Senator Kamala Harris stopped by “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” on Thursday night to discuss an array of topics on the eve of an election in which she could become the first ever woman — and woman of color — to become the Vice President of the United States. But Trevor Noah was most preoccupied with one particular topic: her name.
Noah wondered aloud why it seems that conservatives (and conservative men in particular) seem to have such an issue pronouncing the Senator’s first name properly.
“Why does it seem like it becomes harder to pronounce your name the more conservative a person is? Because I’ve noticed there are some people you have worked in the Senate who don’t seem to know your name?” Noah asked.
“Is this strange for you or does this just like remind you of growing up? I mean any immigrant has their story or any child of immigrants has their story? How does this make you feel when you see people fighting about your name?” he added.
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Harris giggled for a second then paused before giving a powerful and poignant answer to Noah’s question.
“Well, that’s an interesting way to ask the question,” Harris said.
“Because when I see the people who have had the experience of having been given a name from their family, which is one of the greatest gifts that a family can give you–it’s the first gift that a child, when they enter the earth, receives from their family.”
“It is usually informed by tradition and love and the hope and aspiration the family has for that child,” she continued. “It is something precious and sacred. And it is a part of their identity. And when I see people fighting for the right for that to be respected and treated in a dignified way, I applaud and salute that.”
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On the flip side, Harris took those to task who choose to mangle the pronunciation of one’s name: “Anybody who otherwise on the other side of that who want to play childish games as though the highest elected leaders should conduct themselves like they did when they were children on the playground. Well it speaks poorly of the appreciation of the role that they have and I think it’s a reflection of their values and maturity.”
You can watch the full interview at the top of the page, or here. The discussion of her name comes near the end.