GOP senator who mocked Kamala Harris once asked Black supporter about Perdue chicken and Herman Cain

www.salon.com
4 min read
fairly difficult
Republican Sen. David Perdue is not part of the family who owns Perdue Farms
Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., drew swift backlash on Friday night after he deliberately mispronounced Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris' first name at a rally, adding several syllables as he drew laughs from the crowd.

The senator's re-election campaign said the Republican senator had "simply mispronounced Senator Harris' name, and he didn't mean anything by it." Harris' press secretary rebuked the remarks as "incredibly racist" as members of the media poured cold water on the campaign's claim.

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"Perdue has served with Kamala Harris in the Senate for four years," Washington Post White House Bureau Chief Phil Rucker tweeted. "He knows how to properly pronounce her name."

The controversial remarks prompted the #MyNameIs hashtag to trend on Twitter as people of color shared their experiences about their names.

"Our names are a fundamental part of our identity and pride," Iranian-American news anchor Asieh Namdar tweeted. "They tell the story of who we are. Pronouncing it properly is a sign of respect. Some of us immigrants with 'difficult' names are frankly too too old and too tired to have to say this over and over again."

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Perdue likely has a last name familiar to many Americans because of its resemblance to the namesake of Perdue Farms. However, the Republican is not part of the family who owns the major poultry processing company.

Nevertheless, the senator once invoked this likeness during a brief conversation with a Black man at a 2014 campaign event. Upon introduction, the Republican asked whether the young man liked Perdue chicken before referencing Herman Cain, the former Black Republican presidential candidate. The unprompted exchange, which took place at a campaign stop in the northwest Atlanta suburb of Marietta, was caught on video footage first obtained by Salon.

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As seen on the video, a young Black man with a blue Perdue campaign sticker on his maroon shirt introduced himself to the…
Roger Sollenberger
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