Vivek Ramaswamy, a tech entrepreneur running for president, is facing a challenge with people mispronouncing his name. Despite this, he has gained popularity in the polls and presented himself as a political newcomer during the Republican debate. Ramaswamy, the son of Indian Americans, has embraced and distanced himself from his racial background. He appreciates his parents’ decision to immigrate to the United States and often refers to his “funny last name.” When asked why he hadn’t corrected the mispronunciation, he responded with humor, saying he appreciated people’s efforts. Karthick Ramakrishnan, from AAPI Data, believes Ramaswamy does not need to instruct others on pronouncing his name because he is focused on generating debate and moving away from racial identity politics. Linguistics professor Nicole Holliday explains that language training and the expectation of English speakers to be accommodated globally contribute to difficulties in pronouncing names correctly. Previous presidential candidates from diverse racial backgrounds, such as Kamala Harris and Barack Obama, have faced derogatory remarks about their names. Ramaswamy’s mispronunciations are common for South Asian Americans. Sara Sadhwani, a political science professor, believes that acknowledgement of these mispronunciations by Republicans signals a growing understanding of the need for respect and diversity. However, Ramaswamy may face challenges due to his Hindu faith, as evidenced by racist comments from Ann Coulter. Nonetheless, his campaign spokesperson emphasized his gratitude for the support he has received from Christian voters across the country.
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