During a roundtable discussion with disability rights activists last week, Vice President Kamala Harris and the panelists introduced themselves by stating their pronouns and giving a visual description of their clothes.
“I am Kamala Harris, my pronouns are she and her, and I am a woman sitting at the table wearing a blue suit.” the vice president said.
The group provided a visual description of themselves in what has become a common standard to assist blind people. However, it appears members of the GOP didn’t get the notice, with the introductions being mocked by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other Republican figures.
But what is a woman? https://t.co/nN6aIgJ2pf
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 26, 2022
When MSNBC asked Cruz about his response to Harris’ introduction, the Texas Republican said he made fun of Harris “because she was repeating the moronic practice of specifying her pronouns.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) also took a shot at Harris and Democrats on Twitter, and even the Republican National Committee Research Twitter account posted the video of Harris, but only after it removed the captions meant to assist the hearing impaired from the video. RNC research director Zach Parkinson later said they were making fun of Harris because she “chooses to infantilize the people she’s talking with by announcing her pronouns.”
Harris’ supporters and disability rights advocates quickly clapped back at the GOP and its insensitive members on Twitter. Some noted the party’s history of mocking disabled people and Republicans’ frequency in criticizing something Democrats are doing.
Despite Harris’ introduction and support of disabled citizens, she has made a few missteps with the community, including her response when a rallygoer called former President Donald Trump the R-word. Disability rights advocates were also concerned the mental health policy she proposed as a presidential candidate would have led to unnecessary institutionalization.