you see the plot against Governor Whitmer broken up, and you hear Trump telling white supremacists, the Proud Boys, to ‘stand by,’ what goes through your head, as I presume a somewhat protective white husband of a wife of color? Are you worried about her safety?”

Emhoff dismissed the whole concern as “distractions” from their campaign messaging.

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