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“Kuh-mah-la, Kuh-mah-la, Kuh-mahl-la!”
Donald Trump, in typical man-baby fashion, mocked the pronunciation of Senator Kamala Harris’ name recently at a rally in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He knows how to properly pronounce her name. He chanted the mispronunciation a few times for an intended effect. His mockery is always intentional.
Trump’s pronunciation of the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee’s name as “Kuh-ma-la” as opposed to the correct pronunciation, “Kah-mah-la,” was also likely done on purpose based on his familiarity with pro wrestling. Legendary wrestler Kamala was characterized as an African savage who wore tribal paint and could not speak native English. In reality, he was a native of south Louisiana named James Harris. It is not beyond reason that Trump was playing a game of name association at the rally.
Kamala, the wrestler, was a part of the now defunct Mid South Wrestling in the early 1980s. Mid South Wrestling regularly toured North Carolina. The American South has always been a hotbed for pro wrestling events. Most of the folks at the rally were old enough to make a connection between Trump’s mispronunciation of “Kah-mah-la” as “Kuh-ma-la,” and because he is a master at channeling racist and xenophobic imagery to rile up his base, pronouncing her name that way was very likely a not-so-subtle nod to something ‘foreign,’ ‘mysterious’ and ‘primitive.’
But assuming that he was not intentionally trying to make an association between Senator Harris and a deceased wrestler who was most well-known for depicting an African stereotype, there is no mystery in interpreting what he means when he suggests that Kamala’s ascension to the White House would be an “insult to our country.”
Trump has an extensive track record of insulting his political adversaries. He is especially vicious when it comes to attacking women who oppose him, and he is undeniably “nasty” when it comes to deriding politicians who are women of color.
From Maxine Waters to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Ilhan Omar, and more, Trump has never pulled punches when it comes to aggressively attacking the character and personhood of women of color that hold positions of power. He reserves his highest frequency dog-whistling when speaking ill of their names because he knows that America has a racism and sexism problem that can be easily amplified the minute a woman of color is cast into the spotlight.
I will be the first to admit that I have my reservations about Senator Harris based on her prosecutorial and political career. Whether she has completely atoned for her missteps or not is not the point here. The point is that Donald John Trump will always revert to demonizing women of color to advance his agenda, and as a means of appealing to America’s worst cultural values.
He is never above wallowing in the mud to ignite the flames of everything that makes this country combustible. He needs the division to be able to function.
Bigotry is his campaign strategy and he is ALWAYS on the campaign trail.