On Friday HBO’s Bill Maher chastised former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile for continuously mispronouncing the name of 2024 Republican presidential primary candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.
During a panel discussion that also featured former Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, best known for Never Trump activism and his role on the January 6 Committee, Brazile said on Maher’s program Real Time, “Vivek needs to just shut the hell up.”
Maher pointed out that she was mispronouncing his first name, noting that the second syllable rhymed with “cake.”
As in “Viv-ake.”
Maher: ‘I just feel there’s a little racism there’
“I’m Donna, is it Viveck Ramasama? … Vivek needs to go home,” Brazile said.
“This is what the CNN audience needs to know,” Maher said to audience laughter.
Ramaswamy replied to the sleights on Sunday, implying that if some roles and races were reversed, Brazile’s comment would more clearly be considered racist, as Maher implied.
What Would Happen if a White Republican…
“I wonder what they’d do if a white Republican intentionally mispronounced Donna’s name & then told her to return ‘home,” Ramaswamy pondered on X.
Ramaswamy, an Indian-American who was born in Ohio, apparently took “return home” as meaning returning to his ancestral country. While it wasn’t clear that Brazile meant that and could have just meant she wanted Ramaswamy to leave the presidential race, Ramaswamy does have a point about how quickly many might jump to racist conclusions if the target were instead a black person and similar things were said.
The Ramaswamy campaign framed Brazile’s comments as “reverse racism.”
The latest Five Thirty Eight average of polls puts Ramaswamy at 5.2% in the GOP primary.
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